Capt. Miguel Henriquez
born in Puerto Rico, was a pirate in the latter part of the 17th century who fought the British Navy in Vieques and was granted the privileges of privateer by the Spanish Crown.
Henriquez, a mulatto, was a shoemaker by occupation. In the latter years of the 17th century, Henriquez decided to try his luck as a pirate. He intercepted English merchant ships and other ships dedicated to contraband that were infesting the seas of Puerto Rico and the Atlantic Ocean in general.
Henriquez organized an expeditionary force which fought and defeated the British in the island of Vieques. Henriquez was received as a national hero when he returned the island of Vieques back to the Spanish Empire and to the governorship of Puerto Rico.
In recognition for his services, the Spanish Crown, under the order of King Philip V (1683-1746), awarded Miguel Henriquez with "La Medalla de Oro de la Real Efigie" (The Gold Medal of the Royal Image) in 1713 and named him Captain of the Seas and Land, The Spanish Crown also gave him a special permit to do his pirate activities in the name of Spain. The letter of marque and reprisal granted him the privileges of privateer.
According to Puerto Rican author, Jose Luis Gonz�lez, Henriquez eventually became one of the richest men in Puerto Rico. He owned as many as five ships and had at least 500 men working for him at one time.
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For some reasons, never clearly established, he was persecuted by the Spanish elite in the island and jailed on various occasions. He was striped of all his power and wealth by the Spanish government in the island. It is believed that he died a pauper. (Source: Wikipedia)
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