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"A few years ago it might have been surmised that in America at least a good deal of the old code in respect to piracy had passed from the law in reserve into the law in history. The important cases were nearly all one hundred years old or more....

There have been recent events, however, which challenge the assumption that the law of piracy is chiefly of historical significance. The country had hardly entered upon the new period of national prohibition when the rum ships descended upon its coasts... There sprang up, in consequence, to prey upon the rum ships, a new breed of buccaneers whose exploits have revived in memory the hardy pirates of old."