The proposal for pardoning the pirates had passed in court and the Hamilton family is sent to Nassau with the Queen’s blessing. Thomas is to be the Governor of the New Providence Island and his job is to eradicate piracy and restore legitimate trade with the help of Her Majesty’s Navy. In the meantime, Lieutenant James McGraw has been promoted to Captain McGraw and is given the role to organize the navy and establish the militia. Most of the pirates have yielded, accepted the pardons and turned to honest work, the rest had scattered. Nassau slowly flourishes under the command of its good and just leaders, and is soon back under full colonial rule.
As Stephen walked up St James’s-street, he saw a strange sight - a black ship sailing towards him through the grey rainy air above the heads of the crowd. It was a frigate, some two feet high, with dirty, ragged sails and peeling paint. It rose and fell, mimicking the motion of the ships at sea. Stephen shivered a little to see it. A beggar emerged from the crowd, a negro with skin as dark and shining as Stephen’s own. Fastened to his hat was this ship. As he walked he ducked and raised his head so that his ship could sail. As he went he performed his curious bobbing and swaying movements very slowly and carefully for fear of upsetting his enormous hat. The effect was of a man dancing amazingly slowly. The beggar’s name was Johnson. He was a poor, crippled sailor who had been denied a pension. Having no other means of relief, he had taken to singing and begging to make a livelihood, in which he had been most successful and he was known throughout the Town for the curious hat he wore.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke
So when I first read this bit, I was sure this was something that was actually, historically recorded (especially since it also apparently shows up in the TV series Taboo). Well, I was doing some research-reading today, and by pure chance, stumbled over this:
Despite the benefits of Greenwich Hospital, plenty of men in seaman’s dress were to be seen begging on the streets of London. […] Joseph Johnson was a negro who had only served in merchant ships and was not eligible for Greenwich. He gained fame by touring the streets with a model of the ship Nelson on his head, which could ‘give the appearance of sea motion’ when he nodded his head.
(Royal Tars: The Lower Deck of the Royal Navy, 875-1850, Brian Lavery)
Donald Duck was born to a Scottish immigrant mother and an accountant. He joined the navy right out of high school and sailed the world. In port in south america he met musicians
José Carioca and Panchito Romero Miguel, whom he became fast fiends with. Once his tour of duty was done, he became a musician along with his friends
José and Panchito. A few years later he became the guardians of his triplet nephews Hubert, Deuteronomy (yes that is Dewey’s real name), and Louis, but he had to leave them in the care of his uncle Scrooge when he was called back in to service.