Moses Butterworth
I’m Moses Butterworth.
They say that I’m a pirate. A pirate! Ha!
...I don’t disagree.
Who says I’m a pirate?
The Governor, the Attorney General, and the Justices.
They say I fly the skull and crossbones. ...Aye, and what of it?
On militia training day, the town crier in Monmouth called for me to plead to the charges of piracy. I’ll tell you, Monmouth County rose in anger! There wasn’t a man who’d serve on the jury.
“Moses Butterworth a pirate! Well, yeah... So what?”
We all go down to the courthouse, and the Governor hisself is right there, and he starts the proceedings.
But Sam Willett, the tavernkeeper, my old friend Sam, he calls for a drum and he beats it so loudly in the ears of the Governor that no one hears a word it.
The Attorney General calls for Sam’s arrest, but the bailiff didn’t move.
In fact, he yawned.
The Attorney General calls the militia! Forty armed men surrounded Sam, but they didn’t lift a finger to stop him from beating that infernal drum.
Then the Governor orders the militia to come for me, Moses Butterworth, and they surrounded me! But they were facing out, with their guns toward the Governor!
At this, the four Justices and the Attorney General, they draw their swords, they did, but the militiamen stood fast.
Then a hundred more men come running, they’d been drinking in Willett’s barroom, they heard what was going on, and they attacked the court.
They seized the Governor, the Attorney General with his damned wig and sword, and the four fat justices, the sheriff, and the court clerk. They threw ’em in the gaol, and four days later they agree to drop the pirate charges against me, Moses Butterworth, and to grant amnesty to Willett and his men.
They didn’t fear pirates in fair Monmouth County, in East Jersey, they prospered by ’em.
Yer fair state always was a friend to the pirates!
And Moses Butterworth is a pirate! Ya got a problem wit dat?