The Last Revenge of One-Eyed Willie
It’s been almost exactly 30 years since the Goonies released in theatres. Now, I would have re-blogged this post then (June 7th), but I forgot to do so until now. Nevertheless, as we enter into summer, I think it still apropos I post one of my favorite pieces I’ve done on my little blog here. I hope you enjoy it, and happy summer, everybody!
The common image of the famed pirate Wilfredo Guzman, or “One-Eyed Willie”, is that of a ruthless and cunning buccaneer, defying the English fleet and amassing a grand fortune only to be discovered centuries later in the caves near Astoria, Oregon. What history tells us about the man, however, paints a significantly different picture. As Willy’s ship, Inferno, flees up the California coast in 1632, pursued by a Spanish (not English) fleet sent to capture him, we come to understand that this fearsome pirate was a desperate man on the run and just barely in control of his crew. The acts that resulted in his death, made so famous by their sheer perversity, merely underscore this fact.
To understand Wilfredo Guzman, one also has to understand the Spain of the early 17th century. Despite the wealth of silver and gold crossing the Atlantic into royal coffers, Spain was a nation in significant debt…
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