Rachel Wall Biography

Picture Of Female Pirate

Rachel Wall (born around 1760, died on October 8, 1789) is today remembered as the first American born woman who chose the profession of piracy, and a last woman who was executed by hanging in the state of Massachusetts. Although her life was full with crime, theft and piracy, she is today remembered as one of the few famous woman pirates in the western hemisphere.

Rachel Wall was born under the name of 'Rachel Schmidt in Carlisle, in the Province of Pennsylvania, to a family of devout Presbyterians. Ever since her young age she was unsatisfied with her life, and longed for the waterfront and sea. During one of her visits to the harbor at the age of 16, she became under attack from the group of local girls only to be saved by the man named George Wall. The pair quickly fell in love, and they married despite growing concern from her family.

After the pair moved to Boston, Rachel took the job of maid and George became sailor and a fisherman. Quickly Rachel and George became acquainted with several sailors and their lovers who shared their wish for the life on the sea. After few deliberation group decided to try life of piracy in early 1781. Their initial plan for robbing unsuspecting traders was very successful. They sailed to the sea, searching for the rough weather periods, and then disguised their ship as if it barely survived the passing storm. When unsuspecting ships came closer to inspect them they could only see ship in poor condition and Rachel who called them for help. After the ship docked they stormed it and robbed it. Another tactics involved boarding ship under a guise of passengers, and then surprising ship defenses during night. After the initial successful period where they managed to rob 12 ships (stealing more than $6.000 and various good and killing 24 sailors), their luck came to an end when George Wall made navigational error during one storm in 1782 which overturned ship and damaged it badly.

With no ship, the majority of the crew returned to the land. Rachel continued to work as a maid, from time to time returning to her life of crime and theft. Rachel's final criminal act for which she was captured for authorities included theft that led to the death of one sailor. During her trial in 1789, Rachel confessed about her times as a pirate, but she denied ever killing anyone. Judges were not kind to her, and she was executed by hanging October 8, 1789. According to the historians, her last words were "...into the hands of the Almighty God I committ my soul, relying on his mercy...and die an unworthy member of the Presbyterian Church, in the 29th year of my age ".