In June 1722, Philip Ashton was captured by pirates while fishing near
the coast of Nova Scotia. The Boston News Letter dated July 9,
1722, listed him as a captive of pirate Edward Low. Ashton’s refusal to cooperate with the pirates led to numerous threats, but he
managed to escape in March of 1723, when the pirates landed at Roatan Island in
the Bay Islands of Honduras. He hid in the jungle until the pirates sailed away without him.
Ashton survived as a castaway for sixteen months, despite hordes of insects,
tropical heat, and various predators. At first he was forced to survive only on fruit
and things he could gather with his hands. He had no equipment whatsoever until he
met another castaway, an Englishman. The Englishman disappeared after a few
days, but he left behind a knife, gunpowder, tobacco, and other supplies, giving Ashton the ability to hunt and make fires to cook hot meals.
He was eventually
rescued by a ship from Salem, New England, called the Diamond. This is his
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