A riveting account of the roguish acts of the first pirates to raid the Pacific--a crusade that ended in a sensational trial back in England. The year is 1680, in the heart of the Golden Age of Piracy, and more than three hundred daring, hardened pirates--a potent mix of low-life scallywags and a rare breed of gentlemen buccaneers--gather on a remote Caribbean island. The plan: to wreak havoc on the Pacific coastline, raiding cities, mines, and merchant ships. The booty: the bright gleam of Spanish gold and the chance to become a legend. So begins one of the greatest piratical adventures of the era--a story not given its full due until now. Inspired by the intrepid forays of pirate turned Jamaican governor, Captain Henry Morgan--yes, that Captain Morgan--the company, primarily Englishmen, set out to cross Panama on foot, slashing their way through the Darien isthmus, one of the thickest jungles on the planet, and liberating a native princess along the way. After reaching the South Sea, the buccaneers plunder the Spanish Main in a series of historic assaults, often prevailing against staggering odds and superior firepower. A collective shudder wracks the western coastline of South America, as the English pirates, waging a kind of proxy war against the Spaniards, gleefully undertake a brief reign over Pacific waters, marauding up and down the continent.With novelistic prose and a rip-roaring sense of adventure, Keith Thomson guides us through the pirates' legendary two-year expedition. We witness the buccaneers evading indigenous tribes, Spanish conquistadors, and sometimes even their own English countrymen, all with the ever-present threat of the gallows for anyone captured. By fusing contemporaneous accounts with intensive research and previously unknown primary sources, Born to Be Hanged offers a rollicking account of one of the most astonishing pirate stories ever told.