Black Caesar (Henri Caesar) was born in the mid-1760's to Haitian slaves owned by a wealthy French planter named Arnaut. He spent his childhood performing various tasks inside as a houseboy, but was later moved to the lumberyard in an effort to employ his larger physique.
Reports indicate that Caesar suffered mistreatment at the hands of the lumberyard overseer, in contrast to his former experience as a houseboy. When the plantation was caught up in the 1791 Haitian slave revolt led by Dutty Boukman and Toussaint L'Ouverture, Caesar reserved a retribution for the man, carried out with a saw.
For the next few years, Black Caesar and many other former slaves carried on the revolt by attacking French soldiers and their encampments. By 1804, France had given up the country to the conflict, and Haiti became the first nation in the west to become independent after America. The ex-slaves had made few provisions for their success, and they quickly fell into disenchantment. Caesar and his small crew were drawn to raid upon the water, making their pirate base out of Port de Paix on the northern coast of Haiti.
After he first overtook a Spanish ship in 1805, he found moderate success attacking smaller vessels and villages around Cuba and the Bahamas. The return of British presence on the local seas at the end of the War of 1812 was motivation for Caesar to work elsewhere, and he moved his operations to south Florida and its southwest. Some of the locations reportedly visited or used as a base by the now Florida pirate are Pine Island, White Horse Key, Marco Island, Elliot Key, and most notably Sanibel Island.
The story of Black Caesar is rather unusual in that there are many stories of his having stashed treasure at various places (estimated between $2 million and $6 million), but there is no clear story about the end of his life. Some authors associate him with a pirate named Jose Gaspar, whose very existence is doubtful. Add to this the stories of mysterious marks on ancient trees in the areas he was said to frequent, and you have a mystique so large, one pirate's life may not contain it.There are conflicting accounts of several pirates named Caesar or Black Caesar. This is only repeated information.