In 1666, Exquemelin was hired by the French West India Company and went to Tortuga. There, he turned to piracy and became the barber surgeon of Henry Morgan, who gave him a gold razor stolen from a Spanish conquistador.
Being a Huguenot, Exquemelin moved to the Netherlands upon returning from the Caribbean in order to avoid religious persecution. He would later author The History of the Buccaneers of America, a book on piracy based on his own observations, describing events such as Morgan's sacking of Panama. Morgan himself had it censored and amended in order to preserve his own image.
In the early 18th century, the pirate Alonzo Batilla would recover several items related to Exquemelin, including his book.