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The Story of Blackbeard
went by the name Edward Teach. Most historians agree that he was born about
the year 1680 in Bristol, England. He was able to
read and write which suggests his family had money.
As with most pirates, little is known of his early
Sometime in the early eighteenth century, Teach left Bristol for Jamaica
to sail on the ships of privateers. When England revoked the privateer’s
license, Teach joined forces with Captain Benjamin Hornigold. Hornigold
took Teach under his wing and taught him everything he knew about taking
ships. This alliance lasted for a little over two years. It was during
this time that Teach first came to Carolina.
By March of 1718, Blackbeard had decided to leave
the Caribbean and sail up the east coast of America. On his way he encountered
several ships who joined forces with him. By the time they reached Charleston
in late May, Blackbeard had nearly seven hundred men under his command.
Blackbeard and his fleet blockaded Charleston harbor for nearly a week
and stopped all ships coming and going. Blackbeards’ only demand
from the Governor was for a chest of medicine. Several prominent citizens
had been taken hostage but were released when the demands were met. Blackbeard’s
fleet left Charleston without firing a single shot.
Shortly after the blockade of Charleston, Blackbeard
sunk his flagship “Queen Anne’s Revenge” in Beaufort Inlet. The booty he
had stolen in Charleston was put on a small sloop which he named the Adventure.
By mid-June Blackbeard and his crew were in Bath,
North Carolina and had accepted the Kings pardon for piracy. During the
next few weeks Blackbeard bought a house in Bath and was married by the governor
to his fourteenth wife, Mary Ormond. However, it was not long before Blackbeard
and his crew left Bath and committed one more act of piracy.
When he brought the ship back to Carolina the Governor
and Secretary held a hearing and judged the ship abandoned and divided
the spoils between themselves and Blackbeard. This action by the governor
made many of the colonists believe that he was working with Blackbeard.
Governor Spotswood of Virginia was called on by
local plantation owners to track down Blackbeard and run him out of Carolina.
Unknown to his council, Governor Spotswood sent troops by land to Bath
and Lt. Maynard by sea to capture Blackbeard.
the morning of November 22, 1718, Lt. Maynard and Blackbeard fought a bloody
battle near Teach’s Hole at Ocracoke Inlet. Blackbeard received twenty
sword wounds and five gun shot wounds before he was brought down. Lt. Maynard
ordered his head cut off and the body thrown overboard. Blackbeard’s head
was tied to the bowsprit of the Adventure and taken back to Virginia. The
death of Blackbeard signaled the end of “The Golden Age of Piracy.”
Copyright ©2001 by Wood Chips
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