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Blackbeard’s Pirate Treasure

Blackbeard was so feared and such a master of psychological warfare that his victims did just that....as there is no record of anyone actually being murdered during his plundering.

Many Know Edward Teach's power and reputation as the most frightening of pirates, calling himself Blackbeard, he braided his beard and tied the braids with black ribbons. He stuffed burning rope under his hat to make himself look more ferocious and menacing. He scared everyone.

Blackbeard was so feared and such a master of psychological warfare that there is no record of anyone actually being murdered during his plundering.


Story by Ed Okonowicz from his book, Spirits Between the Bays Series Volume I: Pulling Back the Curtain, copyright © 1994 by Myst and Lace Publishers, Elkton, Maryland.

ARTWORK RICARDO PUSTANIO © 2006

In the area of northern Delaware known as Blackbird – located north of Smyrna and east of Townsend – there are tales of chests filled with gold and treasure that were hidden centuries ago by the famous pirate Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard. The famous figure of legend and lore is believed to have visited the Blackbird Creek area in 1717 and early in 1718, and other sites along much of the Delaware Coast as well.

The area of Blackbird is named after the 18th century swashbuckler, who was well known for his erratic behavior and 13 wives. Treasure hunters have been searching the area for hundreds of years.

Some claim to have found evidence of decaying pirate forts, built of wood in the marshes. But, despite using metal detectors, and aerial and satellite photography, no one has of yet publicly claimed the chests and sacks full of Blackbeard’s captured gold and jewels. Many believe much of it still lies buried somewhere along the state’s sandy coastline and marshy wetlands.

Blackbeard was a large man, with a beard that extended below his waist. To add to his bizarre, almost demonic appearance, the pirate wore his beard in pigtails tied with ribbons, one in honor of each of his wives. To add a bit of theatrical drama to his already strange looks, he tied two, slow burning cannon fuses from either side of his face. When lit, they enveloped his head in a dark, foggy cloud. The pirate also would mix a dash of gunpowder in his rum and set it on fire, then smile at any onlookers as he drank down the flaming liquid.

Blackbeard fought on, in spite of bullet wounds and gashed neck, as other British seamen joined in for the kill. Even while being stabbed, he yet cocked a pistol to continue the fight as he fell dead. His head was then cut off and hung from the bowsprit of Maynard's ship.

He wore pistols, daggers and a cutlass in a belt about his waist. Across his chest he wore a sling that held three brace of pistols, all six primed, cocked and ready to fire.

Charles Johnson, A General History of the Pyrates, Fourth Edition, volume one. London: T. Woodward, 1726. pp. 87-88. VCC 915 J66g - Blackbeard portrait on p. 70.



In late 1718, near his hideout in a cove off Ocracoke Inlet in North Carolina, Blackbeard was shot five times and suffered nearly two dozen cuts in a sea battle with Lieutenant Robert Maynard of the Royal Navy. The officer, fearing Blackbeard might somehow come back to life, had the pirate’s head cut off and hung it from a mast off the bow, then tossed the body overboard.

Legend says that Blackbeard’s ghost, holding a lantern, is still searching for its head and roams the beaches of North Carolina as well as the wetlands of the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays. Unexplained flashing lights on the North Carolina shoreline are often referred to as Teach’s Light.

Some experts say the well-known pirate will not rest until his treasure has been found by modern day hunters. Others, however, believe differently. They claim Blackbeard’s ghost appears only when treasure seekers get too close to his booty, for the ghost of the pirate is standing watch to insure that his loot stays hidden and will remain only his forever.



Excerpt Story by Ed Okonowicz from his book, Spirits Between the Bays Series Volume I: Pulling Back the Curtain, copyright © 1994 by Myst and Lace Publishers, Elkton, Maryland.

Not your everyday Skull & Crossbones

"Old Roger" was an English name for the devil, it is conjectured that this is the source of the name Jolly Roger --or pirates' flag. Each pirate had his own flag and --supposedly-- it meant mercy would be shown if their prey would surrender without a fight.

Though Blackbeard was the most infamous of pirates, his flag is not the traditional "Skull & Crossbones" now almost universally accepted as the flag of piracy. It contained the devil or a horned skeleton holding a spear and hour glass and a bleeding heart.


Blackbeard's original name possibly was Edward Drummond, and he likely was born around 1680 and died 1718 in a fierce fight off Ocracoke. A native of Bristol, England, after he became a pirate he called himself Edward Teach, which most records show as Thatch, Tache or Tatch.

A 1734 engraving of Blackbeard

A 1734 engraving of Blackbeard




Blackbeard (?-1718), a British pirate, was one of the most famous villains in the history of the sea. He received his name from his habit of braiding his long, black beard and tying the braids with ribbon. Few pirates have looked and acted as fierce as Blackbeard.

Blackbeard carried three braces of pistols. He made himself look devilish in the thick of fighting by sticking long, lighted matches under his hat, framing his face in fire. If action was slow, Blackbeard stirred things up by lighting pots of sulfur in his own ship, or shooting off pistols beneath the table while entertaining friends in his darkened cabin. His journal states that confusion and plotting developed if his men were sober, but all went well when they had enough rum.

Blackbeard terrorized the Carolina and Virginia coasts during 1717 and 1718 in his ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge. In 1717, he blockaded Charleston, South Carolina. He captured ships in the harbor and seized citizens for ransom. Blackbeard left after he received a chest of medicine as ransom. After this raid, he ran his ship aground near Cape Fear, North Carolina. Blackbeard then received a general pardon from Governor Charles Eden of North Carolina, whom he probably bribed. Life on land was not for Blackbeard, and he quickly returned to the sea.

Blackbeard took such a toll of shipping and created so much terror along the American coast that Virginia and Carolina planters organized against him. The Virginia governor sent the ship H.M.S. Pearl out to take him alive or dead. Blackbeard was caught on Nov. 21, 1718, near Ocracoke Inlet, off the North Carolina coast. He fought desperately with sword and pistol until he fell with 25 wounds in his body. His head was taken back to Virginia and displayed on a pole.

He is said to have had 14 wives. In 1997, researchers claimed to have found the remains of Blackbeard's ship Queen Anne's Revenge near the coast of North Carolina.

 

Account of Blackbeards last days

It was a reign of fear that lasted two long years. Blackbeard and his crew of pirates terrorized sailors on the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea from 1716 through 1718.

They ambushed ships carrying passengers and cargo in the dim light of dawn and dusk when the pirates' ship was hard to see.

The pirates often determined a ship's nationality first. Then they raised that country's flag on the pirate ship so they appeared to be friendly. Now able to draw close to the unsuspecting ship, the pirates hoisted Blackbeard's flag only at the last moment.


Merchant crews often surrendered without a fight the moment they saw Blackbeard's flag. If the ship didn't surrender after warnings, the pirates moved in. Frequently their first target: the sailor at the ship's wheel. Then, as the pilotless ship drifted aimlessly, the pirates snared it with grappling hooks, pulled it closer, and leaped aboard. When the attack ended, the pirates took the passengers and crew hostage and ransacked cabins looking for coins, gold, silver, and jewelry. Blackbeard repeated this scene over and over again.

 

Edward Teach was a huge man, who enhanced his imposing appearance by tying lighted fuses into his beard when preparing for battle. He carefully maintained his evil reputation, with the result that many captured ships capitulated without a fight, rather than inspiring his anger. Life aboard Blackbeard's pirate fleet is vividly illustrated by this extract from his log:

"Such a day, rum all out: — Our company somewhat sober: — A damned confusion amongst us! — Rogues a-plotting: — Great talk of separation — so I looked sharp for a prize: — Such a day found one with a great deal of liquor on board, so kept the company hot, damned hot; then all things went well again."
—One of several memoranda, said to be in Blackbeard's own hand, found aboard the sloop Adventure, after the pirate was slain at Ocracoke Inlet in 1718.

SOURCE: Captain Charles Johnson, A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates. London, 1724.

 

Edward Teach appears to have been born in the Bristol area some time around 1680. His early life is shrouded in mystery, but by 1713 he was a crewman aboard Benjamin Hornigold's privateer vessel. Privateers were commerce raiders operating on behalf of their home nations - the eighteenth century version of state-sponsored terrorism.

Hornigold soon became a full pirate, with Teach as one of his most trusted lieutenants. In 1716, Teach was given a vessel of his own to command, and the two pirates sailed together to terrorise the Caribbean. The following year Hornigold took advantage of a general pardon to retire from piracy. Teach sailed on, naming a recently captured prize the Queen Anne's Revenge as his flagship.

At the height of his power, in May 1718, Blackbeard blockaded Charleston, South Carolina for a week. Shortly afterwards the Queen Anne's Revenge ran aground and was wrecked. Blackbeard sailed on to Bath, North Carolina which was then the state capital. The Governor, Charles Eden (with whom, it was rumoured, Blackbeard was in league) granted him a pardon and even officiated at his wedding - to what was reputed to be his 14th bride!

Though he purchased a fine home in Bath, the quiet life didn't suit him and he was soon out again raiding shipping on the American east coast, making his base in Ocracoke Inlet. It was too much for Governor Spotswood of Virginia, and he sent a naval party under Lieutenant Robert Maynard to clear out this nest of pirates once and for all.

The final fight went much as McGonagall describes it. Maynard's vessel the Ranger was outgunned by Blackbeard, so he sailed in close and hid most of his crew to lure the enemy into boarding. With Blackbeard aboard the trap was sprung and a fierce fight began. Blackbeard was shot 5 times and received 20 sword wounds before he fell. Maynard cut his head off and threw the body over the side (where, according to legend, it swam a lap around the ship!). The skull hung for many years at the confluence of the Hampton and James rivers, known to this day as "Blackbeard's Point".


Some merchant ships carried passengers-often targets of pirates. According to one story told about Blackbeard, a passenger once refused to give up his diamond ring. So Blackbeard sliced off his finger, ring and all.


Blackbeard once took over a large cargo ship carrying many wealthy passengers-including children-as it sailed out of Charleston, South Carolina. The hostages were locked in the dark hold of the ship. Blackbeard threatened to kill them all if the townspeople in Charleston didn't come up with the ransom: a medical chest filled with remedies. The deadline for delivery passed. The hostages were frantic. The pirates prepared them for hanging. With only minutes to spare, the town came up with the ransom and delivered the medicine chest. Before releasing the hostages, the pirates stole all their jewelry and clothing.


Blackbeard made a home base in North Carolina, a British colony, near a string of islands called the Outer Banks. From there he preyed easily on ships traveling the American coast. Local townspeople tolerated his presence because they liked to buy the goods he stole, such as cloth and sugar. Pirate goods were usually cheaper than imported English goods. The colony's ruling officials turned a blind eye to Blackbeard's "import" business.


In the fall of 1718 Blackbeard returned from sea to his favorite hideaway off Ocracoke Island. He hosted a huge, wild pirate get-together with dancing, drinking, and bonfires. Other famous pirates sailed in for the days-long event. News of the pirate bash reached Alexander Spotswood, the governor of Virginia. He decided that the time had come to stop Blackbeard once and for all. He spent the next several weeks planning Blackbeard's capture. SPOTSWOOD sent two sloops, small swift ships, commanded by Lieutenant Robert Maynard of the Royal Navy to Ocracoke. Seeing the navy's sails, Blackbeard and his pirates knew they were trapped. Only sandbars lay between them and the navy. By morning, the tide would rise, the sloops would glide over the submerged sandbars, and the attack on the pirate ship would begin.


All through the night Maynard's men prepared for the next day's fighting. Muffled laughter and swearing from the pirate ship echoed across the water. Blackbeard didn't seem worried about the upcoming battle. His pirates, however, were nervous. They stockpiled ammunition on deck and soaked blankets in water in preparation for putting out fires. They spread sand on the decks to soak up blood once the fighting started. Thinking it likely they would all die, one pirate asked Blackbeard whether Blackbeard's wife knew where he had buried his treasure. Blackbeard bellowed that nobody but he "...and the devil knew where it was, and the longest liver shall take it."


In the morning Blackbeard didn't try to outrun the navy sloops. Instead he waited at his ship's wheel. His crew was puzzled. Finally, when Maynard's sloops started moving toward the pirates, Blackbeard ordered his crew to set sail. He seemed to be steering the ship directly toward the beach! They were going to crash! But then Blackbeard eased the pirate ship through a narrow channel between the beach and a barely visible sandbar. Chasing the pirates, the navy sloops crashed into the sandbar. Blackbeard shook with laughter. The pirates blasted the stranded sloops with cannons. Thundering explosions shook the waters. Then the pirate ship lurched backward-and became stuck on a sandbar. One navy ship lay destroyed. Maynard's sloop was battered. Maynard ordered his men to throw food and water barrels over the side to lighten the ship. It worked. Floating free of the sandbar, Maynard's damaged sloop edged toward the pirate ship. Maynard ordered his men to hide below decks with pistols and swords ready.


Blackbeard's men hurled grenades onto the seemingly deserted navy sloop. The pirates boarded the ship easily. Suddenly, Maynard's men rushed the deck, firing pistols and wielding swords. The pirates turned around, completely stunned-they had been tricked into thinking the navy crew was dead. A battle began. Screams and cries of pain filled the air.


Pistol in one hand, cutlass in the other, Blackbeard came face-to-face with Maynard. They both fired pistols. Blackbeard missed. Maynard hit his mark. Shot, Blackbeard still managed to swing his cutlass and snap off Maynard's sword blade. Maynard drew back. Blackbeard raised his arm for a finishing blow. Just in time, a navy seaman came up from behind Blackbeard and slashed his throat.
As a warning to other pirates, Blackbeard's head was cut off and suspended from the bow of Maynard's sloop. Maynard searched for Blackbeard's treasure but found only supplies and letters. When Blackbeard died, the secret of his treasure died, too-if indeed he ever had one.

Also see: WATER'S MY GRAVE Story by A. Pustanio, artwork by Ricardo Pustanio.

 

Blackbeard at Wikipedia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Blackbeard operated in littoral waters with shallow-bottomed ships; it was difficult for ships of the line to engage him in battle. As such, two smaller hired sloops were therefore put under the command of Lieutenant Robert Maynard, with instructions from Spotswood to hunt down and destroy Blackbeard, offering a reward of £100, and smaller sums for the lesser crew members. Maynard sailed from James River on November 17, 1718, in command of thirty men from HMS Pearl, and twenty-five men and a midshipman of the HMS Lyme, and in command of the hired sloops, the Ranger and Jane, and found the pirates in a North Carolina inlet anchored on the inner side of Ocracoke Island, on the evening of November 21. Maynard and his men decided to wait until the following morning because the tide would be more favourable. Blackbeard's Adventure had a crew of only nineteen, "Thirteen white and six Negros", as reported to the Admiralty.

A small boat was sent ahead at daybreak, was fired upon, and quickly retreated. Blackbeard's superior knowledge of the inlet was of much help, although he and his crew had been drinking in his cabin the night prior. Throughout the night Blackbeard waited for Maynard to make his move. Blackbeard was asked by one of his crew, "If ye die on the morrow, does your wife, Mary, know where ye buried the treasure?" Blackbeard reputedly laughed and replied, "Damn ye, my friend, nobody but me and the Devil knows where it's hid — and the longest liver will get it all."[citation needed] Blackbeard cut his anchor cable and quickly attempted to move towards a narrow channel. Maynard made chase; however his sloops ran aground, and there was a shouted exchange between captains.

Maynard's account says, "At our first salutation, he drank Damnation to me and my Men, whom he stil'd Cowardly Puppies, saying, He would neither give nor take Quarter", although many different versions of the dialogue exist. Eventually, Maynard's sloops were able to float freely again, and he began to row towards Blackbeard, since the wind was not strong enough at the time for setting sail. When they came upon Blackbeard's Adventure, they were hit with a devastating broadside attack. Mr. Hyde, captain of the smaller sloop Ranger, was killed along with six other men. Ten men were also wounded in the surprise attack. The sloop fell astern and was little help in the following action. Maynard continued his pursuit, managing to blast the Adventure's rigging, forcing it ashore. Maynard ordered many of his crew into the holds and readied to be boarded. As his ship approached, Blackbeard saw the mostly empty decks, assumed it was safe to board, and did so with ten men.


Blackbeard's severed head hanging from Maynard's bowMaynard's men emerged, and the battle began. The most complete account of the following events comes from the Boston News Letter: [1]

Maynard and Teach themselves begun the fight with their swords, Maynard making a thrust, the point of his sword against Teach's cartridge box, and bent it to the hilt. Teach broke the guard of it, and wounded Maynard's fingers but did not disable him, whereupon he jumped back and threw away his sword and fired his pistol which wounded Teach. Demelt struck in between them with his sword and cut Teach's face pretty much; in the interim both companies engaged in Maynard's sloop, one of Maynard's men being a Highlander, engaged Teach with his broad sword, who gave Teach a cut on the neck, Teach saying well done lad; the Highlander replied, If it be not well done, I'll do it better. With that he gave him a second stroke, which cut off his head, laying it flat on his shoulder.

Despite the best efforts of the pirates (including a desperate plan to blow up the Adventure), Teach was killed, and the battle ended. Teach was reportedly shot five times and stabbed more than twenty times before he died and was decapitated. His head was then placed as a trophy on the bowsprit of the ship (it was also required by Maynard to claim his prize when he returned home).

History has romanticised Blackbeard. Many popular contemporary engravings show him with the smoking lit ends of his pigtails and the pistols stuck in his bandoliers, and he has been the subject of books, movies, and documentaries. Teach never actually acquired a large fortune, and when his ship and all of its cargo was sold, the earnings were a mere £2,500. There is also no significant evidence supporting the claims that Teach was prone to burying treasure. In times as desperate and difficult as the American Revolution, it was common for the ignorant, credulous, and desperate to dig along these banks in search of hidden treasures; impostors found an ample basis in these rumours for schemes of delusion. His ship is believed to have been discovered near Beaufort, North Carolina in 1996 and is now part of a major tourist attraction.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackbeard

ALSO SEE These Stories:

The Ghost of Jean Lafitte
and the Phantom Pirates of Barataria

WATER IS MY GRAVE

Blackbeard's head was severed from his body in that famous battle. Afterwards Maynard unceremoniously threw the headless corpse overboard where it reportedly swam around the ship seven times before sinking into the depths of Davey Jones' Locker... But his skull was the stuff that haunted Pirate legends are made of.

> Please Visit Here To Read The Full Story About Blackbeards Skull <

 

Blackbeard on the internet

Blackbeard
About Edward Blackbeard Teach, the Queen Anne's Revenge, recovered treasures and artifacts.

http://www.ocracoke-nc.com/blackbeard/

Legends - Pirates and Privateers - Blackbeard
Exploring Legends in History, Folklore, Literature, Fiction, and the Arts.

http://legends.duelingmodems.com/pirates/blackbeard.html

Blackbeard Lives
Offering detailed information about Blackbeard, including RealAudio or wav clips.

http://www.blackbeardlives.com/

Blackbeard - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Blackbeard's flag, showing a horned skeleton holding an hourglass and ... A character named Blackbeard (Marshall D. Teach instead of Edward Teach) is one of ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackbeard

Blackbeard the Pirate and his coastal haunt Beaufort, NC
Welcome to the Blackbeard the Pirate Homepage featuring his ... The Story of Blackbeard the Pirate has fascinated people for almost three centuries. ...

http://www.historicbeaufort.com/blackbeard1.htm

Teach's Hole Exhibit - Blackbeard History
Pirate Specialty Shop and Blackbeard Exhibit located on Ocracoke Island where the pirate Blackbeard was killed. The shop offers over 1000 items related to ...

http://www.teachshole.com/exhibit.htm

Blackbeard's Cruises
Scuba diving liveaboard cruises from Freeport Bahamas. Dive reefs, walls, wrecks and shark feeding dives. 3-4 dives per day. $879/wk all inclusive on 22 ...

http://www.blackbeardscruises.com/

Blackbeard: Pirate Terror at Sea--History, Pictures, and ...
Learn the histories of famous pirates--Blackbeard, Black Bart, Henry Morgan, and Captain Kidd. Play a game by guessing pirate captains, ships, and treasures ...

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/pirates/bbeard.html

No Quarter Given
Group portrays the pirate life for Faires, reenactments, museum meetings, and similar events; membership...

http://www.noquartergiven.net/

No Quarter Given Pirate Links
No don't you go piratin' any written material, graphics or photos from the "NO QUARTER GIVEN" website without permission. Unauthorized use is illegal, ...

http://www.noquartergiven.net/ports.htm

Pyracy.com
No Quarter Given · Talk Like Pirate Day · Pirates in Paradise ... So join us or dance the hempen jig, 'cause dead men tell no tales... ...

http://www.pyracy.com/


 


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