Blackbeard: A Pirate legend

Pirates: Real Life Tidbits

Edward Teach was an English pirate better known as Blackbeard that is one of the most well known and feared pirates in history.  From the year of 1716 to 1718, Blackbeard plundered his way through the east coast of colonial America and the Caribbean and left a trail of turmoil in his dust. Queen Ann’s Revenge was the name of the French merchant ship that he sailed and his intimidating tactics left his mark in the history as one of the most famous pirates.

The blockade of Charles Town in South Carolina occurred in May 1718 when Blackbeard kidnapped a group of rich British citizens and held them for ransom and only released them when the government agreed to his request to have medical supplies provided to his crew. A short time later, Blackbeard ran the Queen Ann’s Revenge aground and accidentally destroyed her due to damages that occurred. Others believe that Blackbeard ran the Queen Ann’s Revenge aground on purpose as Blackbeard as rumor had it that he wanted to give rid of some of his crew. With the damaged ship left behind, Blackbeard abandoned the majority of his crew and only took a few key men with him and escaped on a small sloop.

Funnily enough, Blackbeard was actually given and accepted a pardon in June 1718. Despite this surprising act of kindness, Blackbeard continued to practice piracy and began working with another well known pirate by the name of Charles Vane. This partnership invoked fear in the government, and pirate hunters were even sent to capture Blackbeard and Vane, but they were unsuccessful.

Off the coast of North Carolina, Navy Lieutenant James Maynard of the HMS Pearl surprised Blackbeard while he was asleep. Taken unawares, a tremendous fight took place in which the pirates thought they were going to prevail, but ultimately Maynard won the battle because he had a trick up his sleeve. His secret to success was that he hid several crew members below deck that suddenly came up to deck when the pirates tried to board the ship thinking victory was in sight.  Blackbeard was cut with a sword across the neck by one of Maynard’s men and perished due to the severity of his wounds. The other pirates saw their leader go down and decided it was in their best interest to surrender. This was the ending of one of history’s most feared and famous pirates, Blackbeard.