On November 22, 1718, the infamous pirate Blackbeard was killed. The “Golden Age of Piracy” flourished briefly along the North Carolina coast in the early 18th century. Foremost among the pirates was Edward Teach, aka “Blackbeard.” He lived briefly in the town of Bath during the summer of 1718.
Teach is reported to have been a privateer during Queen Anne’s War (1701 – 1714) and turned to piracy afterward. In 1717, Blackbeard and his fellow pirates captured the French slaveship La Concorde in the eastern Caribbean. With his new ship, renamed Queen Anne’s Revenge, Blackbeard cruised the Caribbean taking prizes. In May 1718, the pirates arrived off Charleston, South Carolina. In perhaps the most brazen act of his piratical career, Blackbeard blockaded the port for nearly a week.
Soon after, Blackbeard’s fleet attempted to enter Old Topsail Inlet (now Beaufort Inlet). The vessels grounded on the ocean floor and were abandoned.
Six months later, at Ocracoke Inlet, Blackbeard encountered ships sent by the governor of Virginia, led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard. In a desperate battle, Blackbeard and several of his crew were killed. Maynard returned to Virginia with the surviving pirates and the grim trophy of Blackbeard’s severed head.
For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit ncdcr.gov.
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