#65: BLACKBEARD THE PIRATE


Original Artwork (c)1992 Robert A. Berry

Yes, Blackbeard was a real person. His name was Edward Teach and in the early 1700s he was one of the most feared men on the face of the Earth.  Is he a monster?  Not in the traditional sense of the word, but just imagine seeing a pirate ship come at you with a wicked looking dude at the helm with black smoke drifting from his hair and twisted beard from the hemp fuses he'd light and stick there, and not think it was a beast from Hell.

Blackbeard was a maniac.  When his crew would take over a ship, he would perform some of the most insanely violent acts known to man. Some accounts state that a victim on one ship voluntarily offered up a diamond ring, begging for mercy, only to have his hand chopped off as his reward.


Blackbeard's flag

Another account speaks of a time where Blackbeard was drinking in his cabin with his first mate, and without warning he fired his pistols under the table at point blank range, destroying the other man's knees so badly, he was gimped for life.  Blackbeard simply laughed and explained the bizarre incident with, "If I do not kill one of you every now and then, you'll forget who I am!"

According to Daniel Defoe (author of ROBINSON CRUSOE), Blackbeard yelled to his crew one daythat they should make a "Hell of our own and try how long we can bear it."  Two or three crewmen accepted the challenge and all went down into the hold.  The hatches were sealed shut and several pots of brimstone were brought down, producing a suffocating smoke, which eventually made the others run out, gasping for air. Blackbeard later emerged, laughing.

Blackbeard was even pardoned in 1718 and allowed to live in North Carolina, and was able to sell his merchandise with approval from the Governor himself.  But the easy life was too boringn for Blackbeard, and he soon went back to his murderous ways.

Blackbeard was a badass until the end, dying in a fight that'd make Jason, Freddy, and Michael Myers proud.  In 1718 Robert Maynard and his crew attacked Blackbeard's ship.  After boarding it, Blackbeard shouted, "Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarter!"  In the ensuing battle, Blackbeard sustained 20 Stab Wounds and 5 pistol shots before he finally died.  Maynard sailed home with the remainder of Blackbeard's crew (who were later hanged), and had Blackbeard own head hanging from the mast. 


WEBSITES

A GREAT BLACKBEARD STORY BY "THE WILLIAMSBURG JOURNAL"

PIRATE IMAGE ARCHIVE


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