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
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
On the morning of November 22, 1718, Lt. Maynard and
Blackbeard fought a bloody battle 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."