Monday, October 10, 2016

Blackbeards' Treasure

Teach cultivated a fearsome appearance and tied lit fuses under his hat to frighten his enemies. Edward Teach (c. 1680 – 22 November 1718), better known as Blackbeard, was a notorious and successful English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of the American colonies.

Teach captured a French merchant vessel, renamed her Queen Anne's Revenge, and equipped her with 40 guns. He became a renowned pirate.

Teach's flag depicted a skeleton spearing a heart, while toasting the devil. Flying such a flag was designed to intimidate one's enemies.
The demise of the Queen Anne’s Revenge was what archaeologists call a “nonviolent wreck event,” meaning the pirates had ample time to offload Blackbeard's vast plunder.The site of the shipwreck of the Queen Anne's Revenge was discovered in 1996, 25 feet underwater, less than a mile and a half from shore and near the port of Charleston, where it had blockaded the port before running aground in 1718.

Some believe Blackbeard deliberately abandoned the ship, which was far too large to navigate North Carolina’s shallow waters in an effort to downsize his crew, transferring his treasure to the smaller ships in his fleet.

An anchor was recovered from the wreckage of pirate Blackbeard's flagship in 2011. The nearly 3,000-pound anchor is one of three belonging to the Queen Anne's Revenge.

Teach accepted a royal pardon, but was soon back at sea and attracted the attention of Alexander Spotswood, the Governor of Virginia. Spotswood arranged for a party of soldiers and sailors to capture the pirate, which they did on 22 November 1718.

In ferocious hand to hand combat Maynard and Teach fired their flintlocks at each other, then threw them away. Teach drew his cutlass and managed to break Maynard's sword. Teach was slashed across the neck by one of Maynard's men. Badly wounded, he was then attacked and killed by several more of Maynard's crew. The remaining pirates quickly surrendered.

Before he died, Blackbeard was questioned about the location of his gold, leading him to say, “Only the devil and I know.” To this day Blackbeard's Hoard has remained undiscovered.
Maynard later examined Teach's body and duly recorded it had been shot five times and cut about twenty.

Teach's corpse was thrown into the inlet while his head was suspended from the bowsprit of Maynard's sloop (so the reward could be collected).