So begins Capt. Charles Johnson's chapter, "The Life of Captain Teach," in his 1724 book, A General History of the Robberies & Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates.
|Blackbeard the Pirate, 1725 image|
Kevin Duffus, author of the 2008 book, The Last Days of Black Beard the Pirate, disputes Capt. Johnson with these words: "Imagine -- not anywhere among the voluminous records, including a 1698 Bristol census, nor millions of words written about the infamous bearded pirate, is there a single, conclusive, definitive shred of evidence that Edward Thatch or Teach came from Bristol."
Later in his book, Duffus writes that "we have a preponderance of circumstantial evidence which strongly suggests that Black Beard was James Beard's son -- Edward Beard, who likely was born around 1690 in South Carolina...." According to Duffus, Capt. James Beard soon settled in Bath Town, North Carolina, and owned a plantation adjacent to Tobias Knight, secretary of the government of North Carolina under Governor Charles Eden. If "Black Beard" grew up in Bath that would explain many otherwise puzzling details of his last days, including the pirate's close connection with Tobias Knight and Governor Eden.
So...was Blackbeard's hometown Bristol, England or Bath, North Carolina? We may never know for sure, but Kevin Duffus may convince you to choose Bath. Read his excellent book to learn more.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm.