Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The State, 1942

"Look at your map of the state and you'll observe the location of Ocracoke, a long, narrow strip of sandy land, timbered in some places, with Hatteras at its northern end and Portsmouth to the south. It is separated from each of these places by narrow inlets. Ocracoke! To our way of thinking, it is one of the romantic places in North Carolina. It was here, in Silver Lake, that the pirate Teache was captured by Lieutenant Maynard of the British navy. The story is that while waiting for daylight to come, in order that be could get out of the harbor, Teache kept beseeching, 'Oh, crow, cock! Oh, crow, cock!' And that's how  the place got its name. But the cock didn't crow. Maynard appeared on the scene. Teache was captured, beheaded, and his head placed at the end of the bowsprit. In this fashion the Lieutenant sailed his craft up to Bath. The story goes that after being beheaded, Teache's body was thrown overboard and it swam around the boat three times before it finally disappeared from view. We don't believe, however, that this could have been possible, unless somebody had rigged an outboard motor on him. Come to think of it, they didn't have outboard motors in those days, so you can just forget that part of the story."-- from The State magazine, April 11, 1942.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.


  1. Anonymous10:26 AM

    Interesting post today. I had tried to research the source of the "swimming headless body of Black Beard" myth and was only able to trace it to something Alice Rondthaler wrote in the 1960s. So now it seems that the story was floating around 20 years earlier. I'd love to know who conceived the idea. Perhaps the individual who named Silver Lake (which is neither silver nor a lake), or renamed Ammunition Dump Rd. to Sunset Dr.?

    Kevin Duffus

  2. Anonymous12:34 AM

    Could it have been a friendly dolphin trying to save the dead guy. Poor Flipper did not know the fruits of his labor was for knot.


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