Earlier this month I posted a link to Capt. Rob Temple's original poem about Israel Hands, second in command to Blackbeard the pirate.
According to Captain Charles Johnson (A General History of the Robberies & Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates, published in 1724):
"[Israel] Hands [the master of Blackbeard's sloop] happened not to be in the fight [with Lt. Robert Maynard in November, 1718, when Blackbeard was killed], but was taken afterwards ashore at Bath Town having been sometime before disabled by Blackbeard, in one of his savage humours, after the following manner. One night drinking in his cabin, with Hands, the pilot, and another man, Blackbeard without any provocation privately draws out a small pair of pistols and cocks them under the table, which, being perceived by the man, he withdrew and went on deck. leaving Hands, the pilot, and the captain together. When the pistols were ready, he blew out the candle, and crossing his hands, discharged them at his company; Hands, the master, was shot through the knee and lamed for life; the other pistol did no execution. Being asked the meaning of this, he only answered, by damning them, that if he did not now and then kill one of them, they would forget who he was."
Such was Blackbeard's management style. If yours is more benign, take heart. Blackbeard's career lasted only about 18 months.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Capt. Horatio Williams and his schooner, the Paragon. You can read the story here: www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112115.htm.