WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Two hundred and ninety-five years ago, it was “off” with Blackbeard’s head. One of the most infamous pirates in history, Edward Teach who gained the nickname Blackbeard for his fierce appearance. had a long history in North Carolina.
Much of his menacing legacy began when he and fellow pirates captured the French vessel, ‘La Concorde’ in the Eastern Caribbean. He renamed the ship, the ‘Queen Anne’s Revenge’ and set sail for the East Coast again.
In May of 1718 he blockaded the Port of Charleston for nearly a week, capturing prominent citizens and holding them hostage.
As he terrorized ports up and down the East Coast he found himself frequently in North Carolina, taking refuge in the many complicated inlets of the Outer Banks. He even spent the summer of 1718 in Bath, NC and is said to have socialized among the locals.
After a brief hiatus, Blackbeard and his fleet returned to the water, sailing into Beaufort Inlet. It was there that his fleet ran aground. It was abandoned and sunk to the ocean floor.
Today, crews with the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources are excavating the very site to recover the ‘Queen Anne’s Revenge’ and preserve its history.
Blackbeard met his match on November 22nd, 1718 at Ocracoke. Ships sent by the Governor of Virginia, led by Robert Maynard, engaged the pirate in a vicious battle. Maynard was victorious, and returned to Virginia with the gruesome trophy of Blackbeard’s severed head.