Ferry Division Director Harold Thomas, Blackbeard 300 Committee Chair LaRae Umfleet, and Ferry Division Deputy Director Jed Dixon display Blackbeard flag.
It was 300 years ago that Blackbeard the Pirate’s reign of terror on coastal shipping was ended when Captain Robert Maynard of the Royal Navy trapped the pirate off Ocracoke and took his head back to Virginia in triumph.
The date was November 22, 1718. Lt. Maynard had been dispatched by Governor Spotswood of Virginia to the waters of North Carolina to take care of the Blackbeard problem once and for all. The Governor’s frustration with North Carolina’s inaction had been growing for some time and his suspicion that the pirate had found more than one friendly port of the pirate to offload his goods in North Carolina was probably well-founded…never proven, but then again, it has never been disproved.
Blackbeard’s most famous ship was the Queen Anne’s Revenge, a ship he scuttled off the southern coast of North Carolina when he temporarily attempted the life of a country squire living near Edenton.
It was an unsuccessful attempt at rehabilitation and within a year he was back at sea…for the last time.
However, the legend Queen Anne’s Revenge lived on and in 1996, the wreckage of a wooden ship with cannon was located in the waters near Beaufort Inlet. The remains have been positively identified as the Queen Anne’s Revenge.
In commemoration the death of Blackbeard 300 years ago, N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources has put together a traveling show about the pirate and Queen Anne’s Revenge.
Look for the exhibit to be at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras June 2-July 29.