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Blackbeard: Myths About The Infamous Pirate Who Was (Almost) Impossible To Kill

 

Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, was one of the most feared men in the Caribbean and the East Coast of North America during the Golden Age of Piracy. Naturally, many of Blackbeard's myths were exaggerated, but the fact remains that he was a criminal. He was rumored to be impossible to kill---and it took some effort---but all the men would have to die, and he met his end on November 22, 1718. Let's look at the infamous life, brutal death, and many myths of Blackbeard, the pirate who plundered the West Indies.


Pirate Life

Much of Edward Teach's early life and background is lost to history, but we do know that his pirate expedition was headquartered in the West Indies beginning in 1716. He may have been a member of the crew working for other pirates while he earned his chops, but around 1717, Teach captured a French merchant ship, which he called the Queen Anne's Revenge. Named and equipped with guns and cannons. He later added more ships to his fleet, established a formidable reputation, and formed an alliance among other pirates. Within a relatively short period of time during the time of the pirates, he became the lord of the seas.



Blackbeard looked the part perfectly:

Many myths about Blackbeard's thirst for violence can be chalked up to his sinister form. Teach was a tall man with broad shoulders and piercing eyes, but his most amazing feature was his long, thick, jet-black beard, and he made good use of it. To enhance its scary look, he waxed the ends of his beard and set them on fire. He also lit a slow-burning match under his cap so that the smoke could be blown out of it. It wasn't the safest beauty routine, but the effect was diabolical. In reality he was.


A Gentle Pirate

Although Blackbeard had built up a reputation for being a ferocious monster, there is actually no evidence that he ever killed anyone. He was not above stealing from the merchant ships he hunted, but he shunned physical violence. Even when he was taken captive, he treated them well.


Blackbeard and his "Motley Fool"

When Edward Teach seized the cargo ship that would become his main ride, it was filled with African smuggling victims en route to the island of Martinique, where they were to be sold as slaves. He offered them a choice: they could join the pirates and live as free robbers, or they could continue on to their destination. Not surprisingly, most of them opted for independence. Several other pirates went on to join the ships, but many others stayed with Blackbeard until he was met with the destruction of his waters. Blackbeard's diverse group of sailors was called the "Motley Crew".

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