Blackbeard is probably the most feared and famous Pirate to sail the seas. With his crew of Pirates, Blackbeard terrified sailors in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea from 1716 through 1718.
Born in England before 1620, Blackbeard’s real name was Edward Teach. He learned a life of fighting on the sea when he served as a British privateer based in Jamaica. His mission as a privateer was to attack enemy ships, so he spent many years attacking French and Spanish ships for Queen Anne of Britain. By the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, Blackbeard had become a skilled sea robber and joined a group of Pirates in the Caribbean.
When Blackbeard attacked, he used lots of Pirate tricks to win over the other ship. He would wait until the light was poor in dusk or early dawn to attack a ship, because the sailors couldn’t see The Queen Anne’s Revenge coming for them. On top of using dim light, Blackbeard also would raise the flag of the country where his opponent was from. That way he appeared to be friendly, but would switch to his Pirate flag at the last minute. Blackbeard and his crew were so feared that when the other ship saw Blackbeard’s Pirate flag, they usually surrendered without a fight.
As if Blackbeard wasn’t scary enough from a distance, he intimidated everyone with his fierce looking beard. He braided his beard and tied it with black ribbons, and even kept a burning rope under his hat to make himself look more ferocious.
When he wasn’t stealing at sea, Blackbeard made a home in the Outer Banks in North Carolina. The townspeople overlooked his “import” business and dealt with his frightening antics, because Pirates sold goods like cloth and sugar cheaper than the legally imported English goods.
In late 1718, Blackbeard decided to host a huge Pirate Party in his favorite hideaway by Ocracoke Island in North Carolina. He had bonfires, drinking and lots of dancing. The event was such a spectacle that other famous Pirates sailed in to join in the fun.
Famous Pirates weren’t the only ones who heard the news about Blackbeard’s Pirate party – the governor of Virginia, Alexander Spotswood, decided now would be the time to get Blackbeard once and for all! Two quick naval ships headed for Blackbeard, but The Queen Anne Revenge’s crew saw them coming and prepared. Instead of immediately sailing away, Blackbeard waited until the last minute to flee the navy ships – and led them down a shallow canal. The two navy ships immediately crashed into a sandbar, and Blackbeard laughed as he fired cannons on the enemy ships.
While he was distracted from firing the cannons, his own Pirate ship got stuck in a sandbar. With his ship stuck and the navy ships quiet, Blackbeard and his Pirate crew assumed all the officers were dead. They easily boarded the navy ship only to find out that the crew was faking it, and were very much alive! Blackbeard and the ship’s captain were fighting one on one when Blackbeard was shot and killed, causing the end of his years of Piracy.