Monday, May 18, 2009

Blackbeard News

When pirates were asked what country they were loyal to, some would euphemistically say "We're from the sea!" Meaning their allegiance was given to no nation.

It has long been thought that Edward Teach (Blackbeard) was a less-than-loyal subject of the British Crown, hailing from Bristol. But now Kevin P. Duffus, an author from North Carolina, is promulgating the idea that the notorious pirate is not from Bristol at all, but rather a local boy from the Carolinas.

His theory is that Blackeard was really Edward Beard, the son of Captain James Beard, a landowner near Charleston. Edward Beard went to Philadelphia to learn sailing skills, then went pirate, acquiring the moniker "Black," in the tradition of Black Bart Roberts and Black Sam Bellamy, thus "Black" Beard. Teach was just an alias.

Duffus admits he doesn't have any proof of this theory, but cites lack of documentation of anyone named Teach or Thatch in Bristol in those days. He is further attempting to bolster credibility of his idea by petitioning the state of North Carolina to DNA test an old skeleton to see if it is from one of Blackbeard's crew members. No, we can't see how that makes any sense either. But in our view, anything that gets historical pirates in the news is good.

So, one dude thinks Blackbeard was from South Carolina, and the rest of pirate scholarship thinks he was from Bristol. But one thing is for certain: he was from the sea.

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