Edward Teach (alternatively spelled Edward Thatch, c. 1680 – 22 November 1718), better known as Blackbeard, was an English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of Britain’s North American colonies. Little is known about his early life, but he may have been a sailor on privateer ships during Queen Anne’s War before he settled on the Bahamian island of New Providence, a base for Captain Benjamin Hornigold, whose crew Teach joined around 1716. Hornigold placed him in command of a sloop that he had captured, and the two engaged in numerous acts of piracy. Their numbers were boosted by the addition to their fleet of two more ships, one of which was commanded by Stede Bonnet; but Hornigold retired from piracy toward the end of 1717, taking two vessels with him.
Teach captured a French slave ship known as La Concorde, renamed her Queen Anne’s Revenge, equipped her with 40 guns, and crewed her with over 300 men. He became a renowned pirate, his nickname derived from his thick black beard and fearsome appearance; he was reported to have tied lit fuses (slow matches) under his hat to frighten his enemies. He formed an alliance of pirates and blockaded the port of Charles Town, South Carolina, ransoming the port’s inhabitants. He then ran Queen Anne’s Revenge aground on a sandbar near Beaufort, North Carolina. He parted company with Bonnet and settled in Bath, North Carolina, also known as Bath Town, where he accepted a royal pardon. However, he was soon back at sea, where he attracted the attention of Alexander Spotswood, the Governor of Virginia. Spotswood arranged for a party of soldiers and sailors to capture him; on 22 November 1718 following a ferocious battle Teach and several of his crew were killed by a small force of sailors led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard.
Teach was a shrewd and calculating leader who spurned the use of violence, relying instead on his fearsome image to elicit the response that he desired from those whom he robbed. He was romanticized after his death and became the inspiration for an archetypal pirate in works of fiction across many genres.
Question of the Day
What is the weather proverb regarding crows and rain?
In the pages of our old Almanacs, we found this one: “Crow on the fence, rain will go hence. Crow on the ground, rain will come down.”
Advice of the Day
A good conscience is a soft pillow.
Home Hint of the Day
When building or remodeling a home, don’t install the floor until virtually everything else is done. Things that get dropped or spilled end up on the floor, and the constant moving of heavy saws and ladders can ding the floor. Use a protective covering once the floor is down.
Word of the Day
The difference in degrees between the celestial longitudes of a planet and the Sun. Greatest Elongation (Gr. Elong.): The greatest apparent distance of a planet from the Sun, as seen from Earth.
Puzzle of the Day
Why are two pints of strawberries after they are eaten like persons singing?
They are a quart-et (eaten).
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