Biography09 Jun 2010 03:30 pm
“So our Heroe, Captain Teach, assumed the Cognomen of Black-beard, from that large Quantity of Hair, which, like a frightful Meteor, covered his whole Face, and frightened America more than any Comet that has appeared there a long Time. This Beard was black, which he suffered to grow of an extravagant Length; as to Breadth, it came up to his Eyes; he was accustomed to twist it with Ribbons, in small Tails, after the Manner of our Ramilies Wiggs, and turn them about his Ears” –Charles Johnson
Edward Teach or Edward Thatch (c. 1680 – November 22, 1718), better known as Blackbeard, was a notorious English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of the American colonies during the early 1700s. Like most pirates, little is known about his early life, but in 1716 he joined the crew of Benjamin Hornigold, a pirate who operated from the Caribbean island of New Providence. Soon the cunning, fearless Teach became captain of his own ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge (which he had stolen of course). He added cannons and reinforced the ship’s sides. His ship was swift, easy to handle, and able to carry a large crew of as many as 250 pirates.
Blackbeard’s nickname was derived from his wooly thick black beard and fearsome appearance. As Teach’s power and reputation as the most frightening of pirates grew, so did his beard and hair. Now calling himself Blackbeard, he braided his beard and tied the braids with black ribbons. He stuffed burning rope under his hat to make himself look more ferocious and menacing. Blackbeard’s flag was one of the more unusual flags flown by the pirates. His flag had a skeleton holding an hour glass in one hand to signify that your time was running out. A dagger in the other hand and the heart with three drops of blood signified that blood would be drawn if you did not surrender. Horns and cloven feet on the skeleton signified that he was in league with the devil.
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