North Carolina Pioneers

Edward Teach "Blackbeard"

Edward Teach As early as 1683, the English lords were complaining of the harboring and encouraging of Pirates in Carolina and incurring great damage. It was charged that Governor Seth Sothel had issued commissions to "Pirates for rewards" and that Governor John Archdale had "sheltered them" Thus, in 1684 an order of the Privy Council issued instructions for restraining and punishing those who committed " Treasons, Felonyes, Pyracyes, Robberyes, Murders or Confederacyes" at sea or any haven, creek or bay. This order had little effect and later the English Board of Trade warned the lords proprietors that the "entertainment given to Pyrates in Carolina had occasioned many ill minded persons, seamen and others to desert their habitation, and apply themselves to such wicked and destructive courses to the great weakening and dispeopling of the Colonies abandoned by them and to the great dishonour of the English nation." The pirates were frequently seen around Bath and Cumberland Island. The rumor still lives today that "Blackbeard" buried treasure in the islands. Indeed, he seemed to have resided there temporarily while operating from New Providence in the Bahamas, Port Royal in Jamaica and other islands in the West Indies. Edward Teach was also known as Edward Thatch, a native of Bristol, England, was called a swaggering, merciless brute. Another pirate, Major Stede Bonnett was called "the gentleman pirate" was a man of wealth and education, retired from the British army, settled on Barbados. Researchers of genealogy and history should consider that pirates and privateers were quite active in the Atlantic, from the eastern seaboard to the West Indies, as far South as Brazil. During the 17th and 18th centuries privateering was common.

How to Find your Ancestors before 1790