Setting: Golden Age of Piracy, Caribbean/Atlantic 1714-1722
* National Museum of Crime and Punishment > A Notorious History of American Crime
"Blackbeard (Edward Teach) 1680-November 22, 1718
'If you didn't shoot one or two [crewmen] now and then, they'd forget who you are.' -- Blackbeard, upon shooting his first mate.
"One of the most notorious pirates in history, and sometimes in myth[,] Blackbeard roamed the western Atlantic and Caribbean Sea in the early 18th Century.
"He went to sea at an early age, working as a privateer on an English ship. When Britain withdrew from the War of Spanish Succession in 1713, Blackbeard, like many of his ilk, turned to piracy.
"He captained his Queen Anne's Revenge, plundering merchant ships for valuables, food, liquor, and weapons. He was fearsome in appearance and manner. Some accounts say that he wove hemp and matches into his long beard, often lighting them for battle. Though his reputation was one of absolute ruthlessness, there are no accounts on him actually killing anyone. He generally prevailed by fear alone.
"In his greatest feat, Blackbeard blockaded the Charleston Harbor in 1718 and pillaged as many as nine merchant freighters, taking hostages who were later ransomed for a 'chest of medicines.'
"Soon after the blockade, Blackbeard ran Queen Anne's Revenge aground in North Carolina. He stripped the ships of their loot and then marooned many of his crew before accepting a pardon from the King under the royal Act of Grace." ...