Wednesday, May 10, 2006

True Pirate Tales: Black Beard

The infamous captain... King of the Pirates... was named... of all things... Teach. Edward Teach. He was made captain of a large French guinneman... on which he mounted 40 guns. He named her the Queen Anne's Revenge... and they would terrorize the south atlantic like no other ship in history.

Of Blackbeard's most famous exploits.. the siege of Charleston has to be the most impressive. The pirate anchored just off the bar... and proceded to take every ship that happened to come by. Now this was a bit of a problem, as effectively... this was a blockade. Eventually 8 vessels found themselves ready to sail, but trapped in the harbor. Outrunning or out-gunning the Queen Anne's Revenge just wasn't an option.

Blackbeard's Flag

In great show of bravado... and well... balls of steel... the pirates actually made demands, in person, to the governor of the province of Carolina. Oddly, even though he had a vast city in the palm of his hand... one that he could crush at anytime... he only asked for medicine for his men. While the government deliberated on the ransom, the pirates actually walked the streets of Charleston. Flaunting themselves. The government eventually capitulated, sending several chests of medicine. After that, Blackbeard simply freed his prisoners and captured ships, and went on about his way.

Its often said that the government doesn't negotiate with terrorists. It seems however, at least historicly, when one of the government's own has been taken prisoner... they seem to be a little more cooperative. Though I suppose having the capability to destroy an entire city may help as well.

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