I told you that we wouldn’t see any snow accumulation. Even to call for a “dusting” seemed out of the realm of real possibility. I never could figure out all of the forecasts that had “up to an inch” or anything other than snow showers with little or no accumulation. Even that was a bit of a CYA because there was zero indication that we would get below freezing and the ground was just simply too warm. If we get any accumulation, it will be very little and will come Monday night. But the moisture content will probably be dispersing so anything that falls will be minor as the surface temperatures do get below freezing. Otherwise, the forecast as previously outlined will generally hold.
On This Date in History: Now here is a difficult spot for me because my source claims that Blackbeard the Pirate met his demise on this date in 1718. Other accounts say it was a week or so before on November 22. Given that no one really knows much about Blackbeard prior to his pirating days and accounts of events are often clouded by myth and hyperbole, its hard to know exactly what is the truth. In any event, I’ll stick with my crack research staff and say that the man who may or may not have been Edward Teach, known as Blackbeard, died on this date in 1718 in the lagoons of North Carolina.
It is known that Teach went to sea at a very young age, though no one knows for certain where he was from. After serving the British in the Spanish War of Succession as a privateer, he became a pirate, which wasn’t too unusual for privateers after the British backed out of the conflict in 1713. He hooked up with a guy named Benjamin Hornigold who, after a few years of hijacking on the high seas, decided to retire. Queen Anne offered a pardon, but Teach declined and took over Hornigold’s ships, which included a converted 300 ton French slave ship that sported 40 guns. Blackbeard renamed it Queen Anne’s Revenge.
There are many tales about Blackbeard. He got his name from the long, thick beard he grew that was such that he could braid it numerous times. I saw a guy in Tallahassee with a braided beard. He looked ridiculous. He told me that if you drove a car, then you could not be considered an environmentalist. Theorhetically, I suppose he was right but pragmatically, that doesn’t work. He rode a bike…Blackbeard rode the high seas and was notorious for stories of being tough to work with. He supposedly shot his own first mate because he said if he didn’t shoot some of his crew now and then, they would not know their proper position. He was known as a big drinker and he and his crew got into wild contests. He supposedly had a contest in which he put some sort of smoke bomb in the hold of the ship along with he and his men to see who could last the longest. Of course, he was the last to emerge. I forget the quote upon his late arrival from the hold.
Anyway, in May 1718, he had several ships full of loot and some of his ships ran aground. Some
say that he led them there on purpose so that he didn’t have to split the treasure with so many men. He transferred the booty from the ship and left the crews of the ships marooned on an island. He then decided to accept a pardon under the Act of Grace. But, the governor of Virginia wasn’t convinced that Teach had really given up his life of crime and wanted him eliminated. So, he sent a group of men in shallow sloops from the James River to give chase. Using shallow draft vessels was a strategic decision since Blackbeard often handcuffed anyone in pursuit by expertly navigating the shallow coastal waters.
A Lt Maynard was in charge of the expedition of two ships which were temporarily given the cover of HMS status…Her Majesty’s Ship…so that they were free to do as they please without being charged as pirates themselves. Maynard and Blackbeard exchanged blows from time to time before the two ended up with just one ship each that were both badly damaged. Maynard ordered his men into the hold and wait for Blackbeard to board. Teach thought that the boat was abandoned and was quite surprised when the crew emerged. A fight ensued and, supposedly, one of Maynard’s crew fighting with Blackbeard managed to cut the pirate on the neck. Blackbeard supposedly complemented his opponent. His opponent accepted and then proceeeded to chop off the head of Blackbeard. Legend is that the headless body swam three times around the ship before it was captured.
You don’t like that account? How about this one from the Boston News-Letter:
|“||Maynard and Teach themselves begun the fight with their swords, Maynard making a thrust, the point of his sword against Teach’s cartridge box, and bent it to the hilt. Teach broke the guard of it, and wounded Maynard’s fingers but did not disable him, whereupon he jumped back and threw away his sword and fired his pistol which wounded Teach. Demelt struck in between them with his sword and cut Teach’s face; in the interim both companies engaged in Maynard’s sloop. Later during the battle, while Teach was loading his pistol he finally died from blood loss. Maynard then cut off his head and hung it from his bow.||”|
So…there you have it…not sure when he was born…not sure where he was born. Think I know he died on this date but others say November 2nd. Not entirely sure if he was really Edward Teach and we’re not sure exactly how he died, but we do know that he eventually had his head separated from the rest of his body and it was hung from a yard arm……And then there remains the legend of Blackbeard’s treasure. He said that it was buried somewhere and only he and the Devil knew where it was…perhaps if you go digging around on the North Carolina coast, you may find it….but watch out for a ghost with a long black beard…or maybe even a guy named Lucifer! If you do see the ghost, ask him to clear up the story for us.