North Carolina Pirates

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These are exciting times for any of us with the slightest interest in pirates. (Does that include us all?) It is almost certain that a sunken ship discovered near Beaufort was Blackbeard’s “Queen Anne’s Revenge.” The North Carolina Collection has fascinating books giving information about North Carolina pirates, including Blackbeard, the most notorious of all.

Duffus, Kevin P. The Last Days of Black Beard the Pirate: Within Every Legend Lies a Grain of Truth. Raleigh: Looking Glass Productions, 2008.

Duffus offers some new interpretations of the story of this famous pirate, including the possibility that Blackbeard originally came from Bath, North Carolina. The book includes a number of color illustrations.

Lee, Robert E. Blackbeard the Pirate: A Reappraisal of His Life and Times. Winston-Salem: John F. Blair, 1974.

This book gives us a thorough account of Blackbeard’s life. Lee (not the famous Civil War general, of course) was a law professor, with degrees from Wake Forest, Columbia, and Duke. He studied almost every scrap of information, published and unpublished, and includes a lengthy bibliography as well as footnotes. Appendices give us the texts of relevant documents. Don’t think that this is a lengthy, almost unreadable tome; the book is about 170 pages and not difficult reading!

Blackbeard, the Pirate KingLewis, J. Patrick. Blackbeard, the Pirate King. Washington, DC: National Geographic, 2006.

While this book includes poems about Blackbeard, its most striking feature is its collection of paintings of this infamous pirate. Blackbeard lived before the age of photography, and we have no portraits of him, but here are various painters’ ideas of how he might have looked.

Rankin, Hugh F. The Pirates of Colonial North Carolina. Raleigh: Dept. of Cultural Resources, Division of Archives and History, 1977.

Here is general information on pirates, with chapters on Blackbeard and on another famous pirate, Stede Bonnet. The Blackbeard chapter is almost twenty pages long. At the end of the book is a who’s who of North Carolina pirates. The book includes illustrations.

Roberts, Nancy. Blackbeard and Other Pirates of the Atlantic Coast. Winston-Salem: John F. Blair, 1993.

This readable book has 15 dramatic pages on Blackbeard—plus chapters on seventeen other pirates, including some women!

Zepke, Terrance. Pirates of the Carolinas. 2nd edition Sarasota, Fla.: Pineapple Press, 2005.

Here’s a rogues’ gallery of thirteen pirates, male and female, along with general information about pirate ships and weapons, how to talk like a pirate, and pirate movies. It’s illustrated with black and white sketches.