English 9, Period 5
8 March 2012
Blackbeard wasn’t always known as Blackbeard. In fact, he was born by the name of Edward Teach (Sifikis). There is some speculation about his last name as there is always some sort of suspicion about the lives of historical figures, whether it is something as small as a last name in his case or something bigger all together. Most historians use “Teach” because it is the spelling that their most credible source, Captain Charles Johnson, uses (Konstam 11). But no matter, Blackbeard was still one of the most interesting, cunning, and feared pirates to ever sail the high seas. The most interesting thing about Blackbeard was the type of life he led. Edward Teach was supposedly born in Bristol, England about 1680. Konstam claims that his father was a maritime sailor, which was probably the reason Teach became interested in sailing the seas. The tales that his dad brought home of pirates who sailed the seas in search of adventure and treasure, what little boy would not fantasize about these things at a young age growing up in such a great sea-faring port as Bristol (Konstam 10)? Based on research that historians have found, they have been able to surmise that his father died about 1693, when Teach was only a teenager (Konstam 15). Other than these minor things, very little is known about his early life. Angus Konstam, the author of Blackbeard: America’s Most Notorious Pirate said that trying to piece together a pirate’s childhood was like “a house of cards built on a shaky table” (1). Edward Teach made his living sailing on sloops, which were small ships. One of the captains that Teach sailed under was Captain Benjamin Hornigold, who took him under his wing and gave him command of one of his smaller ships. Not long after, Teach captured a ship that he claimed his own and equipped with forty cannons. He also renamed the ship The Queen Anne’s Revenge in honor of the queen of England.