Legends always grow larger than the living person. So it was with Blackbeard. Thus, according to legend:
- Blackbeard had 14 wives.
- He shot the kneecaps off his own lieutenants to remind his crew who was in charge.
- He locked himself and crew in a cabin filled with burning sulphur - a “pirates hell” - till the crew
cried for mercy, and he proved he was tougher than they were.
- He lit slow-burning cannon wicks hanging under his hat to shroud his face in smoke and terrorize his victims (or hide his identity).
- He never killed a victim. (They were so afraid, they always gave up without a fight.)
- He withstood over 30 gunshot and sword wounds before dying on the deck of the Ranger.
- His decapitated body swam 3 times around the Ranger before it sank.
And... according to legend, Blackbeard (or was it Captain Kidd?...) sailed into the Chesapeake Bay, terrorized its inhabitants, and buried treasure near the mouth of Watts Creek.
Next, read a fantastic tale of pirate treasure, told by a Choptank River waterman in the 1940s.