Not much is known about the life of the dreaded pirate Blackbeard. His real name is Edward Teach and there are a lot of conflicting reports about where he was born. Some say he was born in London, some say Jamaica, Bristol and even Philadelphia.
Like most lads his age he went to sea at a young age. He worked on a privateer ship during the war of 1713, and as soon as the war was over, he turned to piracy.
The name of his captain was Benjamin Hornigold. Right after Hornigold retired, he became captain of his ship and quickly became known for his cruelty.
Like any typical pirate, Blackbeard plundered ships and took everything that could be of any use. One newspaper claimed that he shot his first mate to remind the crew who was boss.
Another states that in an attempt to make his own little hell, he locked himself and his crew in the ship's hold and with several pots full of brimstone, and lit them on fire. The only one able to stand it until the end was (of course) Blackbeard.
There were claims that he married a young woman and after the marriage night, he would give her to his crew and watch as, one at a time, they raped her. Something else that helped to create the cruel image of Blackbeard were the reports of him weaving lighted matches into his great black beard. This evidently would scare people when they saw him.
He had safe havens in the Bahamas and the Carolinas. He was pronounced magistrate of the privateer's republic on the island of Nassau and received an unofficial pardon from Governor Charles Eden in return for booty.
He later left Nassau in an attempt to avoid a royal governor who was visiting. This made him stand out yet again because most pirates welcomed royal governors as they brought royal pardons.
One of the most famous things he did was when he setup a blockade in the mouth of the Charleston harbor with four of his ships. He took over five different merchant ships that were trying to come in to the harbor.
He even managed to take hostage some very prominent citizens. When he realized who they were, he held them for ransom. But he did not ask for gold or jewels, but just a box of medicine, and he got it eventually.
Before going to accept the pardon, he ran several of his ships aground and marooned most of his crew so that he could have more loot. Then he sailed to North Carolina and got his pardon. After doing this, he went off into the sunset to enjoy the life of comfort that his loot would bring.
A certain Governor decided that he did not like the fact that Blackbeard got away so easily, so he sent some men after Blackbeard and after a fierce battle, his head was taken back to the governor as proof of his death. The privateer who killed Blackbeard received 100 pounds.
Time has been kinder to Blackbeard than real life. Nowadays he is seen as a romantic pirate who sailed the seas in search of adventure. But in real life, he was anything but romantic.
Another thing to note is that there have been many rabid treasure hunters who have looked for Blackbeard's buried treasure. Nobody has found it, and it probably does not even exist. But you can't tell them that because they will not believe you. Just like the believers in Yeti and the Loch Ness monster, everybody needs something to believe in.