How History Unfolds on Paper: Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection, Part IX
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/18/2024

[PIRATES]. [TEACH, Edward (“Blackbeard”) (c. 1680-1718)]. -- [DEFOE, Daniel (d. 1731), editor]. Mercurius Politicus: Being Monthly Observations on the Affairs of Great Britain, with the Most Material Occurrences in Europe for the Month of April 1719. London: for F. Moore, 1719. 8vo (184 x 121 mm). [191]-263, [1, blank] pp. Spine with remnants of previous binding, small spot of ghosting on last leaf verso, marginal browning, title-page sunned. TWO CONTEMPORARY REPORTS OF THE DEATH OF BLACKBEARD. Blackbeard, whose real name was Edward Teach or Thatch, was a notorious English pirate who terrorized the West Indies and up the eastern coast of the American colonies between 1717 and 1718. He gained a fearsome reputation for his thick black beard and intimidating appearance. In November 1718, a naval expedition led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard of the Royal Navy aboard the Pearl was dispatched by the Governor of Virginia to capture or kill Blackbeard and his men. The two forces clashed off the coast of North Carolina in a battle that lasted for several hours, eventually with the death of Blackbeard, who received multiple gunshot wounds and stab wounds before succumbing to his injuries. Maynard’s men decapitated Blackbeard’s body and hung his head from the bow of their ship as proof of his demise.

Published here is a letter from Maynard which describes the entire fight in detail between the two seaman: “The 22nd I came up with Captain Thach, the notorious Pyrate, who has taken, from time to time, a great many English Vessels on these Coasts, and in the West-Indies; he went by the name of Blackbeard, because he let his Beard grow, and tied it up in black Ribbons. I attack’d him at Cherhock in North Carolina… We kill’d 12, besides Blackbeard, who fell with five shot in him, and 20 dismal Cuts in several Parts of his Body… I have cut Blackbeard’s Head off, which I have put on my Bowsprit, in order to carry it to Virginia”. “… he went by the Name of Blackbeard, because he let his Beard grow and tie it up in black Ribbons. I attack’d him at Cherhock in North-Carolina, when he had on board 21 Men and Nine Guns mounted. At our first Salutation, he drank Damnation to me and my Men, whom he stil’d Cowardly Puppies, saying, He will neither give nor take Quarter. Immediately we engag’d and Mr. Hyde was unfortunately kill’d, and five of his Men wounded in the little Sloop, which having no body to command Her, fell a Stern, and did not come up to assist me till the Action was almost over… I shot away Thach’s Gib and his Forehalliards, forcing him ashoar, I boarded his Sloop, and had 20 Men kill’d and wounded. Immediately thereupon he entere’d me with 10 Men; but 12 stout Men I left there, fought like Heroes, Sword in hand, and they kill’d every one of them that entere’d, without the loss of one Man on their Side, but they were miserably cut and mangled.” Moore 553.

 [PIRATES]. [TEACH, Edward (“Blackbeard”) (c. 1680-1718)]. -...
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