Author Kevin Duffus, speaker at the Historical Society’s November luncheon, shared some long forgotten clues as to the potential identity of Black Beard. He disclosed new information about how Black Beard was cornered and attacked at Ocracoke in 1718, and why he tried to escape rather than fight back. Had he lived just three more weeks, his life may have been spared.

The infamous Black Beard is remembered by history as one of the greatest, most successful pirates who ever lived. In 1718, when he arrived in North Carolina, he commanded one of the most powerful pirate fleets in history — 400 men aboard four ships, including his prized cannon studded flag ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge. Six months later, everything suddenly went wrong. Black Beard was cornered and killed at Ocracoke Inlet, with only 20 of his men. The only treasure found in his possession was sugar, cocoa, cotton and a mysterious letter.

What happened during Black Beard’s last days that precipitated his demise? Who was Black Beard? Where did he come from? What happened to his treasure? That myth actually created the “Gold Rush.”

In his book, “The Last Days of Black Beard the Pirate,” Duffus exposes the truth behind many myths concerning Black Beard: myths about his sister, Susannah; myths about his birthplace, Bristol, England; myths about his wives; a buried treasure and many others. Research done by Duffus claims that the buccaneer was actually Edward Beard, son of landowner from a small town in eastern North Carolina named Bath, and not Edward Teach from Bristol, England. His research also reveals that many of the pirates that remained with Black Beard after the wreck of his ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, were sons of North Carolina families.

Members and guests thoroughly enjoyed the presentation by Kevin Duffus, as well as the excellent luncheon provided by The Home Port Restaurant.

Contact Rose Peters, Director, at (910) 328-2488 for information about the Missiles and More Museum, or if you would like to become a volunteer.

The Historical Society of Topsail Island welcomes guests and new members. Contact for more information. The next luncheon meeting will be held on January 10, at 11:30 a.m.