In the summer of 1718, after intentionally scuttling their flagship Queen Anne’s Revenge at Beaufort Inlet, Blackbeard and his most-trusted companions returned to Bath, concluding a two-year piratical odyssey that likely began as a well-intentioned salvage expedition. Many of Blackbeard’s crew were the sons and slaves of Bath’s plantation owners, including: William Howard, future owner of Ocracoke Island; John Martin, whose father was one of the town’s three founders and partner of noted explorer John Lawson; and the notorious pirate-slave Caesar, a resident of Bath since 1705.
Over the next five months, the notorious pirate and his remaining loyal adventurers numbering about 20 men visited Bath five times from their anchorage at Ocracoke. At the end of October 1718, they departed the town for the final time to meet their fates in the legendary Battle of Ocracoke. There, they entered the storied pages of American history on the 22nd of November. Blackbeard’s life was lost but his colossal legend was born.
The Blackbeard Tricentennial
Bath, North Carolina
October 19 & 20, 2018
The Greater Bath Foundation and the Town of Bath will proudly celebrate the lives of Blackbeard and his men, the families who bravely established North Carolina’s oldest town, and the foundations of our nation. Few places in America have an authentic reason to celebrate the notorious Blackbeard, arguably the world’s best-known pirate. In the summer of 1718, Blackbeard and his most-trusted companions returned to Bath, North Carolina, after intentionally scuttling their flagship Queen Anne’s Revenge and concluding a two-year piratical odyssey. Many of the pirate’s crew were the sons of Bath’s plantation owners, including one of the town’s founders. Over the next five months, Blackbeard and his remaining adventurers, who had been pardoned by Gov. Charles Eden, visited the town five times from their anchorage at Ocracoke. At the end of October 1718, they departed Bath for the final time to meet their fate in the Battle of Ocracoke. There, on the 22nd of November, Blackbeard’s life was lost but his colossal legend was born.
This Tricentennial celebration will begin with the 3rd Annual Memorial Day Celebration to be held on May 26, 2018 followed up by the 300th Anniversary Celebration to be held on October 19 & 20, 2018. What better way to celebrate these events than a sea battle and siege of the town off Bonner’s Point featuring multiple armed pirate vessels and a shore-based militia who will fire cannons at the marauders in an effort to protect the town. The centerpiece of Bath Town’s commemoration will be a unique reunion of descendants of pirates and other individuals who played a part in the Blackbeard story.
Bath Town’s Blackbeard Tricentennial Celebration will feature historical, educational, entertaining activities and programming for families and people of all ages. Events such as these cannot come to fruition without the help and support of our community. We ask that you don’t miss out on this opportunity to be a part of such spectacular events and to commemorate this celebration of a hometown legend.