Be a part of history on October 19-20, 2018, when the Town of Bath and the Greater Bath Foundation proudly observes the official Blackbeard 300, the Tricentennial of the notorious Blackbeard, his crew, and their families who bravely established North Carolina’s oldest town, the state’s first port, its oldest standing brick church, and the foundations of our nation. How we honor Bath’s heritage that weekend will be remembered by the ages!
Few places in America have a legitimate reason to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the life and death of the world’s best-known pirate-privateer. Many towns celebrate a fictional, pop-culture Blackbeard; at Bath, North Carolina, in 2018, we will accurately portray the history of the one and only Blackbeard and the men who were true colonial-American pirates!
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, Blackbeard 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.