by Larry Smith
Following in the wake of Disney’s blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean movies, two new American television dramas have been produced based on the period when the Bahamas was a pirate republic.
There were only about 70 able-bodied men on New Providence when Avery arrived with a crew of more than 100 and a hold full of plunder. After bribing Governor Nicholas Trott, Avery and most of his crew eventually left Nassau with their loot. Although some were later caught, Avery himself was never found and he became a legend in his time.
According to the 2012 book, Blackbeard: The Hunt for the World’s Most Notorious Pirate, pictures drawn at the time of his death allude to a man in his mid-30s. His family probably earned their living from Bristol’s maritime interests, which were heavily involved in trade with the American colonies. Rogers also came from Bristol and was about the same age as Blackbeard. And since Blackbeard was an educated man, they might even have known each other.
In June 1718, Blackbeard’s fleet was off the coast of North Carolina near the town of Beaufort, where he and some of his crew appeared to settle down after bribing the governor and other merchants and ostensibly taking the king’s pardon.