From India to Australia, the international press is abuzz with news of the exciting discovery by North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources archaeologists of a sword that could be one of Blackbeard’s. It was recovered from the wreck of the presumed Queen Anne’s Revenge (QAR), Blackbeard’s flagship, near Beaufort. The two-inch wide copper alloy artifact with a decorative scroll work is much fancier than the ordinary pirate would have possessed. Perhaps it was obtained in some heist on the high seas, or a ransom for some land lubbers life?
It is on exhibit at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh. Also at the museum is a reale weight, a small disc used to verify the weight of silver. At the time of the QAR, which ran aground in 1718, silver coins had smooth, not ridged edges. Some scalawags were given to filing or chiseling the silver off coins, giving rise to the term “chiseler.”
The more than 300,000 artifacts recovered are dated to the correct time period for the Blackbeard shipwreck. The N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort will open a major exhibit of Blackbeard artifacts in June. It will be the largest exhibit of Blackbeard artifacts since the very popular Knights of the Black Flag exhibit that opened at the Museum of History in 2009.
Magazine and newspaper articles, documentaries and exhibits demonstrate the love of Blackbeard lore and the lessons it offers. Learn more at www.qaronline.org and