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About LookingGlass

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  1. Farewell Twill

    Farewell Twill. We will miss the Pub.
  2. Blackbeard Reconsidered -a new book with new theories(?)

    For the record, this statement is not entirely accurate, and it is combining information from two different letters written by Captain Ellis Brand: one composed on July 12, 1718, and the second composed on February 6, 1718/19. The intelligence Brand received regarding the wreck of the QAR at Topsail Inlet and the numbers of men who were subsequently divided into three groups did not come from an “informant” but from the vessel Globe of Maryland, which Brand’s ship Lyme was escorting off Cape Henry. In his July letter Brand did not write "that 90 had already left for points northward”—that figure of 90 men can only inferred by deduction. Brand did not write that his informant reported that Thatch "was talking about sticking around, boasting about marrying (in the future) in Bath.” To suggest this is absolute nonsense. I have a copy of the letter I photographed at Kew before me, so I can say this with authority. Brand wrote that 230 pirates “continue together given out they design for Currico and other of the islands. When they first came on the coast there [sic] numbers consisted of three hundred and twentie, whites and negroes.” Obviously, 320 minus the 230 who were reported by Brand to continue together leaves 90 men. As has already been indicated within this thread, Herriot testified that Thatch had departed with 100 men aboard the small Spanish sloop captured a number of weeks earlier off Havana. The difference between Brand’s intimation of 90 men based on his source from the ship Globe, and Herriot’s testimony of 100 men based on his being present when it happened, can be reconciled by the fact that both were likely estimates. Herriot’s “40 whites and 60 blacks” is more specific and was likely to have been more accurate. An interesting question remains—how many pirates from the Thatch/Bonnet consortium were left behind after Blackbeard’s sloop Adventure, and Bonnet’s Revenge departed Topsail Inlet? Three and a half months after the scuttling of the QAR, 36 suspected pirates, including Bonnet, David Herriot, and Ignatius Pell, were aboard the Revenge when it was attacked by Col. Rhett in the mouth of the Cape Fear River. Rowland Sharp and Robert Boyd, both of Bath, had been “forced" to join the crew after their canoe encountered Bonnet in the river shortly before the engagement—the two Bath men may, or may not, have been members of the 230 pirates left behind by Thatch and his hand-picked cohorts and slaves but two other convicted pirates on Bonnet’s crew were also from North Carolina. Consequently, somewhere between 184 and 196 former members of the 4-vessel flotilla were left behind to find their own transportation from Topsail Inlet (some men could have chosen to remain at what was soon to be known as Beaufort Town).
  3. Blackbeard Reconsidered -a new book with new theories(?)

    Your theory, "better than most," as you have presented in your article is this: The educated aristocrat Blackbeard, a wealthy capitalist, family man, former sugar plantation owner, and veteran Navy man from Jamaica, became too successful and popular in the colonies during his brief 23 months as a pirate and therefore embarrassed the First Lord of the Admiralty, the Earl of Berkeley (who was doubly embarrassed because the Thache family emigrated from his home county of Gloucestershire), who induced Virginia Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood to commission a “hit” on the pirate at Ocracoke where he was “murdered” by members of His Majesty's Navy, and in a later conspiracy to cover-up this scandal the London Board of Trade coerced the Jacobite publisher Nathaniel Mist, aka Charles Johnson, into defaming the pirate’s character in his book A General History of the Pyrates. Is that about right?
  4. Blackbeard Reconsidered -a new book with new theories(?)

    I don't "assume" Blackbeard meant to wreck the QAR. This has already been addressed in this thread. "100% of the witness-accounts of the event" indicate that the scuttling of the ship was intentional. You have failed to explain how Herriot would have incriminated himself had he instead testified that the wreck had been an accident, and no counter-evidence is known to exist to contradict Herriot. As Fox wrote, yours is a false argument. Actually, it is just another theory. And, by the way, what has the archaeology shown that proves that the wreck was an accident? Because some of the guns were loaded is evidence that the wreck was an accident? Really? No, I believe the Thache deeds, wills, and their slaves provide proof that they owned slaves. I haven't intimated that in this discussion at all. Please don't attempt to deflect this discussion away from the topic of the evidence you have accumulated to support your theory that Edward Thache, Jr., of Jamaica was Blackbeard.
  5. Blackbeard Reconsidered -a new book with new theories(?)

    The chances of Blackbeard being from Jamaica are certainly better than North Carolina? Since some readers here may not have been able to access my analysis of your article, I will repeat the following: The Cambridge-educated philosopher of history, C. Behan McCullagh, PhD., wrote in The Truth of History: “For a new historical interpretation to be acceptable, it must synthesize more facts about the subject than those which preceded it, make more facts about the subject intelligible, as well as be so supported by available evidence as to be rationally accepted as true. An interpretation is objectively good if it satisfies these conditions.” How well does your new theory of the notorious pirate’s origins, his Anglican, aristocratic upbringing, his wealthy, privileged life on Jamaica, his service in the Royal Navy, synthesize the large number of well-documented facts of Blackbeard’s last days in North Carolina? Why would your Jamaican Blackbeard, Edward Thache, Jr., whose family you purport to have owned a large sugar plantation with slaves (even though you have provided no evidence of this “plantation”), then go to great trouble to capture slaves east of the Windward Islands in November 1717 from the French slave ship Concorde? And then why, at great risk, and by avoiding numerous opportunities to safely surrender to various colonial governors—including South Carolina’s Governor Johnson—did Edward Thache, Jr., of Jamaica, deliver those slaves to diminutive Bath, North Carolina, which is quite a far distance from the sea requiring navigation around dangerous shoals and serpentine sand reefs. And why did your Jamaican Blackbeard take those slaves to what was then a colonial backwater community well-documented to be economically depressed and with residents possessing little or no hard currency to purchase those slaves, especially when the pirates passed up other ports where those slaves would have fetched much higher prices? Why did your Jamaican Blackbeard not deliver these slaves to his home port if the chances of his Jamaican connections "are certainly better than North Carolina?" How do you explain the absolute lack of coherence of your theory with the documented facts of the pirate Blackbeard’s travels and actions during his 2-year piratical career?
  6. Blackbeard Reconsidered -a new book with new theories(?)

    And what was the right time? 1706? From what I can tell, that is the only date where Edward Thache, Jr., appears in a document that Brooks has provided.
  7. Blackbeard Reconsidered -a new book with new theories(?)

    This friendly debate is by no means personal. My analysis of your article was intended to fairly evaluate the sources you used to justify your overall thesis and statements you have made such as, "“The only male old enough to have been this Elizabeth’s legitimate father was Edward Thache Jr., then serving aboard the HMS Windsor, and later known as ‘Blackbeard the Pirate.’” You have apparently benefited from my analysis—or review as you prefer—which pointed out the erroneous conclusion that Capt. Edward Vernon was Nathaniel Mist’s source for his reference to Blackbeard’s Jamaican origins, as well as the pitfalls of relying on Bialuschewski’s misleading and unsupported statements regarding Thatch joining Hornigold at Kingston in early 1716. Your acknowledgement of, and retraction of these points have been noted, so my effort has been worth it. Indeed, “the records show exactly what the records show," but the records fail to show that Edward Thache, Jr., of Jamaica, was the pirate Blackbeard. Neither do the records prove that Blackbeard was the son of Capt. James Beard, and I was quite forthright about that fact in my book, as I always am wherever I speak. In chapter nineteen, I wrote: "Despite all of the circumstantial evidence that has been collected, there is still no conclusive proof of Edward Beard’s existence.” While I freely admit that I cannot prove Blackbeard’s identity, I am confident in my argument that the pirate’s actions in 1718 infer a familiar and longstanding relationship with the town of Bath, NC: his strategy to wreck the Queen Anne’s Revenge in Beaufort Inlet and the disbandment of his company while retaining 40 trusted white cohorts and 60 slaves, and the delivery of those slaves to the hard-to-reach, economically-depressed, and labor-deficient Pamlico region, and his receipt of a Royal Pardon for which he and his fellow participants of the blockade of Charleston were ineligible. We each have our own theories as to Blackbeard’s origins, identity, and motivations. I doubt that either of us will ever be proven right or wrong with the available sources. This debate is about which of the two arguments provides the best explanation as to Blackbeard’s origins, identity, and motivations, even though neither one can be proven to be absolutely true and accurate. Your argument based on genealogical sources provides a thoroughly researched case as to why the family of Edward Thache of Jamaica is likely related to the Rev. Thomas Thache of Gloucestershire, but Blackbeard’s possible Jamaican origins provides no coherence with what we know about his last days in North Carolina, his delivery of slaves to Bath, or his relationships with Gov. Eden and Tobias Knight. I do wish you all the best, and I look forward to an ongoing discussion of the merits of our historical interpretations.
  8. Blackbeard Reconsidered -a new book with new theories(?)

    I do have more questions, thank you for asking. I am not confused nor unable to discuss genealogy; I was confused by your writing: In the preceding paragraph, you identify “Edward Jr.” as “Blackbeard’s father.” But in your article, and in the accompanying genealogical chart within the article (available here on Zazzle.com for those of you who would like to purchase a copy), you indicate that Blackbeard was “Edward Jr.,” and that his father was the son of Rev. Thomas Thache of Gloucester. I’m not confused by genealogy generally, but the genealogy you present I find to be confusing and inconsistent. If 1683 for Blackbeard’s birth date is a good guess, would 1690 be less of a good guess? Also, I could be wrong, but I doubt he was called Blackbeard when he was born. Where is the positive evidence that Leslie met the family on Jamaica? When did Leslie meet the family—was it before or after Blackbeard’s death? And, how was the family described in GHoP? Unfortunately, the link that you provided doesn’t show us the records that offer “nearly definitive proof” that Blackbeard was from this family or from Jamaica. You have stated as fact in your article that Edward Thache, Jr., aka Blackbeard, departed Kingston, Jamaica in 1716 with Benjamin Hornigold to salvage the Spanish wrecks. What evidence do you have to support this? Can you state where Jamaica’s Thache was between 1706 and 1716? If Blackbeard was a caring family man as you have described him, why do the records fail to document any visits he made to Jamaica during his two years as a pirate?
  9. Blackbeard Reconsidered -a new book with new theories(?)

    Colin Woodard wrote it and rather uncreatively pirated the title of my 2008 book, The Last Days of Blackbeard, for his article.
  10. Blackbeard Reconsidered -a new book with new theories(?)

    Welcome to the Piracy Pub Mr. Brooks You wrote: "This Thache family was somewhat substantial, as Charles Leslie regarded him in 1739 in A New and Exact Account of Jamaica.” The exact words of Charles Leslie were these: "At this time, the famous Edward Teach, commonly known by the Name of Blackbeard, infested the American Seas. He was one of a most bloody Disposition, and cruel to Brutality. His Name became a Terror, and some Governors being remiss in pursuing him, he almost put a stop to the Trade of several of the Northern Colonies. He was born in Jamaica, of very creditable Parents; his Mother is alive in Spanish-Town to this Day, and his Brother is at present Captain of the Train of Artillery. He was attacked by a Lieutenant of a Man of War, and was killed, after a very obstinate and bloody Fight. He took a Glass, and drank Damnation to them that gave or asked Quarter. His Head was carried to Virginia, and there fixed to a Pole.” Leslie wrote that Teach, or Blackbeard, was born in Jamaica. You write that Capt. Edward Thache of Spanish Town, Jamaica, whom you purport to be Blackbeard, was born in Gloucestershire, England. Which birthplace is correct, and why? And what source do you use to prove that Edward Thache of Spanish Town was a captain? Leslie [published in 1739] wrote that Teach’s mother was alive “to this day,” yet your research shows that Thache’s mother died in 1699. Which statement is correct? Leslie described Teach as "a man of a most bloody Disposition, and cruel to Brutality," yet you have written that he was a caring family man and “an upstanding community member.” Which description is more accurate? Why does Leslie’s account of Teach, or Blackbeard, nearly match the phrases used by Nathaniel Mist in General History of Pyrates? If Leslie knew the Jamaican Thache family so well, why did he spell Blackbeard’s surname as Teach? Can you argue persuasively that Leslie’s information about Teach was not derived from General History of Pyrates? You write: "The argument made by the actual records themselves is almost perfect that Blackbeard was from this family.” Please cite the record or source that proves "almost perfectly" that Blackbeard was from the Thache family of Jamaica? Not Leslie, I hope.
  11. Blackbeard Reconsidered -a new book with new theories(?)

    I inadvertently posted the wrong link. Here is the correct one: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hp0w3u98zkp9fme/Rush%20to%20Judgement--An%20Analysis%20of%20a%20New%20Interpretation%20of%20the%20Pirate%20Blackbeard%E2%80%99s%20Origins.pdf?dl=0
  12. Blackbeard Reconsidered -a new book with new theories(?)

    I have recently written an analysis of the peer-reviewed article published in The North Carolina Historical Review titled, “‘Born in Jamaica, of Very Creditable Parents’ or ‘A Bristol Man Born’? Excavating the Real Edward Thache, ‘Blackbeard the Pirate.’” Following its publication in The North Carolina Historical Review, the article was retitled, "Blackbeard Reconsidered: Mist's Piracy, Thache's Genealogy," and reprinted in a 46-page booklet by the Office of Historical Publications within the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. You can read my paper, "Rush to Judgement—An Analysis of a New Interpretation of the Pirate Blackbeard’s Origins," here: https://www.dropbox.com/home?preview=Rush+to+Judgement--An+Analysis+of+a+New+Interpretation+of+the+Pirate+Blackbeard’s+Origins.pdf Kevin P. Duffus author, The Last Days of Blackbeard the Pirate
  13. Trying to Reason With the Hurricane Season

    I have studied many primary and secondary sources regarding Stede Bonnet during his weeks in the Cape Fear River and I have never seen a reference that mentions them waiting out storms. If the author quoted Pell using the phrase "hurricane season," that alone ought to cast doubt on the statement. "Hurricane," derived from the Taino "huracan"by the Spanish, was not part of the English vernacular that described tropical cyclones in 1718. Furthermore, if Bonnet had wanted to wait out the late-summer and fall storm season, there were many better places to be than the coast of either Carolinas. Actually, you are not entirely incorrect about South Carolina. In 1718, the border between the two colonies of Carolina was generally accepted to be the Cape Fear River. So, since Bonnet was anchored near the watering hole known today as Bonnet's Creek, he could have been considered to be in SC. The battle of the sandbars against Col. Rhett and his Charlestonians took place down river, probably not far from the shoal upon which a Bald Head Island ferry ran hard aground on last December. The ferry's name was "Adventure." http://www.wral.com/bald-head-ferry-runs-aground-passengers-hurt/13224387/ (As Mark Twain once said, "History doesn't repeat itself but it does rhyme"). North Carolina was at odds over its borders with South Carolina and Virginia for a long time. The border with South Carolina is still being adjusted. See New York Times: Untangling a Border Could Leave a Mess for Some. And this more recent story: http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=9423588
  14. GAOP Essential Reading List

    "I don't think history is truly their major concern." Indeed. Yet still, the miniseries is promoted (in Smithsonian Magazine and elsewhere) as being based on Woodard's 2007 non-fiction book, The Republic of Pirates. Is that because the name Blackbeard appears in the book?