article-imageRaising Blackbeard’s anchor (AP/Robert Willett)

It’s been almost 300 years since Blackbeard’s ship the Queen Anne’s Revenge run aground near Beaufort, North Carolina, in 1718, but he’s still one of the most fearsome pirates in history. The ship had actually been stolen from the French in 1717, and he turned the slave vessel into a floating pirate stronghold with 40 cannons. While his legend is wildly exaggerated, even in his own time he appreciated the power of image, dressing entirely in black as he stormed into battle with multiple pistols and fuses burning in his formidable beard and hair, shrouding him in an eerie fog. He looked like the devil himself, and that’s why many he fought just gave up as he stormed around the Caribbean and colonial American coast. 

article-image“Capture of the Pirate, Blackbeard, 1718” by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (via Wikimedia)

Back in 1996, that infamous ship was recovered, yet it was only in 2011 that its identity as the Queen Anne’s Revenge was confirmed. Now after years of excavation you can see many of the artifacts on display in the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, as well as in a touring exhibition that has just arrived as the North Carolina Transportation Museum and will be on view through August 31.

article-imageThe anchor underwater (via Coastal Care)

While the most impressive relics to be hauled from the waters are an 11-foot-long anchor weighing around 2,500 pounds and some of those menacing cannons, there are hundreds of objects of pirate life that continue to emerge for the waves. Divers have recovered shackles wrapped with rope, scraps of weapons, eating utensils, and even bits of the ship windows. And they’re continuing to find more. You can explore the shipwreck yourself on the Queen Anne’s Revenge shipwreck site, and stay up-to-date on their blog for new discoveries and opportunities to see the remains of what was once the very ship of Satan to those unfortunate enough to encounter the Queen Anne’s Revenge. 

Cannon raised from the water (via NC Culture)

A sword hilt made from an animal horn or antler (photograph by 
Wendy M. Welsh/NC Department of Cultural Resources)

article-imageA serpent sideplate from a firearm (via NC Culture)

Nesting brass weights to measure fine powders and gold (via NC Culture)

A sector (via NC Culture)

Gold from Queen Anne’s Revenge (via NC Culture)