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Published:January 18th, 2013 08:16 EST
Did Blackbeard The Pirate Have a Problem with Spirits and Drug Abuse Also?

Did Blackbeard The Pirate Have a Problem with Spirits and Drug Abuse Also?

By John G. Kays

`Such a Day, Rum all out: - Our Company somewhat sober: - A Damned Confusion amongst us! - Rogues a plotting; - great Talk of Separation. - So I looked sharp for a Prize; - such a Day took one, with a great deal of Liquor on Board, so kept the Company hot, then all Things went well again.` A memorandum of Blackbeard`s

Blackbeard is the most famous pirate ever to roam the shores of America! Why waste an evening and a morning deciphering the rusty chronicles of the dastardly pirate once again? Isn`t there any more important news to cover? Not really, unless you aren`t already absolutely bored with the Lance Armstrong/Oprah Winfrey interview. A better question, is why did Blackbeard request a chest of medicine as payment of ransom from the Province of Carolina, with Charles Town hostages in tow? Was Blackbeard a drug addict?

Background tunes are provided by Bob Marley, one of his last records, Kaya. Try coupling snappy reggae with pirate inquisitions some time, it`s a perfect match! Our muse, as insiders of these sacred piratical factions paying heed to the misdeeds of this lot of rogues, who cast a pall of the Devils Work on the virginal shores of the Colonies, is one unidentified Captain Charles Johnson. His account of Blackbeard first appeared around 1725 in his A General History of The Robberies & Murders of The Most Notorious Pirates. Sales have been brisk for nearly 300 years!

Not too shoddy, Captain Johnson, but who were you? The mystery of the greatest of piratical authors remains a mystery unto this day! At one time, authorities in literary circles were convinced the quill-slinging popular author was none other than Daniel Defoe, writer of Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders. This has since been disproved; Defoe wasn`t Johnson. Was Johnson one of them, one of the pirates?

Likely he was, or where else did he get all of these first hand accounts? Captain Johnson had first hand knowledge of the doings of many of these famous pirates, and that includes Captain Teach, who really only practiced his trade in earnest from 1717-1720. Captain Maynard caught up with the scurvy knave the latter part of 1720; he cut off the head of the rapscallion and mounted it on the mast for all to see, as you must know. The copper engravings of Benjamin Cole in the chapter on Blackbeard have equal weight with Johnson`s mellifluous words!

Perfect writing and art merge together to make for a splendid edition that is timeless and will never stop selling! What little we know about Blackbeard comes mainly from Captain Charles Johnson, who we suspect sailed amongst a lot of these rogues; ironic isn`t it though, that he made the lions share of his loot off the royalties of his several editions that came out in the early half of the 18th century. Half Price books has new editions of this Pirate Bible for about 10 bucks; do your self a favor, horde, covet, and collect A General History, before some zealous evangelicals try to ban it.

What did Captain Teach do that we wish we had done? Or why bother racking our brains or tapping his paltry archives for answers to what made him tick? Part of the answer, is he found boundless freedom in the West Indies, and the isles of Jamaica and Providence, which became an escape paradise for roving sea scoundrels. The other item that I most notice, is that Blackbeard created a coup de`tat in South Carolina. Governor Eden of Charles Town was at his behest. Teach was in control for some time! Well, good finally triumphed, but it`s pause for thought.