Saint Thomas: Blackbeard’s Castle

Edward Thatch (c. 1680 – 22 November 1718), better known as Blackbeard, was an English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of Britain’s  North American colonies. Little is known about his early life, but he may have been a sailor on privateer ships during Queen Anne’s War, settling on the Bahamian island of New  Providence, a base for Captain Benjamin Hornigold, whose crew Teach joined around 1716.

Blackbeard’s Flag

Teach was a shrewd and calculating leader who spurned the use of force, relying instead on his fearsome image to elicit the response that he desired from those whom he robbed. He was not a tyrannical pirate, he commanded his vessels with the consent of their crews and there is no known account of his ever having harmed or murdered those whom he held captive. 

Blackbeard’s Castle

He mastered the art of fear, turning himself into more than just a man but a legend, this was far scarier. The legend around him grew. He sprouted a large, bushy beard which gave him his nickname. It was said that during battles, his beard would burn and his eyes turn red. In truth, Blackbeard lit wicks, laced with gunpowder, which he had weaved into his hair and beard. He carried as many as fourteen pistols about his body, and two cutlasses, which he wielded together. Despite his fearsome reputation, there is no evidence to suggest he killed anyone who was not trying to kill him.

Blackbeard’s Castle

Blackbeard met his death after retiring for six months and accepting a royal pardon. Not one for settling down, he took to the seas once more only to be hunted down and caught in Oracoke Bay by Lt Maynard of the Royal Navy. After putting up a good fight and being shot several times, he was finally beaten when his body was relieved of the weight of his head. His body was slung in the water and his head mounted on the front of Lt Maynards sloop. Legend has it that his headless body still swims the waters of Oracoke Bay, searching for its missing piece.

Blackbeard’s Castle

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:


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