with David Moore
Dave Moore: Nautical Archaeologist, NC Maritime Museum
Ms. Jones's Class: fourth graders Bennett School in Chatham Co.
Gaston County: Mt. Holly MS
Willis: a class from Hillsborough, NC
Baskerville Kids: fifth graders at Baskerville Elementary in Rocky Mount
Mt. Pleasant Elementary: Mrs. Parker's 4th grade class from MPES
BREWSTER: a middle school at Camp Lejeune NC.
Gaston County: I welcome you to the Town Meeting with David Moore. Lets take a moment and identify the schools, grades, and counties.
BREWSTER: We are a middle school at Camp Lejeune NC.
Mt. Pleasant Elementary: We are Mrs. Parker's 4th grade class from Mt Pleasant Elem. in Cabarrus County
Willis: Hi Mr. Moore...we're Ms. Willis' class from Hillsborough, NC!! We're very excited to ask you questions!
Ms. Jones's Class: Hello.... We are Mrs. Jones's Fourth Grade class in Chatham County...at Bennett School
Beverly Hills: We are in Mrs. Johnson's and Mrs. Skinner's 4th grade class in Concord, NC.
Baskerville Kids: Hello Mr. Moore - we are from Rocky Mount and appreciate you taking the time to chat
Gaston County: Are you ready to begin Mr. Moore? Welcome... you can see excited students :-} Ready for a great session...Joe, please introduce the session
Dave Moore: Hi! We're live from the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, NC. Next up will be the renowned Blackbeard expert, David Moore. A little bit about protocol first. Whenever you see . . . (three periods or an ellipsis), that means David will continue his thoughts but just wants to get you something to read . . .
Dave Moore: David will paste in his bio info first, then give you time to read it. Next he will paste in a brief comment about the Maritime Museum, then give you time to read it. Next he will answer the five questions we posted--and again, he will allow time for reading each one. . .
Baskerville Kids: fine
Beverly Hills: Sounds terrific!
Dave Moore: Then he will address your questions. He would like to spend the first 25 minutes fielding general Blackbeard questions and the remaining time he would like to spend taking questions about the wreck site. Enjoy!
|Dave Moore: Hello. My name is Dave
Moore and I'm an underwater archaeologist for the North Carolina Maritime Museum. An
archaeologist is a person who studies the past and history by digging up the things left
behind by people a long time ago. I do my digging underwater on shipwrecks and try to
figure out things about the people who built, operated, and sailed on the ship before it
wrecked. I have worked on Spanish treasure galleons, English slave ships, Civil War
blockade runners, and now have the opportunity to work on one of the only pirate ships
ever located anywhere in the world and its right here off the coast of North Carolina . .
Dave Moore: My museum is located in Beaufort, North Carolina and about 2 ½ miles north of the shipwreck that we believe to the Queen Anne's Revenge, the infamous flagship of Blackbeard the pirate. We have been diving on the site and recovering artifacts for the past couple of years. I have been researching Blackbeard and his crew and ships for the past 17 years and will try to answer any questions you may have about the pirate or our shipwreck project, but first I'll answer the five questions we posted . . .
Dave Moore: Q1 - Did Blackbeard really light slow burning fuses in his beard and hair? Did he really have fourteen wives?
According to the General History of Pirates written by Captain Charles Johnson in 1724, Blackbeard did indeed stick slow-burning cannon fuses under his hat during battle to create a devilish appearance and frighten his opponents. Johnson also indicates that Blackbeard had as many as fourteen wives during his career. However, Johnson was also known to exaggerate some of the events in his book and in at least a few cases, got his facts wrong. No other evidence has been found to support either of his suggestions of cannon fuses or multiple wives, but this could have been the case . . .
|Dave Moore: Q2 - Where is the
wreckage of the Queen Anne's Revenge? Could it be in the waters near Beaufort Inlet, N.C.?
Archaeologists feel certain that the site of Blackbeard's flagship Queen Anne's Revenge has been located approximately 1 ½ miles south of Fort Macon and 2 ½ miles south of Beaufort, N.C. Historical research indicates the ship was run aground and lost along with Blackbeard's sloop Adventure in June 1718 on a sandbar at Beaufort Inlet . . .
Dave Moore: Any questions so far? Let's chat.
BREWSTER: How long have you been studying Blackbeard?
Dave Moore: I've been researching BB for over 17 years.
Baskerville Kids: Since he probably had so many wives, are there people who claim now to be his offspring?
Dave Moore: We have had several people come by the museum with the same questions in addition to those who have contacted us who claim family connections... Since we are not sure of his real name, it is difficult to answer this. His name has been listed in various documents as Teach, Thatch, Tach, and even Drummond.
Baskerville Kids: If someone could offer evidence of being his descendant, would they get his treasures or artifacts?
Dave Moore: It is doubtful that anyone could claim any treasure associated with Blackbeard because he didn't actually own it himself. We have to remember that he took it from others to start with.
|Ms. Jones's Class: Have you found
Dave Moore: We have not to date located any swords on the shipwreck, but expect to find some soon.
Mt. Pleasant Elementary: Why do they call it Queen ANNE'S Revenge?
Dave Moore: We suspect the name of the ship QUEEN ANNE'S REVENGE came from his possible earlier work as a privateer during Queen Anne's War.
Mt. Pleasant Elementary: How did you first discover QAR?
BREWSTER: What kinds of artifacts did you find (or are finding)
Dave Moore: We are recovering all manner of artifacts so far, including cannon, cannon balls, ship's rigging, barrel hoops, and gold dust.
BREWSTER: Gold Dust! Will you put it in the museum?
Beverly Hills: Will you put the artifacts on a traveling circuit?
Dave Moore: Following proper analysis the gold dust and most of the other artifacts will eventually go on display at the museum and other places around the state. There is currently a traveling exhibit moving around the state as we speak. It is currently in Plymouth, NC.
Willis: Is it legal to keep the things you find on the shipwrecks, or do they belong to museums or the government?
Dr. Bodzin: Which artifact of all that were discovered from the archeological excavation was the best preserved?
Beverly Hills: Why was he called Blackbeard?
Dave Moore: He was called Blackbeard because of the long black beard that he wore.
Gaston County: Just how long was his beard?
Ms. Jones's Class: Have you found any of Blackbeard's bones?
Willis: Yes, have any of Blackbeard's remains been found?
Dave Moore: Have not found any human remains on the wreck so far and it is doubtful, but not impossible, that we will. In any event, Blackbeard's body was thrown overboard at Ocracoke Inlet after he was killed.
Beverly Hills: Did he really swim around the ship when he died?
Dave Moore: Though local legend has it that Blackbeard's body swam several times around the ship following his death, this is doubtful.
|Mt. Pleasant Elementary: How many
crewmembers did he have?
Dave Moore: At the height of his career, Blackbeard had somewhere between 300 and 400 pirates under his command. At the time of his final battle however, this had been pared down to as few as 20, half of which were killed during the battle.
Ms. Jones's Class: Did any of Blackbeard's crew get eaten sharks?
Dave Moore: Doubtful that any of BB's crew was eaten by sharks as they did not spend any time in the water.
Beverly Hills: Did he really shoot some of his crewmembers? Was he as cruel as the legends say?
Dave Moore: Though BB may have had a cruel streak, historical evidence does not indicate that he ever killed anyone apart from the final battle when he was attacked first at Ocracoke Inlet.
Ms. Jones's Class: Was Blackbeard ever betrayed by his crew?
Dave Moore: Blackbeard was never betrayed by his crew, but certainly betrayed his crew.
Ms. Jones's Class: Did Blackbeard make some of his crew or others walk the plank?
Dave Moore: BB as far as we know never forced anyone to walk the plank. In fact, there is only one or two known instances of this ever happening and this was about 100 years after BB's time.
Willis: Is it true that Blackbeard's head was cut off and displayed on the bow of the Maynard's ship?
Dave Moore: It is true that BB's head was removed and placed under the bowsprit, but it may actually have been on his own sloop which was sailed back to Virginia.
Mt. Pleasant Elementary: What happened to all of Blackbeard's wives?
BREWSTER: Is anything known about any of Blackbeard's wives? Did they marry him willingly or were they forced?
Dave Moore: We're not sure whether the story of the 14 wives is true or not. We do have good evidence that he had more than one and indeed one here in NC. We do not know what happened to any of these.
Mt. Pleasant Elementary: Is it true BB's 14th wife was a witch?
Dave Moore: Never found anything mentioning any of BB's wives was a witch.
Mt. Pleasant Elementary: IT WAS IN BB'S GHOST (a movie)
|Willis: Is it true that Blackbeard
would make his crew members bury his treasure, but then BB would kill them when they were
Ms. Jones's Class: What kind of guns did BB have?
Dave Moore: BB and his crew would have used many types of weapons including small arms like muskets and blunderbusses (one of which we have found) and cannons. His ship reportedly carried as many as 40 cannon. We have located 18 and recovered 3 so far.
Beverly Hills: How many times was BB stabbed or wounded by Maynard?
Dave Moore: BB was reportedly shot 5 times and had 20 swords wounds when he fell dead.
Beverly Hills: Were there any females on his ship?
BREWSTER: Did BB ever associate with the woman pirates?
Dave Moore: Do not have any evidence that BB ever associated with any women pirates not do we have anything on any women being on board his ship.
BREWSTER: We heard that Annie Bonney sailed with him. Is that true?
Dave Moore: Do not think Bonny sailed with BB. She did sail with Calico Jack Rackam who was sailing during the same period.
|Willis: Have there ever been any
maps showing the places where BB's treasure has been buried?
Dave Moore: Have heard rumors of maps showing BB's treasure, but never seen anything authenticated. I suspect that most of BB's treasure was spent before he ever had a chance to bury anything
Ms. Jones's Class: How did Blackbeard spend his money in town when everyone knew he was a pirate? Why would Blackbeard buy from town if he stole from everyone else?
Dave Moore: BB was able to trade his goods in certain ports, but certainly not anywhere where he would be recognized. He was known to have operated in/around Philadelphia for instance.
Ms. Jones's Class: How old was Blackbeard when he started being a pirate?
Beverly Hills: How old was he when he died?
Dave Moore: Do not know how old BB was when he became a pirate. Most pirates appear to have been in there 20's and 30's. Do not know how old he was when killed, but one report says around 38.
Mt. Pleasant Elementary: Did he wear a patch over his eye? If so, which eye?
Ms. Jones's Class: Did Blackbeard have a parrot?
Dave Moore: Have not seen anything to suggest BB had eye patch, peg leg, hook, or parrot.
|Dave Moore: Lets talk about the
wreck for a few minutes....
Dave Moore: Currently showing a bell that was recovered from the site. It had the date 1709 embossed around the middle which gives us a good date for the site...
BREWSTER: OK, do you know around what time the ship wrecked?
Dave Moore: Since we know the ship was lost in 1718, the bell dates the site to the appropriate period and gives us a good clue to its identification.
Ms. Jones's Class: How do you bring the artifacts up from the Queen Anne's Revenge?
Dave Moore: When artifacts are found on the bottom, archaeologists have to be careful to map everything they see. Then the material is carefully removed from the sediment and taken up to the boat to be brought into the laboratory here in Beaufort.
Mt. Pleasant Elementary: Did you find the bell on the bottom of the ocean or in the ship?
Dave Moore: The bell was located among the wreckage of the ship. The wooden ship itself has long since disappeared leaving a pile of cannon, anchors, barrel hoops, ballast stones, and other debris within an area approximately 100 feet long by 40 wide. The bell was found within this area.
Gaston County: How many decks did the ship have?
Ms. Jones's Class: Did BB have a dungeon on his ship?
Dave Moore: Dungeons were more normally associated with castles or forts and not so much ships, though the ship would have had a lower hold where prisoners could have been held for short periods of time.
|BREWSTER: Did you find any evidence
of food stuff or utensils like they did on the Titanic?
Dave Moore: Currently showing couple of glass bottles recovered from the site. They are in very fragile condition and take special precautions to preserve.
Willis: How long has it taken you to recover the items found on the ship?
Dave Moore: We have been working on the wreck recovering items for a couple of years and suspect that we will be working for as long as 5 or 6 years longer.
Gaston County: How long does it take to recover an item from the ship wreck, can you describe the process?
Dave Moore: Sometimes artifacts can come up very quickly. Other items like cannon can take half a day because of the weight and danger involved in the recovery process.
Gaston County: What did the ship look like? Do you have any pictures you could show us?
Dave Moore: Do have some illustrations of ships that may have looked like BB's. The QAR would have been a typical 3 masted ship of the period and about 85 feet long.
BREWSTER: How large was the ship?
Dave Moore: The ship was listed as being about 200 tons which means she would have been around 85 feet long, 72 feet on the keel, 25 foot wide and around 12 feet deep. She carried 150 pirates.
Ms. Jones's Class: How long do you think it took the ship to sink?
Dave Moore: The ship was run aground and so was sitting on the bottom very quickly
BREWSTER: When did the ship wreck, in the morning or late at night?
Dave Moore: Not sure when the ship was run aground - day or nite, but documents suggest sometime in the morning.
Beverly Hills: Did BB have any other hideouts besides Bath?
Dave Moore: BB did visit Bath, but preferred to hang out around Ocracoke Inlet. Earlier in his career, his hideout was in the Bahamas on New Providence Inland with many other pirates.
Ms. Jones's Class: How many ships did Blackbeard rob? sink?
Dave Moore: We have a list of ships that BB took which numbers over 50 and we suspect the numbers are much greater. He was looking for anything of value when he attacked ships, particularly items made of gold and silver.
Gaston County: We have about two more minutes for this session... any last comments David?
Beverly Hills: Does the Maritime Museum have a web site?
Dave Moore: NC Maritime Museum URL - www.ah.dcr.state.nc.us/sections/maritime/default.htm
Gaston County: Where do you receive your funding/support for this project?
Dave Moore: We receive support for this project from several sources including the state, county, and Friends of the Museum among others.
Ms. Jones's Class: Mr. Moore... thank you for an excellent experience ......do you mind if we return at 1:00?
Gaston County: Thank you Mr. Moore! You all are invited back for the 1pm session
Beverly Hills: Thank you very much for your time. We have enjoyed your visit. :-) We'll have two more classes with you at 1:00.
Ms. Jones's Class: Goodbye, Glenn and David.... see y'all at 1:00......... thank you.....!!!!!... :)
Willis: Good-bye from Ms. Willis' 4th grade class. Thank you so much. We've learned a lot!!!
BREWSTER: Where did they use the rest room?
Dave Moore: Rest room--over the side and in buckets.