Blackbeard was by far the most successful pirate who ever lived, he was eventually killed by Lieutenant Maynard in November 1718. His ship was recently found and is being excavated (His anchor was retrieved just last week – on May 27th). Maynard reported his success to the public with the following letter in British Gazetteer on April 25, 1719. The spellings are his own.
This is to sequent you, that I sailed from Virginia the 17th day with two Sloops and 54 Men under my command, having no Guns, but only Small Arms and Pistols. Mr. Hyde commanded the little Sloop with 22 Men, and I had 32 in my Sloop. The 22nd I came up with Captain Teach, the notorious Pyrate, who has taken, from time to time, a great many English Vessels on these Coasts, and in the West Indies; he went by the Name of Blackbeard, because he let his Beard grow, and tied it up in black Ribbons. I attack’d him at Cherhock in North-CaroIina, when he had on Board 21 Men, and nine Guns mounted. At our first Salutation, he drank Damnation to me and my Men, whom he called Cowardly Puppies, saying He would neither give nor take Quarter. Immediately we engag’d, and Mr. Hyde was unfortunately kill’d, and five of his Men wounded in the little Sloop, which, having no-body to command her, fell a-stern, and did not come up to assist me till the Action was almost over. In the mean time, continuing the Fight, it being a perfect Calm, I shot away Teach’s Gib, and his Fore-halliards, forcing him ashoar, I boarded his Sloop, and had 20 Men kill’d and wounded. Immediately thereupon, he enter’d me with 10 Men ; but 12 stout Men I left there, fought like Heroes, Sword in Hand, and they kill’d every one of them that enter’d, without the loss of one Man on their Side, but they were miserably cut and mangled. In the whole, I had eight Men kill’d, and 18 wounded. We kill’d 12, besides Blackbeard, who fell with five Shot in him, and 20 dismal Cuts in several Parts of his Body. I took nine Prisoners, mostly Negroes, all wounded. I have cut Blackbeard’s Head off, which I have put on my Bowspright, in order to carry it to Virginia. I should never have taken him, if I had not got him in such a Hole, whence he could not get out, for we had no Guns on Board ; so that the Engagement on our Side was the more Bloody and Desperate.