Somehow, the Ear always thought that pirates were too busy swashing their buckles to take the time to peruse a book. Wrong. An oddball maritime history footnote has come to light of late, in the form of 300-year-old scraps of paper found on the Queen Anne’s Revenge, Blackbeard’s ship (tinyurl.com/annepaper). Waterlogged, and stuffed into a cannon, the scraps were remarkably legible, nonetheless, and reveal the “voyage narrative” of a fellow sea captain. Apt reading material, to be sure.
Blackbeard (aka Edward Teach) ran the vessel aground in May 1718, off the coast of North Carolina, but it wasn’t found until 1996. Since then, the Queen Anne’s Revenge Project has been doing a painstakingly detailed excavation, just now discovering the literary scraps, shown in a photo by the North Carolina Department of National and Cultural Resources.
In case you’re wondering, the book in question is “A voyage to the South Sea, and Around the World,” by Capt. Edward Cooke, first published in 1712.