The annual Friends of the Western Carteret Library meeting will convene January 20, 7-9 pm at the Western Park Community Center. A short meeting will be followed by the guest speaker, Baylus C. Brooks, introducing his most recent book, “Blackbeard Reconsidered: Mist’s Piracy, Thatche’s Genealogy.” The lecture will reveal new information about Blackbeard’s service on the HMS Windsor in 1706, his true family origins, heritage and “aristocratic” life on Jamaica.
Blackbeard is probably the most well known pirate, made real through the artifacts found on the Queen Anne’s Revenge housed in the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort. Pirates, myths and legends are big business. Kids talk like them, adults dress like them, and pirate days attract visitors to revel in the pirate mystique found in movies and on television. Despite fantasies and romantic projections, we forget that real pirates weren’t like Johnny Depp.
Exactly who was Blackbeard? Where did he come from, and what did he really look like? He was purportedly tall, with a voluminous black beard holding smoldering twisted pieces of paper, giving the illusion of being demonic; even the famous drawing found in most books is actually an artist’s rendition. Until now, perhaps the only accurate Blackbeard information was that he died November 22, 1718 in Ocracoke, N.C.
Baylus C. Brooks is also enthralled with pirates, so he frequently dresses up and reenacts one during the Pirate Invasion and at Family Pirate Day. Perhaps it is pirate lore or Blackbeard himself, which catapulted his research, and earning an undergraduate degree in American History at East Carolina University. Now he is working in the Maritime Studies Program there. According to his website, he is a "Professional Research and Maritime Historian and Conservator."
With almost 300 years of speculation about Blackbeard, Brook’s lecture is expected to raise eyebrows and questions. Will Blackbeard’s history be rewritten because of Brook’s research? The audience will decide.
The Friends of the Western Carteret Library annual meeting is January 20, 7-9 pm at the Western Park Community Center in Cedar Point. The meeting will include a review of board activities, new building project, voting for the 2016 Board, and a lecture from Baylus C. Brooks. This event is free and open to the public however; a donation to the building fund is encouraged. Brooks will have his fiction and nonfiction books available for purchase and signing that evening.
For more information, contact the Western Carteret Library at 252-393-6500 or Isabel Stout at email@example.com