Sep 19

Talk Like A Pirate Day

East Carolina University
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Blackbeard the Pirate
Edward Teach (1680-1718)
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"Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you!" ~ Blackbeard (Edward Teach), (1680-1718)

Since 1983, the mascot of East Carolina University has been "The Pirate" in a nod to the Carolina Coasts piratical history. If your ancestors are from the North Carolina coastal regions of Bath, Beaufort, or Ocracoke, and your last name is one of the following, you may be a descendant of the notorious pirate Blackbeard or his crew! Beard, Brooks, Carnes, Blake, Curtice/Curtis, Daniel(s), Gates, Gibbens/Gibbons, Gills, Greensail, Hand, Husk, Jackon, Martin Miller, MOrton, Odell, Phillips, Robins, Roberts, Salter, Stiles, Teach, White are all names with piratical connections. Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, was an English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of Britain's North American colonies. He wore knee-length boots and dark clothing, topped with a wide hat and sometimes a long coat of brightly coloured silk or velvet. During times of battle he allegedly wore a sling over his shoulders, with three brace of pistols, hanging in holsters like bandoliers and stuck lighted matches under his hat to emphasise the fearsome appearance he wished to present to his enemies. Despite his ferocious reputation though, there are no verified accounts of his ever having murdered or harmed those he held captive. Shiver me timbers! ☠️

This light-heared holiday is the only known holiday believed to have come into being as a result of a sports injury. During a racquetball game between John Baur (Ol' Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap'n Slappy), of Albany, Oregon, one of them reacted to the pain with an outburst of "Aaarrr!", and the idea was born. That game took place on June 6, 1995, but out of respect for the observance of the Normandy landings, they chose Summers' ex-wife's birthday, September 19th, as it would be easy for him to remember.

 

To note "Talk like a Pirate Day," we have East Carolina University's officially registered tartan, specifically designed to complement the University's history and their purple and gold Pirate mascots.

Pirates have long been associated with the North Carolina coast. One of the most famous pirates, Blackbeard, resided in the North Carolina coastal communities of Bath, Beaufort and Ocracoke. The modern day mascot is based on the description of Blackbeard, Edward Teach.

Edward Teach (also Edward Thatch, c.1680—22 November 1718), better known as Blackbeard, was a notorious English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of the American colonies. Although little is known about his early life, he is believed to have been a sailor on privateer ships during Queen Anne's War before settling on the Bahamian island of New Providence, a base for Captain Benjamin Hornigold, whose crew Teach joined sometime around 1716. Hornigold placed him in command of a sloop he had captured, and the two engaged in numerous acts of piracy. 

Teach captured a French merchant vessel, renamed her Queen Anne's Revenge, and equipped her with 40 guns. During his subsequent acts of piracy, he acquired his nickname, derived from his thick black beard and fearsome appearance.  He was reported to have tied lit fuses in his hair in order to frighten his enemies.

 

Blackbeard formed an alliance of pirates and blockaded the port of Charleston, South Carolina. After successfully ransoming its inhabitants, he purposely ran Queen Anne's Revenge aground on a sandbar near Beaufort, North Carolina in 1718.  

The East Carolina University (ECU) purple and gold school colours date back to 1909, when the students selected “Old Gold and Royal Purple” as the standard-bearer colours  for the school sports teams.  However, it was not until 1934 that the sports teams were officially named “The Pirates”.

For an interesting article about how archaeologists raised an anchor from what they believe to be the Queen Anne's Revenge, click the mascot.

Officially registered tartan graphics on this site courtesy of The Scottish Tartans Authority.  Other tartans from talented tartan artists may also be featured.

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