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Historical Documents Uncovered in France

More evidence has surfaced further proving that the ship discovered laying in the Beaufort Inlet is Blackbeard’s ship "The Queen Anne’s Revenge". Documents discovered recently in France tell the historic facts about "Le Concorde de Nantes" a flute built in the French city of Nantes. It was this ship that was captured by Capt. Benjamin Hornigold and his lieutenant Blackbeard. After the capture of The Concorde, Hornigold decided to retire from pirating, and gave the ship to Blackbeard. He renamed the ship "The Queen Anne’s Revenge" and terrorized the east coast of North America with the ship until it ran aground (or was run aground) in the Beaufort Inlet in 1718 and sank.

The French documents, found in the summer of 1998, show that "The Concorde" was under the command of Capt. Pierre Dosset and had left Africa with slaves, copper, gold dust, cocoa and other cargo.  While the ship was in the Grenadines, Hornigold and Blackbeard captured the vessel November 28, 1717 and the capture is detailed in the documents.

There are also descriptions of the crew members, the cargo and the ships outfitting including the weight of the anchor. The ship started with 75 crew and 516 black slaves "of all sexes and ages".  By the time of the capture, 16 crew had died, 36 were sick with scurvy and dysentery.  At least 61 slaves had died.

The crew was so weakened that when the two pirate ships came upon them, and fired two volleys of cannon at Le Concorde, they gave up the ship, apparently without a fight.

Captain Dosset’s account of the capture tells that four of his original crew abandoned him and joined Blackbeard. Blackbeard marooned several more on a Grenadine island called Bicoya. Ten crew were forced to come with Blackbeard, including the pilot, cook and surgeon. The total value of the goods taken by the pirates was estimated to be over 1000 Pounds.

The documents will be invaluable during the recovery efforts in confirming that the ship in the Beaufort Inlet is indeed Blackbeard’s ship, the captured "Le Concorde de Nantes".

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