Blackbeard’s Log

This appears to reproduce entries from various logs Blackbeard kept from 1713 until his death. Most of the pages are mundane accounts of daily life at sea, with the occasional skirmish in the Caribbean. One page in particular draws your attention:

Local historians have identified many modern sites in the Washington, DC, area that correspond to 18th-century sites Blackbeard visited while traveling the Potomac.
From Blackbeard’s Logs Modern Location
June 13: Howard’s Horse lost a Shoe this A.M. The Locals directed us to Cooper’s Smithy, where presided a Blacksmith of prodigious Talent. In but an Quarter of an Hour, we returned to our Journey, the Horse better shod than before. Wayland Cooper emigrated from England in 1704 and began work as a blacksmith the following year. Cooper’s Smithy operated where Leland Park is today for nearly 125 years.
June 14: In need of fresh Steeds, we persuaded the Constables at the Carriage Depot to outfit us, & after modest Remuneration, they conceded while we proceeded. The Medical Center Metro stop now stands where this waystop on the Williamsburg-Philadelphia carriage route used to be.
June 15: Tho’t it fitting to pay our Respects to the fine Men of His Majesty’s Royal Barracks. Stayed for a fine Supper and left a Stoup of Wine with the Sergeant. At the time, a small garrison of troops was stationed approximately where the Red Cross Headquarters on East-West Highway is located.
June 16: A slight Brawl at the Fireside Tavern replenished our fettle & our Pocketbooks. These Colonial Ruffians will think twice before again harrassing honest Englishmen. The Fireside Tavern (and its successor, the Eagle’s Eyrie) offered bed and board at the intersection of Old Georgetown Road and Cedar Lane until 1910, when it burned down.
June 17: We finished by stocking up on Supplies at the remarkable Mather’s Trading Outpost. The Proprieter’s ability to furnish all Goods at such low Cost bears further Inspection. Quite possibly, Frederick Mather was a fence for stolen property in addition to running the Outpost (where the Westwood Shopping Center now stands). It is not known whether he and Blackbeard did any business beyond the legitimate visit mentioned here.
June 18: Stopped to see the “Thousand-Year Oak.” It was worshipped by the Natives, and Colonials believe that their Wishes, if carved upon its Bark, will come true. The area around this local landmark has been preserved as Little Falls Park. The Oak itself is 1,600 years old and is still admired by the children who use the nearby playground.
The page for June 19 is missing.
June 20: Howard & I have engaged a local Pastor and Gravedigger for a mass Burial in Holy Madonna’s Cemetary for our unfortunate Compatriots. Although the Maryland Historical Society maintains a few artifacts at the Cemetary’s original location (Bradley Boulevard and Wilson Lane), all graves were moved in the mid-19th century to accommodate the region’s growth.
June 21: A pleasant end to a hard Day, thanks to the spare but satisfying hospitality of Brooks Farm. Brooks the Younger clearly is not made for the agricultural life & may prove a good Recruit. The Brooks family apparently did not succeed in Maryland. The sale of their farm, located where Friendship Heights Metro station is today, is recorded in 1723.
June 22: Today being the Sabbath, we sought a House of worship. The minister at the 2nd Church of Christ, Reformed, delivered a mighty Sermon and confessed our Souls. The church was deconsecrated and demolished in 1811, and a variety of buildings have taken its place. Walt Whitman High School now occupies the site.
June 23: Spent the Evening & Night as Guests of George Gordon, a local landowner and cartographer. As he listened to me talk of our recent Travels, Mr Gordon drew up a Map of the Vicinity featuring those Places we had stopped. Blackbeard apparently stayed at George Gordon’s home twice more in late June. In 1946, the Gordon family donated the residence and some of its artworks to house the Chevy Chase Library.

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