Pirates! The very word brings shivers to those who sail the seas. Popular movies romanticize their deeds, but to Georgia colonists in the mid-18th century, their exploits were to be feared rather than admired. Georgia’s coast and coastal islands were havens where pirates could hide. Blackbeard Island off the Georgia coast from McIntosh County is named for none other than Edward Teach, the fearsome pirate who sailed the along the coast. David Gurnsey of the Ships of The Sea Maritime Museum in Savannah answers many questions about pirates.
Teacher tip: Ships and other maritime vessels figure prominently throughout Georgia’s history. Begin a class list of ships and other maritime vessels (including pirate ships) that have a place in Georgia history and add to it as the study of Georgia progresses. Include as much information about them as possible such as dates, historical era, purpose or accomplishment of vessel, and its relationship to Georgia history.