The excitement over this summer's recovery of the anchor from Blackbeard's flagship Queen Anne's Revenge might take a back seat to the discovery of an actual buried treasure. Edward Connie, plowing on his uncle's farm near Bath in the summer of 1938, uncovered what he thought might be gold. His uncle, Dallas Jordan, carried it to a jeweler who confirmed the find.
Because of the laws at the time against hoarding gold, the Secret Service became involved. Their investigation determined that the gold was indeed "discovered" on Mr. Jordan's property, a 10-acre tract he had bought 21 years earlier for $500. Before 1883, the land had belonged to Samuel B. Fisher of Winsteadville. It then passed through the hands of three lumber companies and then on to Jordan. A flood in 1932 which nearly destroyed Jordan's home, also washed away much of the topsoil and perhaps help bring buried treasure to the surface.
The area was long rumored to be the famous pirate's stomping ground, and the site of his final battle with Lieutenant Robert Maynard, commander of the sloop "Pearl."
Lieutenant Maynard met Teach, aboard his vessel "Revenge" at Ocracoke Inlet, and after the battle sailed into Bath with Blackbeard's head on his bowsprit.
Ever since then people have been looking for Blackbeard's buried treasure, for legend, if not history , placed it somewhere along the banks of the Pamlico, which Blackbeard frequented during his last days after capturing two French merchantmen and dividing the loot with the colonial secretary, Tobias Knight, at Bath.
Two months after all but two of Teach's crew were hanged, Knight died in disgrace.
Six years afterward there appeared in England a book by a "Captain Charles Johnson," relating so many intimate occurrences in Blackbeard's career, yet found to be accurate on every point that could be corroborated, that historians suspected it was by one who was either a member of the pirate crew, or who had access to Teach's papers -- which were not destroyed at his death as the pirate had planned.
The "Captain Johnson" version is the source of virtually every one of the myriad stories of the Pirate Blackbeard, and in it appears this passage:
"The night before he (Blackbeard) was killed he sat up and drank 'til the morning with some of his own men and the master of the merchantman; and ... one of the men asked him in case anything should happen to him ... whether his wife knew where he had buried his money? He answered that nobody but himself and the devil knew where it was, and the longest liver should take all." -- The News & Observer 6/26/1938
More than 200 years later, Mr. Jordan was holding what might have been some of that pirate treasure. But as it turned out, this was not the first discovery of gold in the area.
Whether he thinks there is more gold in the place or not, is his secret, but it has been learned that a relative of Jordan's wife, known as Aunt Betty Harvey, uncovered a broken ingot a quarter century ago while hoeing cotton within 300 yards of the current find, and local legend is that she sold it for $300 and then went insane. -- The News & Observer 6/25/1938.