Was Blackbeard on Fripp Island? And if so, where was his famous African Lieutenant Black Caesar? Black Caesar is left out of many popular stories about Blackbeard in Beaufort and so are the fifty-four men aboard his ship who were of some if not all African descent. Were they crew members? Were they slaves? Caesar was said to be ruthless. His home was in the Florida Keys where he would rob and plunder ships. Historians still speculate as to whether Black Caesar was a crew member or if he belonged to Blackbeard on ship.
When Blackbeard was captured off the coast of North Carolina by Captain Maynard, many of his crew member/slaves were sold into slavery and only one is known to have been hanged and that is Black Caesar. Many African Americans in North Carolina can trace their origins back to slaves sold immediately after the capture of Blackbeard’s crew.
Rumors abound about the dubious rise of John Fripp, Beaufort’s most successful privateer. It is on his island that Blackbeard imprisoned his “bride.”
In North Carolina many of those African Americans living in heavily maritime areas can trace their family line back to the slaves sold by Blackbeard’s crew.