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Blackbeard exhibit arrives in New Bern

By Charlie Hall
Sun Journal (New Bern)

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    Admission to the exhibit is included in the regular cost of admission to Tryon Palace: $20; $10 for those in grades 1-12. Details: www.tryonpalace.org.



NEW BERN Artifacts from the Queen Anne’s Revenge, flagship of the infamous pirate Blackbeard, can now be viewed at the N.C. History Center at Tryon Palace.

The “Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge: 1718” exhibit, which has more than 30 pieces, informational panels and a video, will be on display through Feb. 15. It includes multimedia displays explaining what life was like aboard the ship and will feature Tryon Palace’s own original 1710 royal portrait of Queen Anne, for whom Blackbeard named his ship.

Staff members from the N.C. Maritime Museum, in Beaufort, brought the exhibit to New Bern. It has toured the state, with its latest stops being in Asheville, Edenton and Sedalia.

It is the largest of the traveling Blackbeard exhibits, some of which have been shown as far away as California. Lynn Anderson, the Maritime Museum’s collections manager, said the Palace exhibit has 31 pieces and five concretions.

Concretions, she explained, are masses of calcium, sand and metal corrosion, typical with shipwrecks. They usually contain clusters of artifacts in concrete-hard masses.

The exhibit includes a replica cannon from the Queen Anne.

Anderson explained that most of the recovered cannon weigh about 1,000 pounds, making them unsuitable for exhibit travel. She said it takes five years to exhibit a cannon after it is recovered. The process includes cleaning, rinsing, two years of electrolysis, drilling and brushing. Some of the cleaning instruments are tiny, so as to not eliminate any markings.

She said the most popular items, especially among children, are cannon balls. There are two 6-pounders in this exhibit. The cannons had a range close to a mile, but were much more accurate at short range.

There are glass pieces and putter plates and brass measuring instruments among the artifacts.

Anderson said the recovered items, processed at an East Carolina University lab outside Greenville, N.C., range from 1680 to 1715.

The Queen Anne was sunk off Beaufort in 1718. There are about 400 recovered artifacts at the museum in Beaufort.

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