Throughout the great piracy outbreak of 1715-25,
Philadelphia's shipping was regularly targeted. Several
Flying Gang pirates are known to have blockaded the
mouth of Delaware Bay, including Paulsgrave Williams,
Blackbeard, and Stede Bonnet.
But the city's most famous link with the pirates are the visits
Blackbeard allegedly made sometime between 1716 and
1718. Early 19th century historians interviewed several
elderly Philadelphia residents who claimed their parents had seen or interacted with the famous pirate. Blackbeard
was said to frequent an inn at the corner of High and Second Streets, to have brought a vessel to the Schuylkill River
for supplies. These accounts cannot be confirmed by period documents, but it is known that several of Blackbeard's
men came here in 1718, and the pirate himself was reported to have visited the city while he was living in Bath,
North Carolina. Perhaps he knew some of Avery's men, who may well have been living in Philly at the time.