Just before boarding the vessel that he was attacking, Blackbeard would take slow burning fuse matches and, with bright red ribbon, tie them in his hair and beard. When lit, these smoking matches gave him the appearance of the Devil.
For many years, Blackbeard roamed the East Coast and the Caribbean. He grew rich and built homes at Ocracoke Village and Bath, North Carolina. Tradition says that he had as many as 13 wives. Although colonists complained about the pirate, the colonial government ignored them. It is said that the Royal Governor, Charles Eden, and Blackbeard were friends.