Blackbeard Crew Bones Heading To Smithsonian

After a lengthy dispute, the remains of a former member of Blackbeard's pirate crew are no longer in state custody..

Researchers believe the remains found in Bath back in 1986 belong to Edward Salter, who was a barrel-maker forced into piracy. Salter later became a prominent merchant, assemblyman and church warden in Bath.

Friday morning in Raleigh, the remains were turned over to family members, who want the bones examined by a expert at the Smithsonian Institution.

The remains were in four white boxes and were placed in a hearse outside the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology Research Center.

In January a superior court judge ordered the Department of Cultural Resources to follow state law by filing a legal notice to search for a potential next of kin. When that happened four claimants submitted their names to the State Archaeologist.

Once at the Smithsonian, the bones will be examined by chief forensic anthropologist Dr. Douglas Owsley. The remains then will be returned to Beaufort County for burial.


Previous Story

Bones believed to belong to a former member of Blackbeard's pirate crew will finally be returned to his descendants for reburial.

Researchers believe the remains found in Bath back in 1986 belong to Edward Salter, who was a barrel-maker forced into piracy. Salter later became a prominent merchant, assemblyman and church warden in Bath.

In January a superior court judge ordered the Department of Cultural Resources to follow state law by filing a legal notice to search for a potential next of kin. When that happened four claimants submitted their names to the State Archaeologist.

Joan Bass, an 8th generation descendant of Salter will be present Friday in Raleigh. The remains will be placed in a hearse and taken to the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. There the bones will be examined by chief forensic anthropologist Dr. Douglas Owsley. The bones then are expected to be returned to Beaufort County for burial.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by jr Location: bath on Jun 19, 2010 at 11:18 AM
    isn't "Smithsonian Institute", and not "Smithsonian Institution"?
  • by pete Location: grifton on Jun 19, 2010 at 07:21 AM
    Let's see we have a president with no ligitimate birth certificate a country full of illegal criminals and this.get a life.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 18, 2010 at 11:19 AM
    Does it really matter who it is. Leave them where they are buired and let their remains rest in peace. This is sick that they keep digging peoples remains up and arguing over the bones.
  • by OutsideLookingIn Location: ENC on Jun 16, 2010 at 02:15 PM
    Sounds like the remains have still not been positively identified as those of the sailor. Till then, it is just a guess on the part of the scavengers/treasure hunters. I cannot get very excited about it until they determine the remains are, indeed, those of the old sailor.
  • by Audra Location: SoCal on Jun 16, 2010 at 12:28 PM
    We were talking about what a cool story this is on the original one the last couple of days. Idk why the update was done as a separate story as it's almost identical, but I'm glad to see it up here where it's more visible now. I think it's great history info. I do wonder if Mr. Duffus is going to be able to do the testing he planned on but it sounds like the plan changed... No info on that WITN?
  • by Hearing? Trial? on Jun 16, 2010 at 12:09 PM
    Is there gonna be a hearing? Is Joan Bass gonna file a civil suit against Blackbeard's descendants? If so, where is the trial to be held? I hope Edward Salter's descendants finally get the closure they deserve.
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