For a time, piracy was tolerated. Some would even say encouraged, based on the actions of many public officials in Carolina's port cities. Bargain prices were often paid by town merchants for ill-gotten gains, looted on the high seas and hauled in by pirate ships. Blackbeard's crew brazenly sauntered through the streets of Charleston, South Carolina, and Bathtown, North Carolina. The pirates were big spenders. This free flow of money, regardless of its origin, delighted local proprietors, who raked in the profits.
Even government officials turned a blind eye. Blackbeard once boasted that he was so popular and well known, there was not a home in North Carolina into which he could not be invited for dinner.
Soon the piracy became more than simply an annoyance to local officials in the Carolinas. Pirates cruising the vast blue waters in the Atlantic had grown to the thousands which resulted in a disruption of the transatlantic commerce. Commercial interests along the coast were being hit hard as ship after ship was being taken by the pirates.
Pirate business was now no longer welcome, nor were their wicked deeds tolerated.