Israel Hands
Israel Hands was an 18th century pirate, also known as Basilica Hands. Hands is best known for being second in command to Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard
Edward Teach , better known as Blackbeard, was a notorious English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of the American colonies....

. Hands was unnoticed by history until 1718, when Blackbeard gave him command of David Herriot's ship Adventure after Herriot was captured by Teach in March 1718.

Captain Charles Johnson wrote that Hands was shot in the knee by Edward Teach after Teach fired at another of his crew, missing him but striking Hands. Hands supposedly inquired of Teach his meaning in this act, whereupon Teach remarked "that if he did not now and then kill one of them, they would forget who he was." Another theory is that Teach shot him so he would not die in the battle against Robert Maynard
Robert Maynard
Captain Robert Maynard RN was a lieutenant and later captain in the Royal Navy, First Lieutenant of HMS Pearl, most famous for defeating the infamous English pirate Blackbeard in battle.- Naval commands and battles :...

. When Teach was killed by Maynard, Hands was captured and taken to Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 for trial. In exchange for a pardon
Clemency means the forgiveness of a crime or the cancellation of the penalty associated with it. It is a general concept that encompasses several related procedures: pardoning, commutation, remission and reprieves...

, Hands testified against corrupt North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 officials with whom Teach had consorted. What happened to Hands after this is not known for certain, however in Captain Charles Johnson's A General History of the Pyrates
A General History of the Pyrates
A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the most notorious Pyrates is a 1724 book published in Britain, containing biographies of contemporary pirates. Influential in shaping popular conceptions of pirates, it is the prime source for the biographies of many well known pirates...

, Hands is said to have died a beggar in London.
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