Since 1997, Kevin Duffus has published four books and produced four award-winning documentary films all on Outer Banks history. His books and films have been widely praised for their groundbreaking research, historical accuracy and superior quality.
In 2002, after extensive research, Duffus solved the long-standing mystery of the missing 1854 Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Fresnel lens, believed lost for 140 years. As a result of his persistence and passion, the senselessly vandalized lens and its elegant, Victorian-era cast iron pedestal are now on display at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum at Hatteras, North Carolina.
In 2007, Kevin Duffus wrote, designed and published Shipwrecks of the Outer Banks—An Illustrated Guide, which noted historian (and mentor of Duffus) David Stick called the long-awaited sequel to his own book, Graveyard of the Atlantic. Among his other historical accomplishments, Duffus discovered the lost history of the builder of the 1870 Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, preserved the amazing personal story of the World War II “baby born in a lifeboat” and oral histories of island residents, Coast Guard crews, Navy sailors, and merchant marines, all who survived “Torpedo Junction.”
In 2008, after completing years of research, Kevin Duffus published The Last Days of Black Beard the Pirate, a detailed examination of the famous seafaring rogue’s final six months in North Carolina. The controversial book presents stunning contradictions to traditional historical accounts about Black Beard’s (also known as Blackbeard) origins, his travels and motivations as a pirate, his death, and the identity and fate of his most trusted crew members.
In the course of his research, Duffus discovered that the bones of one of those crew members, the cooper Edward Salter, had been stored, and forgotten, in a state warehouse for nearly a quarter of a century. Following a 3-year dispute with state officials and 3 court hearings, Duffus succeeded in establishing the rights of Salter’s descendants to repossess the bones in order to afford Salter the honor, dignity and decent interment he so desired, and of which he had been deprived. On Sunday, October 24, 2010, Edward Salter, the colonial-era landowner, merchant, assemblyman, warden of St. Thomas Church of Bath, and former pirate-cooper, was finally laid to rest.
Read the eulogy presented by Kevin Duffus at the reinterment of Edward Salter here.