Year: 1812 AD
Vessel Type: Warship
Privateers were small privately owned warships which were sanctioned by a government during wartime to raid enemy commerce.
This American ship, during The War of 1812, was noted for its operations in the English Channel, where it readily captured many English merchant ships, and sold them to French merchants. It was customary for privateers to simply take cargo and valuables however the owner-captain of this privateer reasoned that the captured ship itself was far more valuable and was the true prize of the chase. Passengers and crew aboard the captured British ships disembarked at the nearest French port. The ship was sailed up a river in France and then auctioned off, starting with the cargo and then finally the ship itself.
The Treaty of Paris of 1856 made privateers illegal among most nations.
Blueprints and information provided by the Smithsonian Institute.
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