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Famous American Privateers.
American Merchant Marine and Privateers in War of 1812
The War of 1812 was fought over the Merchant Marine. The British were seizing American ships on the high seas, and forcing seamen to join the British navy or merchant navy. In addition, Britain seized vessels bound for Europe that did not first call at a British port. France retaliated, confiscating vessels if they had first stopped in Britain. Together they seized nearly 1,500 American vessels between 1803 and 1812.
The War was fought by merchant ships, because the U.S. had almost no Navy. The battle cry was; “Free Trade and Sailors’ Rights!” During the War of 1812, the U.S. Navy and Privateers together captured 30,000 prisoners, while the American army captured 6,000 British prisoners. Privateers captured British prizes worth almost $40,000,000.
A year ago I discovered there was…