The Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Privateers

In August 1812, the Hopewell, a 346-ton ship laden with sugar, molasses, cotton, coffee, and cocoa, set sail from the Dutch colony of Surinam. Her captain was pleased because he reckoned that in London the cargo would sell for £40,000–the equivalent of at least several million dollars in today’s economy. The Hopewell carried fourteen guns and a crew of twenty-five, and for protection she sailed in a squadron of five other vessels. It was difficult, however, to keep a squadron together in the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, and on August 13 the Hopewell became separated from her sisters.

    Two days later her crew spotted another ship, armed and approaching rapidly…

That’s the opening of my latest paper, The Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Privateers.

Hat tip to Jesse Walker at Hit and Run and Instapundit both of whom spotted this before me!


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