Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era

By Arthur Pierce Middleton; George Carrington Mason | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWELVE
Prizes and Privateers

ALTHOUGH possessed of no other navy than the royal warships assigned to the purely defensive task of convoying the tobacco fleet and protecting Chesapeake Bay, by means of private armed vessels Virginia and Maryland shared in the offensive against the French and Spanish on the high seas during the four Anglo-French wars from 1689 to 1763. These vessels, owned and operated by private capital, were officially commissioned by the colonial governors in their capacity as vice-admirals of their respective colonies to make war, capture, and destroy vessels belonging to the subjects of princes at war with Great Britain.

Private armed vessels, often called privateers (presumably a combination of "private" and "volunteer") or "letters of marque" (from their commissions) were issued commissions called "letters of marque and reprisal." Originally this commission authorized them to recover by means of depredations on enemy vessels a sum equal to the amount lost by or owed to the recipient by a subject or citizen of the enemy country. Later they were issued upon request to any vessel willing to prey upon enemy shipping.

Privateers played an important part in the wars of the eighteenth century; they augmented the number of warships of a nation without costing the treasury a penny. Later there was a distinction between a privateer and a letter of marque, the former being a private armed vessel whose main business was plunder, the latter primarily a trading vessel armed to resist attack and authorized to capture enemy vessels encountered en route. Privateers made "cruises," while letters of marque made "voyages." The similarity between privateering and piracy was recognized by King James I, who called the former "splendidum furtum."1

The nature of the privateer's activities, revolving as they did around plundering, was hardly distinguishable in practice from

-336-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents xi
  • Illustrations xii
  • Part I - Sea and Bay xiii
  • Chapter One - Ocean Passage *
  • Chapter Two - The Great Bay of Chesapeake 30
  • Chapter Three - Shoals and Shallows 60
  • Part II - Commerce 91
  • Chapter Four - The Tobacco Trade 93
  • Chapter Five - British and African Trade 133
  • Chapter Six - American and South-European Trade 178
  • Part III - Shipping 213
  • Chapter Seven - Ships and Shipbuilding 215
  • Chapter Eight - The Merchant Marine 244
  • Chapter Nine - Masters and Mariners 265
  • Part IV - Warfare 287
  • Chapter Ten - The Convoy System 289
  • Chapter Eleven - Defense of the Bay 310
  • Chapter Twelve - Prizes and Privateers 336
  • Part V - Conclusion 351
  • Chapter Thirteen - Conclusion 353
  • Footnotes 359
  • Abbreviations Used In Footnote Citations 361
  • Key to Short Titles In Footnote Citations 362
  • Footnotes 369
  • Bibliography 429
  • Appendices 453
  • Index 471
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 486

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.