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OCT. 22, 1915.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1856, by
EDWARD 0. JENKINS, PRINTER AND STEREOTYPER,
26 Frankfori St., N. Y.
Although far advanced on the voyage of life, and sensible of the magnitude of the work he has undertaken, yet the author of this volume felt that his duty was unperformed while the History of the American Privateers and Letters-of-Marque remained unwritten.
High places in the temple of fame have been justly awarded to very many, who, in the national employment, have achieved exploits not more brilliant, displayed courage not more daring, seamanship not more masterly, coolness in danger not more remarkable than abound in the records of the private armed service.
But the brave and patriotic men who adorned that service, instead of being awarded a proud niche in that temple, have encountered neglect, and even obloquy. No testimonials of national gratitude have rewarded their blood-bought victories, and their invaluable services in crippling the resources of the common enemy. But their motives have been assailed, and cupidity and a desire for booty imputed to them as the impulses which led to their bold achievements.
It has been the object of the author to vindicate their characters, as well as to record their triumphs. If
he fails to prove that their purposes were elevated and patriotic, and that they were most efficient in weakening the arm of our powerful and inveterate adversary, he has failed to do justice to his theme, and to the truth of history. He could have wished that the subject had fallen into abler hands ; but he can, at least, bring to it fidelity of statement, and knowledge derived from his personal intimacy and frequent communication, both at home and abroad, with many of the commanders of Privateers and Letters-of-Marque, during the war, and since.
He has been aided much in his collection of facts by information received from the Captains and Officers of the United States Navy, especially from Commodores Hull and Stewart, as well as from other intelligent gentlemen who bore an active part in the great conflict between the two nations. He has also found in
He has also found in many of the newspapers and other periodicals of 1812, 1813, and 1814, valuable official and statistical documents, especially in the excellent and accurate Register of Mr. Niles, published at Baltimore. Many of the facts recorded in these pages will also be found verified by Cooper's History of the United States Navy.
The author, himself, commanded, during the war, two Letters-of-Marque, the Schooners “ David Porter” and
Leo," and at this late day, recollects almost all the important incidents of the war as distinctly as though they had occurred within the last two years.
It has been the author's aim to give the name of every Privateer and Letter-of-Marque which sailed from