Privateers of the Americas
Spanish American Privateering from the United States in the Early Republic

David Head

The lucrative, extralegal business of privateering as a window into the Atlantic World

Reviews

"Head provides fascinating accounts of privateering in thoughtful and engaging prose. Appropriate for both university and public libraries."
—M.A. Burkholder, Choice

"All in all, Privateers of the Americas is a solid contribution to the literature regarding Spanish American privateering. Head has presented a fine distillation of the privateering enterprise. His research is admirable, his writing style is eminently readable, and his analysis of the workings of the business of Spanish American 'privateering' is unassailable."
—Fred Leiner, The Northern Mariner


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Description

Privateers of the Americas examines raids on Spanish shipping conducted from the United States during the early 1800s. These activities were sanctioned by, and conducted on behalf of, republics in Spanish America aspiring to independence from Spain. Among the available histories of privateering, there is no comparable work. Because privateering further complicated international dealings during the already tumultuous Age of Revolution, the book also offers a new perspective on the diplomatic and Atlantic history of the early American republic.

Seafarers living in the United States secured commissions from Spanish American nations, attacked Spanish vessels, and returned to sell their captured cargoes (which sometimes included slaves) from bases in Baltimore, New Orleans, and Galveston and on Amelia Island. Privateers sold millions of dollars of goods to untold numbers of ordinary Americans. Their collective enterprise involved more than a hundred vessels and thousands of people—not only ships’ crews but investors, merchants, suppliers, and others. They angered foreign diplomats, worried American officials, and muddied U.S. foreign relations.

David Head looks at how Spanish American privateering worked and who engaged in it; how the U.S. government responded; how privateers and their supporters evaded or exploited laws and international relations; what motivated men to choose this line of work; and ultimately, what it meant to them to sail for the new republics of Spanish America. His findings broaden our understanding of the experience of being an American in a wider world.

Series/imprint:
Early American Places

Page count: 224
8 b&w photos, 3 tables, 2 maps
Trim size: 6 x 9

 



Hardcover
List price: $64.95
978-0-8203-4400-3
10/1/2015

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Paper
List price: $24.95
978-0-8203-4864-3
10/1/2015

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Ebook
List price: $24.95
978-0-8203-4865-0
10/1/2015
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David Head is a lecturer at the University of Central Florida.