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Avast! ‘Tis Talk Like a
PiratePrivateer Day! Behold: the “Saucy Jack”
During the War of 1812 a number of American ship owners engaged in what amounted to legalized piracy, known as privateering. It involved the “militia of the sea,” enterprising entrepreneurs and adventure seekers hoping to make their fortune on the open ocean at the expense of the enemy.
Records of their activity, including this commission, or letter of marque, from the aptly named Saucy Jack were uncovered by staff at the National Archives at Atlanta:One amazing little boat, and perhaps the most prolific southern privateer in the war, bore the perfect name: Saucy Jack. The Jack was the capturing vessel in over a dozen documented cases and by all accounts had an amazingly successful string of luck during the war. Or was it perhaps by the skill of her captain and crew? We might never know. We know tantalizingly little about this boat, but through the records of the Federal Courts and U.S. Customs, some of her deeds as an American privateer vessel live on.
Saucy Jack Commission, Saucy Jack vs Schooner Weazel and Cargo, Mixed Case Files 1790-1860, box 23, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia (Savannah); Records of the District Courts of the United States, Record Group 21, National Archives at Atlanta.
More Privateering Plunder via The Text Message » The War of 1812: Privateers, Plunder, & Profiteering →
September 11th 2001: 9/11 Terror Attacks
On this day in 2001, thirteen years ago today, two hijacked planes were crashed into the World Trade Center towers in New York City and another into the Pentagon building in Virginia. The Twin Towers collapsed and part of the Pentagon was badly damaged. A fourth plane was intended to strike the US Capitol Building in Washington DC but its passengers seized control from the hijackers and crashed the plane into a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people died on this terrible day and thousands more injured in the attacks which sent shockwaves around the world. The attacks were planned and carried out by members of the terrorist group al-Qaeda, and masterminded by Osama bin Laden, who was since been found and killed by US forces. The aftermath of the tragedy prompted greater focus on national security both in the US and abroad and contributed to the invasions of, and subsequent wars in, Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, thirteen years on, we remember the thousands of people who lost their lives on 9/11.
"America is under attack"
- White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card telling President Bush about the attacks
How do you think it will affect Hogwarts?
Will Scotland get its own School of Witchcraft and Wizardiry?
Moose in the mist.
There was a heavy fog in the river valley this morning in Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming. This large bull moose was spotted eating his breakfast of Pacific willow leaves and branches near Headquarters.
Photo: Tom Koerner/USFWS