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[p. 26] Benjamin Rich of Boston. On April 30, 1814, the commander, Nathaniel Snow, and others brought libel for condemnation in the United States court at Boston for one case of goods taken from the ‘Union’ ‘which she did seize, take and capture, mounting ten carriage guns, and about 280 tons burthen with a cargo of cotton, coffee and various other articles of merchandise. The case of goods in question contained lace shawls, dresses and handkerchiefs which brought $1800 at auction.’1

In the last part of 1814 she with two other lettersof-marque was sent by the Boston China Merchants to carry instructions to their fleet which was blockaded at Whampoa. She captured a prize off Lintin on the way out which she sent into Macao with a prize crew.2 A letter from Captain Edes of the Rambler, dated Canton, December 6, says: ‘Our prize (the ship “Arabella” ) arrived at Macao the same day we arrived at Canton and was taken possession of by the Portuguese government and given up to the British Admiral on this station. I have protested against this proceeding, and hope a proper representation will be made to the Portuguese government, who ought in justice to pay us the amount she was insured for (60,000 ruples eighteen days out). I also captured the British brig “Madeira,” took out 75 casks of wine, and gave her up.’3

The three letters-of-marque delivered their orders to the merchant vessels to remain until peace was declared. They then loaded with rich cargoes and dropped down river from Whampoa on a dark night, the 18th of January, 1815. They passed two British men-of-war and about twenty armed East Indiamen, which fired on them by the aid of blue lights. Keeping together on the voyage home, they arrived at Boston after peace was declared, on May 3 and 4, 1815, and sold their cargoes at high prices.

1 Federal Court Records, Boston.

2 Morison. ‘Maritime History of Massachusetts.’

3 Coggeshall. ‘History of American Privateers in the War of 1812.’

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