Salem Privateers and the War of 1812
September 19, 2012
Salem, like Massachusetts as a whole, was deeply divided over politics and the war. It was home to both Republicans and Federalists,
privateers and smugglers. Salem commissioned 43 cruisers, from great ships owned by merchant princes to open boats manned by unemployed sailors. Captain Michael Rutstein, author and owner and operator of Fame, a representation of a private schooner from the War of 1812, will discuss how Salem privateers prowled the seas from Norway to Brazil—and also patrolled the harbors of Massachusetts and Maine, searching out smugglers. Here are tales of generosity and greed, heroism and cowardice, astonishing luck and deep personal tragedy. *Book signing to follow the lecture.