During the Revolutionary War (1774 - 76) private vessels (privateers) were
commissioned by the colonial rebel government to prey on British commerce everywhere and
to capture, when possible, British ship. At the time of the Revolutionary War, Benjamin
Franklin was ambassador to France. He allowed to buy French built corsairs through an
important ship broker. These corsairs were the predecessors of the Baltimore Clippers. The
ships were painted black so as to be nearly invisible at night. They were named Black
Prince and Black Princess. The crew were Portuguese seamen but captained by an American.
They preyed on the British trade in English coastal waters and for over a year nearly
destroyed Britains trade with the rest of the world.
Privateer schooner 1775
(Sc. 1:57 L. 520 mm. H. 350 mm.)