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2012 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III - Session IV

Pirates with Paperwork or Hometown Heros?: Colonial Privateers, Colonial Newspapers, and the War of Jenkins' Ear

Pamela Celata Abstract: 2012 Masters level Graduate Conference This paper will discuss the difference between pirates and privateers. In maritime history privateers are consistently lumped in with either pirates or briefly mentioned in passing by naval and maritime historians. However privateers deserve their own history separate from both pirates and naval history. The history of privateers is rich. Privateering originated in the middle ages a underwent numerous developments and legal changes over the course of centuries into its use as a means of economic warfare during colonial and trade wars between European powers. The most well-documented and written about privateers of the Elizabethan period, including famous Francis Drake, enjoy most historical attention. Privateering played a critical role in later colonial conflicts in particular those between Britain and Spain which led to the legalization of colonial privateers. Using newspapers during the time period of the War of Jenkins’ Ear, starting in 1739, and rolling into King George’s War, 1744-1748 part of the large War of Austrian Succession, to access opinions and the conceptualization of privateers in their own time this paper will separate privateers from their traditionally adjoined history with pirates and create a unique understanding of privateers as their own category in maritime history and role in colonial media.

Presenter: Pamela Celata (SUNY Brockport) --
Topic: History II - Panel
Location: 218 Hartwell
Time: 9:20 am (Session I)