Cover

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Title page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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List of Illustrations, Tables, and Maps

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p. xi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xv

The backbone of this book’s research comes from the case files of the U.S. federal courts, now held by the National Archives, and I would like to thank the staffs of the NARA branches I visited in Waltham, Philadelphia, College Park, Atlanta, and Fort Worth. I was first alerted...

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Introduction: Captain Chaytor’s Dilemma

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pp. 1-12

In January 1816, the brig Mammoth, James Chaytor master, rode at anchor near Cape Henry, Virginia, waiting for a wind. The vessel was bound from Baltimore to Buenos Aires, with munitions for the independent armies battling Spain, and with French dry goods for the civilians...

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1. Diplomacy with Spain and Spanish America

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pp. 13-37

In the spring of 1819, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams was angry with the Supreme Court. In a case involving piracy committed against a British ship by the crew of a Buenos Aires privateer that had ended up in the United States, the Court had ruled that U.S. piracy...

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2. New Orleans and Barataria

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pp. 38-62

On September 3, 1814, the Royal Navy sloop Sophie dropped anchor off Louisiana and Captain Nicholas Lockyer set out in the ship’s boat with a packet of letters addressed to “Monsieur Lafite—or the Commandant at Barataria.” In preparing to assault America’s Gulf Coast...

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3. Baltimore

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pp. 63-91

In September 1816, a group of Baltimore businessmen organized a Spanish American privateering venture under the leadership of a sea captain lately arrived from Buenos Aires named Thomas Taylor. A native of Delaware, Taylor had gone to sea in his youth and ended...

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4. Galveston and Amelia Island

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pp. 92-121

New Orleans customs collector Beverly Chew had bad news for the secretary of the treasury in the summer of 1817. “I deem it my duty to state,” he wrote, “that the most shameful violations of the slave act, as well as our revenue laws, continue to be practiced” by men sailing...

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5. Service and Toil in Spanish America

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pp. 122-148

As the Wars of Independence drew to a close, James Chaytor was back in South America, and even though he had aided the victory, he was unhappy. Chaytor had been invited to assume a position in the Colombian navy, but after arriving in Bogota to take office...

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Conclusion: Captain Chaytor Comes Home

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pp. 149-152

In 1828, Captain Chaytor came home from the sea. At first, he opened a business based on his sailing experience and knowledge of Spanish America. Taking out an advertisement in the Baltimore Patriot, he offered his services as agent in any and all commercial transactions...

Notes

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pp. 153-196

Index

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pp. 197-203