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American Privateers
In the late 18th Century, privateers were ships commissioned by governments to pillage, steal and burn merchant vessels. But few people know during the Revolutionary war one band of privateers were sailed directly under the orders of one of our greatest statesmen: Benjamin Franklin.
About the Show
A lost piece of American history may have been uncovered deep in the sea — a shipwreck thought to have belonged to a fleet of American privateers. In the late 18th century, the Irish Sea was a cauldron of kidnapping, thievery and unrepentant skullduggery. Governments, including the nascent US, hired sea raiders, or “privateers,” to pillage and steal from merchant vessels. Is it possible that this ship was on a mission from Benjamin Franklin to capture British sailors to exchange for American prisoners?


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