• Bill Of Lading For New Hampshire Brig. Tarantula Seized By Napoleon's Privateer Under Milan Decree In 1808

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    In the early part of the 19th century, the United States, France and Britain were involved with various acts aimed at crippling each other’s economies.  The United States was suffering from encroachments by British ships, which were attacking American ships and impressing their crews.  Jefferson requested that Congress pass the Embargo Act of 1807, which closed all American ports to export shipping and placed restrictions on imports from Great Britain.  NAPOLEAN I of France issued the Milan Decree on December 17, 1807, to enforce the Berlin Decree of 1806, which was aimed at defeating the British by waging economic warfare. The Milan Decree stated that no European country was to trade with the United Kingdom.  Napoleon justified the seizure of U.S. merchant ships by stating that he was assisting Jefferson in enforcing the Embargo Act.


    The BRIG TARANTULA of Portsmouth, NH, was captured by the French privateer Le Pere de Famille under the first article of the Milan decree on the ground that the brig had been visited by a British vessel-of-war.  The capture was made on February 2, 1808 and the Brig was condemned by the Council of Prizes at Paris on July 6, 1808.  (Research included)


    Only one year before her capture, the Brig Tarantula was handling a shipment of sugar from Havana to Philadelphia with its master John Riley.  Offering a very fine 5 ¾ x 10 ¾ 1807 Bill of Lading for that shipment. Exceptionally nice vignette of Poseidon.


    Light expected toning, else excellent condition.


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