• Brig Henry Captured By Pirates -- Part Of A Pattern That Included Cruelty To Crew By Ruffians In 1824

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    Manuscript Insurance Policy for the Brig Henry, captured by pirates of the Caribbean in1824.  8 1/4 x 10 1/2, 1 1/4 pp, with printed text, completed in manuscript with integral address leaf.

     

    In 1823, Walcott Weilbourne of the Eagle Insurance Company wrote a policy for the Brig Henry for $2500 on the vessel and $2500 on the cargo. On the verso of this sheet is a manuscript addendum stating that the Brig Henry had been captured by pirates and that Eagle Insurance was paying $2500 for the loss of the vessel, minus an “abatement” of $25. It is signed by Weilbourne himself.

     

    Volume 43 of the “US Naval Institute Proceedings” contains an article entitled, “Our Navy and the West Indian Pirates” in which the capture of the Henry is described, in part:

     

    “The British sloop of war Icarus, an expedition was fitted out in his boats, which proceeded to Baya Honda, on the 21st ult. succeeded in capturing two pirate vessels, and in killing several of the pirates. On the approach of the boats, the pirates, about 40 in number, fled into the bushes. On board one of the pirate vessels were confined and the captain and the crew of the brig Henry, of Hartford, Conn...The Henry was captured on the 16th ult. bound from a port in Mexico to Matanzas, with a cargo of mules. The captain and his crew were treated with the accustomed cruelty of those ruffians, and were designed to be killed the next day, after they had assisted in landing the mules. The Henry was dismasted and stripped. 

    “In the bay, were found the wrecks of 12 vessels, recently destroyed by the pirates, the crews of all of which are supposed to have been murdered. Some of the vessels were very large, and the British officers computed that their crews could not have consisted of a less number than one hundred and twenty persons Some of the crew of the Henry were told by the pirates, that all those vessels, 12 in number, had been captured and destroyed by them; and, upon being asked what had been done with their crews, they very significantly shrugged their shoulders, but gave no answer.”

     

    It seems that Capt. Graham arrived in the nick of time, since the pirates killed the crewmen from the vessels they captured earlier.

     

    Short tears along the folds, but no loss of text. Split at the bi-fold, but still intact. Very readable and a great example of pirate history.

     

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