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"A Nest of Pirates"
Baltimore was the home port of many of the most famous and successful of the privateers, including Joshua Barney's Rossie which reportedly took 15 British vessels worth over 1,500,000 in one year. The British so hated Baltimore they called the city "a nest of pirates."
Estimates suggest that over 500 privateers were commissioned during the War of 1812, of which at least 122 were commissioned in Baltimore. During the War, fifty-five Baltimore vessels were lost to the British Navy or to the sea. Baltimore privateers captured 556 British ships, of which 169 finally made it to port for adjudication.
In 1812, Baltimore's population was about 55,000 people. Of these, between 4,250 and 7,500 individuals were directly connected with privateering from the great merchants who purchased the shares to build and outfit the schooners, to the newspapers who printed the advertisements of the sale of captured goods.
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