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South Shore Regional School Board
The Liverpool Packet
The Liverpool Packet was originally a Spanish slave ship that was captured and turned into a privateer ship that helped protect Canada from the Americans during the War of 1812. Both its captain and owner played an important role in the war as well as making a lot of money. This money was eventually used to start a bank which is now known as CIBC.
What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?
The <em>Liverpool Packet</em> had a huge impact on merchant shipping and commerce along the New England Coast between 1812–1814. Her captain and crew successfully brought home over 50 prize ships with their cargoes totalling between $262,000 and $1,000,000. The success of the <em>Liverpool Packet</em> allowed her part owner Enos Collins to help create The Halifax Banking Company which eventually merged with the Canadian Bank of Commerce and later the Imperial Bank of Canada to form CIBC, one of the “Big 5” Canadian banking institutions. I think CIBC should consider using privateers and the <em>Liverpool Packet</em> in its advertising instead of Percy the Penguin.
What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?
Privateers are patriots NOT pirates – privateers played an important role in the outcome of the War of 1812. By interfering with merchant shipping along the east coast, privateer ships like The <em>Liverpool Packet</em> helped to defeat the Americans in the war by cutting off needed supplies. Privateer vessels helped to shorten the war between the United States and British North America, and had they not been so successful, the outcome of the war could have been very different. Instead of a maple leaf and a Prime Minister we could be flying the Stars and Stripes and shaking hands with President Trump.
How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?
As a boy in 1812, I would try to get a job as a cabin boy on a privateering vessel. Being a privateer would keep me safe from impressment (or being conscripted into the British Navy), and it would be more exciting than working a farm or fishing. My duties would include helping the cook, cleaning the deck, carrying messages from the captain and doing any chores the captain or crew assigned me. As a member of the crew I would receive a share of the prize when a captured ship and cargo were sold at auction. The captain would usually get 8-10 shares of the prize while a cabin boy like me would only earn half a share. Hopefully I would be able to save my money and learn enough about sailing to one day captain a ship of my own.