A letter of marque from the king
Story by Stephen J. Thorne
It may have been the best investment Enos Collins, Benjamin Knaut and John and James Barss ever made.
The merchants of Liverpool, N.S., purchased Severn, a former American slave ship captured by the Royal Navy, in 1811 for a mere 420 British pounds (about C$53,000 today). Lucky for them, war broke out with the United States a few months later, and the boys were in business, big-time.
They renamed the Baltimore Clipper-style schooner Liverpool Packet, initially running mail between Liverpool and Halifax.