Any skirmishes between Brits and Americans in the PNW?

Discussion in 'War of 1812' started by hyuzu, Sep 17, 2019.

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  1. Sep 17, 2019 #1

    hyuzu

    hyuzu

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    I'm aware that one of the reasons the PFC sold out its assets in the Oregon Country was because of concerns over the more numerous British population in the region. While this was a peaceable event, I am aware of skirmishes between American and British privateers and merchantment farther out into the Pacific. Given that 1812-1815 was within the heyday of both American and British ships plying the maritime fur trade route in the PNW, did either side send privateers to attack this shipping off the northwest coast? Or were there any land-based encounters between Americans and Brits in the Pacific Northwest that turned violent?
     
  2. Sep 17, 2019 #2

    DaveC

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  3. Sep 18, 2019 #3

    tenngun

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    The USS Essex was sent to destroy British whaling in the pacific (inspiration for the Master and Commander movie) and America floated a lot of privateers out during the 1812.
    But....
    privateers need to turn a quick profit. Their crews signed on for a percentage of the take, not regular pay. And it would take about five months just to sail to the hunting grounds. There were lots of fat prizes just a few weeks away in the Caribbean, African coast, or Scandinavia coast.
     
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  4. Sep 18, 2019 #4

    hyuzu

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    @tenngun I remember hearing of the Essex before, that was actually what I was thinking of when I mentioned privateers in the Pacific. It's an interesting story that I should know more about...

    Fair point about the distance needed for privateers to sail over to the Northwest coast. I had just figured that if there were privateers (like the Essex) already in the Pacific, it might have been worth it for them to try and hit the fur trade shipping routes. The transport of furs from the Pacific Northwest to China and then of China goods back to the west was a very profitable business back then (we're talking profits of 250%), so I had thought those fur trade vessels might have been enticing targets for any privateers already on that side of the world. From the info DaveC posted, it seems the idea of privateers attacking fur trade operations wasn't off the table...
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  5. Sep 18, 2019 #5

    tenngun

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    There would certainly be money to be had.
     

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