Tartar (1813 privateer)

Tartar was an unsuccessful American privateer schooner during the War of 1812. She was launched in 1813 and was driven ashore and destroyed on her maiden voyage at the end of the year, not having captured anything.

United States
Name: Tartar
Owner: James & William Bosley (of New York)
Builder: Talbot County, Maryland
Launched: 1813
Commissioned: 7 December 1813
Fate: Wrecked 20 or 22 December 1813
General characteristics [1]
Tons burthen: 276 (bm)
Length: 102 ft 6 in (31.2 m)
Beam: 25 ft (7.6 m)
Depth of hold: 10 ft (3.0 m)
Sail plan: Schooner
Complement: 47 men[Note 1]
Armament: 4 × 18-pounder + 6 × 9-pounder guns[Note 2]

Tartar was launched in late 1813 and reportedly cost her owners $50,000.[4] Captain Edward Veazy (or Veasey, or Veazey) took command a few days after 9 November, and received his letter of marque one month later.[2][Note 3][Note 4] She had been out two weeks when a fierce storm on 20 December drove her aground on an off-shore bank near Cape Henry, Virginia. Six of her crew froze to death before the survivors could reach shore the next morning.[2][4]

American accounts report that Royal Navy brigs came up on the morning of the 22nd and started firing on the survivors on shore and the two companies of Virginia militia that had arrived on the scene. By evening the Americans could no longer hold off the British, who sent in boats to destroy Tartar.[2] British records credit the 74-gun HMS Dragon, Captain Robert Barrie, with destroying her on 22 December.[Note 5]

Notes, citations, and references


  1. When Tartar sailed she had only 47 men aboard as so many privateers had recently left Baltimore there was a shortage of seamen. She gathered some more crew by calling at various ports as she cruised.[2]
  2. A British account of her destruction reported her armament as 18 guns.[3]
  3. In 1812 Veasey was captain of the letter-of-marque Baltimore, which the Royal Navy captured in October.
  4. Emmons conflates this Tartar with an earlier, New York-based schooner of 160 tons (bm).[3][5]
  5. Head money was finally paid in June 1829. A first-class share (i.e., Barrie's), was worth £72 18sd; a sixth-class share, that of an ordinary seaman, was worth 4s 2½d.[6]


  1. Cranwell & Crane (1940), p. 396.
  2. Cranwell & Crane (1940), pp. 270-275.
  3. Emmons (1853), p. 194.
  4. Kert (2015), p. 72.
  5. Kert (2015), Appendix 2.
  6. "No. 18581". The London Gazette. 2 June 1829. p. 1008.


  • Coggeshall, George (1856) History of the American Privateers, and Letters-Of-Marque. (New York).
  • Cranwell, John Philips, & William Bowers Crane (1940) Men of marque; a history of private armed vessels out of Baltimore during the War of 1812. (New York, W.W. Norton & Co.).
  • Emmons, George Foster (1853) The navy of the United States, from the commencement, 1775 to 1853; with a brief history of each vessel’s service and fate ... Comp. by Lieut. George F. Emmons ... under the authority of the Navy Dept. To which is added a list of private armed vessels, fitted out under the American flag ... also a list of the revenue and coast survey vessels, and principal ocean steamers, belonging to citizens of the United States in 1850. (Washington: Gideon & Co.)
  • Kert, Faye M. (2015) Privateering: Patriots and Profits in the War of 1812. (Johns Hopkins University Press). ISBN 9781421417479
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