Pirate Ship “Black Prince”
The first ship to gain Benjamin Franklin’s American privateering commission was the “Black Prince”, a French-owned vessel so named for it’s black hull and near-legendary prowess and speed as a rumrunner. The Black Prince was crewed by Irish smugglers who would split the profits from the venture with the vessel’s owner. Franklin himself took no profit from privateering. His sole interest lay in the procurement of British prisoners for trade.
The Black Prince underwent extensive improvements to prepare her for this daunting task of Benjamin Franklin’s. She was approximately sixty-five feet in length by twenty feet in her beam (width). Her hold was retrofitted to accommodate fifty or more hammocks and small sleeping cubbyholes for her officers. She was armed with sixteen 4-pounder guns and thirty swivels.
The Black Prince enjoyed a brilliant solo career, capturing an impressive thirty-five vessels before being joined by the…
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