The origin of these sea raiders, their exploits in their ""golden age"", the War of 1812, and their final disappearance as Civil War blockade runners comprise the subject of this book. Privateers were not pirates but the difference between them was at times indistinguishable. In the War of 1812, their nuisance value was high and their deeds hair-raising, but their effect on the outcome of the War was small. Compact and readable, this account of a romantic period in American naval history will appeal to arm-chair navigators and non-privateering yachtsmen. Students of history will value it for its excellent bibliography.