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Findings from the Miscellaneous Personal Name Collection: Two Documents Reflect Cause, Resolution of the War of 1812

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Detail of 1812 Joshua Barney document. Note the total number of captives and their rank in the lower left cornerDetail of 1812 Joshua Barney document. Note the total number of captives and their rank in the lower left cornerIn 1812, the Royal Navy would capture and impress American sailors as a means of bolstering its personnel during the Napoleonic Wars. Irritated by this practice, the American Navy soon returned the favor.

This document, signed by Commander Joshua Barney of the schooner Rossie, contains a list of British captives, their rank, and their ship’s name. The document promises that the British sailors "are at Liberty to proceed to any British port, when it is expected, that the same number of Americans are released and set at Liberty to return to the United States."

Naval harassment between the United States and Great Britain contributed to the start of the War of 1812.

Detail of 1815 Jacob Barker letterDetail of 1815 Jacob Barker letterIn his 1815 letter, Jacob Barker writes to Daniel Tompkins, Governor of New York, providing him with the latest information about peace negotiations between England and the United States at Ghent.

Mr. Barker wrote "I have the pleasure to inform you that a Treaty of peace was signed on the 24th December, was ratified by the Prime Regent on the 29th and left England on the 2nd January in the British sloop of war Favorite, which vessel, has arrived at this port."

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