During the late 1790’s many American whalers were seized by French privateers, throwing the whaling industry into a turmoil. After the Louisiana Purchase, many of the indemnities incurred were settled but some cases lingered for years. This rare original writer’s copy letter, written by Gorham Coffin of Nantucket in 1845 to US Senator George McDuffie pleads the claims of several islanders, naming their vessels, who had not been recompensed.
This letter is quoted in Alexander Starbuck, History of the American Whale Fishery and the claims, known as “French Spoliations” are noted by Edouard A. Stackpole in Whales and Destiny and The Sea Hunters. SORRY SOLD