Tag Archives: Chasseur

On January 19, 1814, Captain William Wade and the Chasseur  sailed from Port Deposit and escaped the British blockade of the Chesapeake Bay:

At half past meridian got under way from Point Look Out, and stood down the bay.  Left the U.S. frigate Adams at anchor.  At 3 P.M. discovered three sail standing up the bay by the wind—immediately beat to quarters and cleared ship for action.  At 20 m. past 3, spoke the headmost, which proved to be a schooner from Norfolk for Baltimore—received from her information of the number and situation of the enemy below; hove too until dark.  Off New Point, he heard the report of a gun; we supposed it to be the Admiral’s 8 o’clock gun; passed one 74 and two brigs at anchor. – At 10 P.M. discovered two large ships at anchor in the Middle Channel—supposed them to be frigates; hauled our wind and run close in with Cape Henry; finding we were not perceived, made sail and went to sea.

From the journal of the Chasseur, excerpted in Baltimore American, June 2nd, 1814, Maryland Historical Society.

Captain William Wade left Baltimore on January 15 and found little success as a privateer in the first several months of 1814. When Thomas Boyle (still making his way back to Baltimore after a bruising battle with the Hibernia) took over as commander in July, the Chasseur embarked on a remarkable cruise to the British Isles, capturing an astonishing number of prizes,  and earning the nickname the “Pride of Baltimore” from the Niles Weekly Register.

Special thanks to Baltimore Heritage volunteer Dennis Lilly and the Maryland Historical Society for helping us share excerpts from the ship’s log from now through April. Continue to follow along for more updates on William Wade, Thomas Boyle and the Chasseur in the months ahead!

Advertisement: For Sale… the Privateer Schooner Chasseur, now ready to sail

For Sale
American and Commercial Daily Advertiser, January 13, 1814

On January 13, 1814, Thomas Kemp advertised the “Privateer Schooner Chasseur” for sale and Captain William Wade prepared to take the ship out on its first cruise. Built by Thomas Kemp for local merchant William Hollins, the Chassuer launched on December 12, 1812 but failed miserably in two attempts to evade the British blockade of the Chesapeake on commercial ventures with the second trip ending in mutiny.

Captain William Wade took command in February 1813 after the ship received a privateer commission and brought recent experience privateering as a second officer on the Comet under Captain Thomas Boyle. The Chasseur weighed almost twice as much as the Comet (resting in Puetro Rico after a damaging fight with the Hibernia just days earlier) and already had a reputation as one of the fastest top sail schooners built to date. Even with Wade’s experience and the ship’s speed, getting past the British might be a difficult task.