Dart (privateer)

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United States
Name: Actress
Captured: July 18, 1812
United Kingdom
Name: Dart
Owner: Saint John, New Brunswick
Captured: October 22, 1813
General characteristics
Class and type: Sloop
Tons burthen: 47 tons
Length: 60 ft.
Beam: 18 ft.
Complement: Crew of 25
Armament: 4 carronades plus swivel guns. (Addition of a 12 pound carronade after its first voyage)[1][2]

The Dart was a privateer sloop out of Saint John, New Brunswick that was a notable privateer during the War of 1812. Dart took 11 prizes in her five-month run and two cruises before being captured by an American ship in October 1813. Dart is unique because a logbook of one of its voyages (May 22, 1813 to June 9, 1813) survives at the Dalhousie University Archives along with full crew lists and the articles of agreement at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia making Dart one of the best-documented privateer vessels of the War of 1812.[3] [4]


On July 18, 1812, the American vessel Actress was captured by the Royal Navy ship HMS Spartan. HMS Spartan took her to port in Saint John, New Brunswick as prize, where she remained until being auctioned off to new owners. She was renamed Dart and fitted with weapons to serve as a privateer. On May 4, 1813 she received her first letter of marque, and began stocking provisions for her first cruise under Captain John Harris. Dart met with success, bringing in three prizes by June 10, 1813.[5]

Dart received her second letter of marque on July 14, 1813 and undertook her second cruise this time under Captain James Ross. Again meeting with success, taking eight more prizes, Dart continued raiding the seas off the coast of Maine and Massachusetts until October 22, 1813, when she was captured by the U.S. revenue cutter Vigilant and returned to American ownership.[2]


  1. ^ "Privateer Sloop Dart 1813". Retrieved October 17, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Snider, C. H. J. (1928). Under the Red Jack: Privateers of the Maritime Provinces of Canada in the War of 1812. Toronto: Musson Book Company. pp. 52–83. 
  3. ^ Nova Scotia Archives. "A Journal of the Proceedings on board the Sloop Dart Privateer of St. John New Brunswick, John Harris Commander, commencing May 22th [sic], 1813, Dalhousie University Archives and Special Collections, William Inglis Morse Collection". Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  4. ^ Kert, Faye (2005). Trimming Yankee Sails: Pirates and Privateers of New Brunswick. Fredericton, New Brunswick: Goose Lane Editions. p. 44. 
  5. ^ Kert, p. 49