The capture of the "Carolina"

An extract of the letter written by "citizen" Pelletier (or Peltier), a captain steering the corsair ship "Le Hussard", dated from Ste Croix, Tenerif Island on january 16th, 1799.

To the "citizen" Basterreche brothers, shipowners in Bayonne, France.

On january 7th, 1799, we caught sight of a three-mast ship very early in the morning; she was steering W, S-W, being located four leagues from us; I at once chased her and was at midday close to her, she was an American 10-gun 6-pounders ship, who, without waiting for my addressing her, shot towards us; as I didn't know their grounds, I forcefully retorked, from as near them as possible, a little game which lasted for three quarters of an hour, a time at the end of which they capitulated, after fighting with a praiseworthy courage, considering the strength of the ship.

The American captain on board informed me that America had declared war against France, that he had a commission as a corsair with him; I at once took over his ship and asked him to sail next to us; the ship we are talking about is called "La Carolina", coming from London, going to Charleston, with a cargo of English goods, both food and other sorts of useful products as well, all the bills of lading being checked, carefully read and specifying the number of the chests and boxes, Maller, Boëter Company only, not to mention the first-class quality of the goods being stocked inside them; according to the captain, all that is valued about 20.000 Ponti.

As to me, only one of my men has been wounded,we found a cannon ball in the top mast and a few of the zigging were cut off.

I assure the preceding extract to be true.

In Paris, on Febuary 24th, 1799

signed: Basterreche.

Translated by Brigitte de La Maduère