Liverpool front and centre in national magazine

By Observer Staff

Liverpool’s privateering past is explored in an eight-page feature article in the latest issue of Canada’s History magazine.

Written by University of King’s College professor Dean Jobb, “Pirates for Hire” recalls the exploits of Liverpool privateer captains Joseph Barrs Jr. and Enos Collins, as well as local vessels like the Packet and the Rover. The article is given top billing on the magazine’s cover (see below).


Jobb’s feature includes photos from the Queens County Museum and quotes from its director, Linda Rafuse. It provides a historical overview of East Coast privateering, discusses Stan Rogers’ famous song “Barrett’s Privateers” and explains the key difference between a pirate and a privateer.

Jobb notes how, in the early days of the War of 1812, Barss and the Liverpool Packet were “reviled” along the coast of New England. “In the summer and fall of 1812,” he writes, “Barss and his forty-man crew scooped up dozens of American merchant vessels, including eleven in one week that October. He later commandeered nine fishing schooners in a single day.”

Canada’s History was founded in 1920 and is the official magazine of Canada’s National History Society. Single issues, including the one containing “Pirates for Hire,” can be ordered here.