Sarah Smith Emery was born in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1787. During the War of 1812 Emery and her husband dominated the Newburyport smuggling trade (we’ll talk about that probably next week). In 1879 her daughter published Sarah’s memoirs, entitled Reminiscences of a Nonagenarian. A large segment of the writings describe her exploits of smuggling Irish linen literally under the noses of local custom officers. However, Sarah’s writings also recount her daily experiences as a
If you’ve taken a tour with Untapped History, you know that we will often end the tour with stories about the exploits of Captain William Nichols, the famed Newburyport privateer from the War of 1812. Nichols was a nasty thorn in England’s side and was often referred to as the “John Paul Jones” or “Holy Terror” of American privateering. That said, shame on us for overlooking Captain Nichols’ Revolutionary War equal - Newburyport’s Captain Offin Boardman. Boardman was born in
In the Fall of 1774, most of Massachusetts was in the midst of wartime preparations against England. However, the military posturing was interrupted on November 21, 1774 when the Massachusetts coast was struck by a powerful nor’easter. The storm started off with heavy rains and an east by southeast wind. By midnight, the winds had veered to the northeast and reached gale strength. For the next five hours the storm battered the Massachusetts coastline. By the time the storm ha
With a pretty nasty snow storm bearing down on New England, we decided to examine an early 18th Century storm that is often cited in social media circles whenever a major winter storm rolls into town. “The Great Snow of 1717” was a series of snowstorms that pounded the Pennsylvania, New York and New England colonies between February 27, 1717 and March 7, 1717. By the time this event was over, the Northeast was buried in several feet of snow. The winter of 1716-1717 was alrea
Several months ago we discussed the defeat of the Newburyport Privateer Yankee Hero following a running battle with the HMS Milford. The engagement took place off the Massachusetts coast on June 6, 1776.
Since our posting, a common question we have received is “what happened to the crew of the Yankee Hero?”
According to official records from the Milford, four Americans were killed and twelve wounded during the battle. However the American newspaper Continental Journal r