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LOST SHIPS AND LONELY SEAS

from house to house to beg money enough to ransom or buy his shipmates held in Barbary.

The old records note many such incidents, as that in 1700:

 

Benjamin Alford and William Bowditch related that their friend Robert Carver was taken nine years before a captive into Sallee, that contributions had been made for his redemption, that the money was in the hands of a person here, and that if they had the disposal of it they could release Carver.

 

The expansion of American trade in far-distant waters which swiftly followed the Revolution increased the number of disasters of this kind, and among the old narratives of the sea that were written about 1800 no theme is more frequent, and few so tragic, as the sufferings of the survivors of some gallant American ship which laid her bones among the breakers of the African coast. These personal experiences, simply and movingly written by some intelligent master or mate and printed as thin books or pamphlets, were among the "best sellers" of their day when the world of fact was as wildly romantic as the art of fiction was able to weave for later generations.

Among these briny epics of the long ago is the story of Captain Judah Paddock and his crew of the ship Oswego. She sailed from Cork in March,