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Col. Richard Somers Chapter, New Jersey Society, Sons of the American Revolution

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April 10, 2008
Dottie Kinsey, resident historian of Hamilton Township and curator of the Little Red School House, in Mays Landing, began her discussion on Privateering by describing conditions as they were in 1776. Ship building was big in Mays Landing. The Continental Navy had only 31 ships and the British Navy had blockaded New York, Philadelphia and the other large seaports.

Private ship captains were encouraged to become Privateers. With a Letter of Marque and Reprisal, a Captain could arm his ship and seize British ships and arrest their crews. A very lucrative business for many.
Dottie’s ancestor, William Treen, was one of these Captains that served the American cause during the Revolution. Captain Treen had four ships altogether, three of the ships were: the Rattlesnake, Fame and Unity. Privateer's had to provide a list of all captured ships and cargo. They were paid a percentage of the captured cargos. Chestnut Neck was a primary point of entry. Mays Landing was a secondary point of entry for the Continentals during the Revolution. The British didn’t know about the Great Egg Harbor River.
Dottie then passed around a copy of a Letter of Marque, a cannon ball and a pistol, from the period. After a great presentation, Bill Schmitz awarded Dottie the SAR Outstanding Citizenship Award.