Readers Respond

Privateers are not a pirates

While we thank The Sun for letting the public know that Fell's Point is celebrating Privateer Day, we note that once again you totally misunderstand what it represents and, in the process, continue to insult the memory of some truly great American war veterans, our 1812 privateers ("'ARRR' and stuff," April 15).

Here's one online quote: "One of Baltimore's oldest neighborhoods embraces its privateering past with a three-day celebration of all things pirate (peg legs and shoulder parrots optional)."


Yes, to the first part, we do celebrate our privateer past on Privateer Day. They were brave sailors who, duly authorized by our government and proudly flying the stars and stripes, fought to keep us free from Britain. They succeeded admirably.

But a big no to the second part. You can't and we don't celebrate war heroes who died for us with the "pirate" part.


They do hold a separate "Pyrate Invasion" on the same weekend. And it's fun and people like it. Wonderful.

But please check your history books (as journalists, the facts should matter to you). The privateers were not pirates. They were patriots. The U.S. Navy Reserve counts them as their forbears. In all the written history of this distinguished port there has never been a single pirate ship here. (Except the fantasy one there now. Try a cruise, they're good fun.)

Next year, please try to get this right. For history's sake.

David Johnson, Baltimore