On our journey of researching which ships belong to which Shackford sea captains, we found Captain Josiah Shackford mentioned in the American State Papers from 1803 where the senate and President are reviewing the issue of impressment of seamen by agents of foreign nations. Wikipedia defines impressment as “the act of taking men into a military or naval force by compulsion, with or without notice.” The papers show that 43 individuals were impressed in 1803.
The document lets us know that Josiah Shackford, the master of the Schooner Recovery was sailing off the coast of Holland in July 1803 near an island called Texel when three men who were native Americans and residents of New York, Joseph Simonds and Sylvester Pendleton and John Table, a black man were taken off his ship by the British Sloop Harpy and impressed into British service.
We’re confident that the Josiah Shackford referred to in this document was born 1747 to William and Susannah (Downing) Shackford, the only other Josiah who would have been of age to captain a ship was born in 1767 and remained in New Hampshire. He had been a privateer in 1798 and continued to sail the Recovery, delivering gin from Amsterdam to New York harbor in October of 1803.
We don’t know what happened to Josiah’s crew members who were impressed
COPY OF THE SOURCE DOCUMENT
IMPRESSMENT OF AMERICAN SEAMEN.
COMMUNICATED TO CONGRESS, DECEMBER 5, 1803
Abstract of impressments of seamen belonging to American vessels, by the agents of foreign nations.
Joseph Simonds, and Sylvester Pendleton native Americans and residents of New York, and John Table, a black man, impressed about the 7th of July, off the Texel, from the American schooner Recovery, Josiah Shackford, master, into the British sloop of war Harpy, Edmund Heywood commander. Without protection.
“GIN,” Commercial Advertiser (New York, New York), 7 October 1803; digital images, America’s Historical Newspapers (infoweb.newsbank.com : accessed 11 March 2014).
Lowrie Walter and Mathew St. Clair Clark, American State Paper. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, From the First Session of the First to the Third Session of the Thirteenth Congress, Inclusive Volume II (Washington: Gales and Seaton, 1832), page 594; digital images, Google Books (https://books.google.com : accessed 17 August 2016.