Treasure Chest Thursday – Capt William Moore Shackford of Ship Roberts Shares Updates of 1811 War between England and France (Blog 356)

Here’s a great example of how the news traveled from ship captains to newspapers in 1811 back in the times before telegraphs or telephones.  We believe that the Captain Shackford of the ship Roberts is Captain William Moore Shackford  This ship seems to sometimes be listed as the Robert and other times as the Roberts.

Capt Shackford of Roberts Shares News of War Cooperstown Federalist., April 20, 1811, Page 3, Image 3

NEW YORK, April 12

Latest from Lisbon – The ship Roberts, Shackford arrived here from New-Orleans, spoke on the 7th of April, in latitude 37,80, longitude 74, the brig Heroine, of and for Norfolk, 25 days from Lisbon the captain of which vessel informed, that there had been a movement in the armies, and that the English were in close pursuit of the French, who were on a precipitate retreat.  The wind blowing very bad, capt Shackford could not get any further particulars.


Cooperstown Federalist, April 20, 1811, NYS Historic Newspapers,, accessed 24 Sept 2016

Note:  A List of Cargo for Ship Roberts, Capt Shackford, sold to Samuel Lyle in New Orleans on account Dec 5, 1812 is in file 93-6 at the Harvard Law School Library in the file of the Law Office of Robert and Theodore Sedgwick III, Esqs.Call No HOLLIS 5999640.  It would be interesting to learn what cargo was aboard the ship!

Also in the New Hampshire Fire and Marine Insurance Papers at the Portsmouth Athanaeum, there is a letter from W. M. Shackford abandoning this ship to the insurance company because of declaration of war. That letter would be fascinating to read! (yes, we were just there but finding this letter is now on my list of items to research on a return trip)