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Falklands and privateer/pirate captain David Jewett 1820 adventure

Tuesday, October 27th 2020 - 08:25 UTC
Full article 20 comments
According to historian Dr. Graham Pascoe, Argentina did not instruct Captain David Jewett to take possession of the Falklands According to historian Dr. Graham Pascoe, Argentina did not instruct Captain David Jewett to take possession of the Falklands

In response to Argentina’s planned commemorations of the 200th anniversary of the visit to the Falklands by the privateer captain David Jewett in 1820 and his purported “taking of possession” of the Islands for Argentina, historian Graham Pascoe has released the paper ‘David Jewett’s visit to the Falklands, 1820-21: no valid “possession-taking.” Dr. Pascoe notes in his abstract that before David Jewett arrived he had captured a neutral Portuguese ship, and he captured another neutral US ship in the Islands.

The Falklands historian writes: The capture of neutral ships ended his role as a privateer (privateers were legally entitled to capture only enemy ships in time of war) and made him into a pirate. Accordingly, his ship and his successor as captain, William Mason, were later condemned for piracy by a Portuguese prize court; their ship was confiscated and sold, and Mason and the crew were imprisoned in Lisbon.

Pirates were outlaws everywhere in the world, and all their actions were illegal. So there was no valid “possession-taking” of the Falklands in 1820, despite anything Argentina may say.

The Argentine government did not order David Jewett to take possession of the Falklands, and in the long report he wrote from Port Louis in February 1821 he did not mention that he had taken possession of the islands. If he had had orders to do so, he would not have omitted to mention that he had carried his orders out. Argentina only found out that he had claimed the Falklands because of reports in the English-language press, which were not published in Buenos Aires until 10 November 1821, just over a year after the event.

Jewett left Argentine service in 1822 and moved to Brazil, where he became a bitter enemy of Argentina

Top Comments

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  • Roger Lorton

    200 years? Argentina did not exist in 1820. Not to the world. Unrecognised. Still a Spanish colony. Revolted. Revolting. First de facto recognition would only come in 1824 (USA & UK).

    Jewett claimed for a non-existent State (United Provinces of South America), and then, strangely, failed to tell Buenos Aires (there was no United provinces of the Rio de la Plata between 1820 & 1826 - no central government, no President).

    All in all - of no consequence.

    Oct 27th, 2020 - 11:25 am +6
  • Scotsboy1

    @Think - you see this? There was never any legitimate claim to the Falklands by Argentina, ever!

    Oct 27th, 2020 - 01:04 pm +5
  • Dirk Dikkler

    Argentine Claim what Claim is that then !!! as “Roger”, would say “They were Never in the Game”.

    Oct 27th, 2020 - 03:33 pm +4
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