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War of 1812, privateer, prize law, Baltimore, South American Revolution, international trade, pirate, merchants, captain, Joseph Almeida, early 19th century, violation of neutrality laws, United States, Spain, Great Britain, Buenos Aires, Carthagena, Venezuela, Island of Margaritta, the Arrogante Barcelones, the Kemp, the Congresso, the Louisa, Don Juan Bautista Bernabeu, John Purviance, Judge Theodorick Bland, James H. McCulloh, Elias Glen, John Quincy Adams, William H. Winder, David Hoffman, Justice William Johnson


The case of The Arrogante Barcelones involved a complicated story of facts, due in part to the cunningness of one of the main players, Joseph Almeida. Almeida’s maneuvers make sense when viewed through the lens of nineteenth century Baltimore, the War of 1812, and U.S. citizens’ involvement in South American privateering. At first glance, this case seems to hinge on issues regarding the validity of Almeida’s commission, the authority of the condemnation, and the sufficiency of the documentation produced to prove it. However, the United States Supreme Court ultimately avoids untangling those maritime issues and instead bases its opinion in a more unusual category of law, opening up issues still relevant to that subject today.


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