Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 91
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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 91
 
  The seafaring folk, or those whose business was connected with theirs, formed the bulk of New York's white population. The poor man went to sea in the vessel the richer man built or owned or commanded; and where the one risked life and limb, the other at least risked his fortune and future. Many of the ventures were attended with great danger even in times of peace. Besides the common risks of storm and wreck, other and peculiar perils were braved by the ships that sailed for the Guinea Coast, to take part in the profitable but hideously brutal and revolting trade for slaves. The traffic with the strange coast cities of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean likewise had dangers all its own. Pirate and sultan and savage chief had all to be guarded against, and sometimes outwitted, and sometimes outfought.
  Moreover, the New York merchants and seamen were themselves ready enough to risk their lives and money in enterprises where the profits to be gained by peaceful trade came second, and those by legal warfare or illegal plundering first. In every war the people plunged into the business of privateering with immense zest and eagerness. New York Province dreaded the Canadians and Indians, but New York City feared only the fleets of France; her burghers warred, as well as traded, chiefly on the ocean. Privateering was a species of gambling which combined the certainty of

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