The only bright spot in the War of 1812 for the Americans was the American navy. The American heavy frigates and privateers enjoyed several stunning successes early in the war. This was especially humiliating to the British, who took such pride in their navy. Readers of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series get a flavor of how desperate British captains were to “wipe the eye” of the Americans. This brief challenge, issued by an English captain was reprinted in the Niles Register.