Burns, Otway, c.1775–1850, American privateer, b. Onslow co., N.C. At the outbreak of the War of 1812, he outfitted the Baltimore clipper Snap-Dragon as a privateer and began one of the most spectacular privateering careers in American history. He destroyed and captured millions of dollars worth of British shipping and had a ,000 price set on his head by the British. After the war Burns turned to shipbuilding and later served (1821–35) in the North Carolina legislature.
See biography by W. F. Burns (1905).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.