The War of 1812, while often forgotten, was significant for the United States as it challenged Great Britain’s maritime supremacy and established the right for all nations to use American waterways for international commerce. Otway Burns, a merchant Captain from Swansboro, North Carolina, served as a privateer during the War of 1812. Over the course of the War, Burns captured 42 English vessels and took 300 British citizens prisoner. Such acts supported the burgeoning U.S. Navy by removing the British threat to maritime commerce. Following the war, Burns adopted shipbuilding and built the first North Carolinian steam vessel.