If some sea captains downplayed their financial success, others put it on display for all to see. In 1810, Alexander Thompson acquired the grand four-bay-wide house at 1729 Aliceanna (built c. 1780). Now altered, it was then 2½ stories tall. During the war, Thompson invested in, and commanded, the letter of marque schooners Inca and Midas. In August 1814, however, he overstepped his bounds. Seeking to avenge the British burning of Washington, DC, Thompson begins a privateer cruise—prohibited under the terms of Midas’ commission—taking fifteen prizes. Going ashore in the Bahamas, his crew burns homes and desecrates the grave of a prominent British planter’s wife. President Madison responds to British complaints by revoking the vessel’s commission and ordering Thompson to pay damages.
Farther east on Aliceanna, across Wolfe, three more imposing houses speak to Fell’s Point’s ties to the sea. 1906 Aliceanna (built c. 1800) belonged to Captain William Furlong, who later built 1902 and 1904 Aliceanna (c. 1807). Original owner of the Comet, Furlong took command of letter of marque schooner Bordeaux Packet in February 1813. He also served as a member of Stiles’ First Marine Artillery. Ship carpenter Benjamin Tims lived next door in the long-since demolished home at 1908 Aliceanna. He served in a militia company organized by Ann Street resident Luke Kiersted. And, next to Tims, is another sea captain, Clother Allen.