The Lexington Incident Part 2
Jewett later offered his services to the newly-independent United Provinces of the River Plate (later Argentina), which accepted his proposal and authorized his corsair activities against the Spanish; he was appointed Colonel in the Argentine Navy.
He was given command of the frigate Heroina in 1820 and set out on a voyage marked by misfortune, a mutiny, and scurvy. Some 80 of his crew of 200 were either sick or dead by the time he arrived in October at Puerto Soledad (formerly Port Louis), the one-time Spanish capital of the Malvinas/Falkland Islands. There he found some fifty British and U.S. sealing ships, whose presence had not been authorized by either the Spanish or the authorities at Buenos Aires.
On 6 November 1820 he raised the blue-and-white flag of what would become Argentina.
Seals and sealing ships were important everywhere in the Atlantic at that time along with whaling and other fishing.
Jewett soon left the islands but seal hunting remained an important source of revenue for the Malvinas. So much so that 9 years later, the new Argentine governor, Luis Vernet, was granted a monopoly on seal hunting in the Malvinas as part of his salary.
Vernet was a successful Buenos Aires businessman with extensive dealings in and around the islands. The new government in Argentina hoped that his appointment could keep poaching under control in Argentine waters.
Luis Vernet was apparently a good choice for the job. He immediately found at least one ship, the yanqui merchant Harriet, poaching seals. He seized her, and sent her to Buenos Aires along with her captain to stand trial.
That might have seemed like standard operating procedure to the new governor but it started a chain of events with another fledgling nation north of the equator that reverberates to this day.