"You never imagined a sweeter schoonera child might sail her-two hundred tons;name, Hispaniola."

Spirit of Bermuda
Creative Commons AttributionSpirit of Bermuda - Credit: Roger H. Goun
Schooners were first used by the Dutch in the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries and were popular in North America from the eighteenth-century onwards. They were prized for their sleekness and speed and were used in the trades that required swiftness of transportation e.g. slaving, pirating, privateering (hired war ships), blockade running (transporting food or arms to a blockaded city) or offshore fishing. They typically carried a crew of around  seventy-five.