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Benjamin Cartwright was born 1804 New York or Boston.  He later ran away to become sailor at age of 8.  On his first voyage in 1812 Ben was among those American sailors impressed into the British Navy in an act that would, along with others like it, led to the War of 1812.  He later jumped ship during an attack on New Orleans, where he was fished out the water by none other than Jean Lafitte and became a lifelong friend of the pirate captain.

It was Laffite who arranged for Cartwright to find a birth on an American merchant ship.  Eventually he would become a ships merchant ships captain himself, and then a Boston shop owner.  He would also be married and widowed three times, with each marriage producing a son each, Adam Cartwright, Eric “Hoss” Cartwright and Joseph “Little Joe” Cartwright.  In time he and his sons would move to Nevada where he started a ranch known as the Ponderosa.    


Benjamin Cartwright was a character played by actor Lorne Greene on the long running a popular television series Bonanza.  The character was also featured in stories in a comic book series published in the 60s by Gold Key, and in England in TV Tornado Comics.    

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