During the Napoleonic Wars, Britain insisted on the right to search neutral ships on the high seas for Royal Navy deserters. On 22 June 1807 HMS Leopard forcibly took 4 seamen from the American frigate Chesapeake. Despite apologizing to the US government and returning the 2 seamen who were Americans, the British continued to claim the right of inspection. This angered the American public, and the incident contributed to the tension leading to the War of 1812. Britain gained a symbolic victory during the war when HMS Shannon captured the Chesapeake off Boston on 1 June 1813 and later towed her triumphantly into Halifax harbour.