Commodore Abraham Whipple of the Continental Navy: Privateer, Patriot, Pioneer

Sheldon S. Cohen
Foreword by James C. Bradford and Gene Allen Smith, Series Editors

Details: 248 pages    6 x 9
Cloth: $69.95   ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-3433-1   
Paper: $29.95   ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-3978-7   
Pubdate: 3/7/2010
Series: New Perspectives on Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology
Review(s): 9 available

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"Finally, after more than two centuries of living in the shadow of other revolutionaries whose reputations have been extolled and exaggerated, this intriguing character is brought to life. Through careful research Cohen has uncovered a wide variety of materials hitherto ignored. The result is neither hagiography nor muckraking, but a carefully crafted biography that gives us new insights into the American Revolution and the early days of the Republic."--William M. Fowler Jr., Northeastern University

"This is the first full-length biography of one of the more successful officers of the Continental Navy. As it is comprehensive and exhausts what it is possible to know about Abraham Whipple from the available sources, it is likely to remain the definitive biography well into the future."--Michael J. Crawford, Naval Historical Center

Abraham Whipple (1733-1819) commanded insurgents who destroyed HMS Gaspee in Narragansett Bay and helped direct the successful invasion of the Bahamas. This little-known, yet intrepid and frequently successful Continental Navy officer contributed significantly to the War for Independence. An esteemed officer of the fleet, he spent his last years in frontier Ohio where he was respected and appealed to younger generations as a "representative of the Revolution."

Sheldon Cohen's biography of Whipple presents a look inside the life of a Continental officer. He illustrates at a personal level the complexities of naval warfare, including Whipple's reliance on personal finances and family connections to outfit his ships and pay his crew. Cohen also reveals the commander’s treatment as a British prisoner of war, and his eventual migration west, shedding light on experiences shared by many Revolutionary War veterans.

Sheldon S. Cohen, professor emeritus of history at Loyola University Chicago, is author of numerous books, including Yankee Sailors in British Gaols, and British Supporters of the American Revolution.

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