American Privateers of the Revolutionary War

American Privateers of the Revolutionary War cover

American Privateers of the Revolutionary War

Description

During the American War of Independence (1775–83), Congress issued almost 800 letters of marque, as a way of combating Britain's overwhelming naval and mercantile superiority. At first, it was only fishermen and the skippers of small merchant ships who turned to privateering, with mixed results. Eventually though, American shipyards began to turn out specially-converted ships, while later still, the first purpose-built privateers entered the fray.

These American privateers seized more than 600 British merchant ships over the course of the war, capturing thousands of British seamen. Indeed, Jeremiah O'Brien's privateer Unity fought the first sea engagement of the Revolutionary War in the Battle of Machias of 1775, managing to capture a British armed schooner with just 40 men, their guns, axes and pitchforks, and the words 'Surrender to America'. By the end of the war, some of the largest American privateers could venture as far as the British Isles, and were more powerful than most contemporary warships in the fledgling US Navy. A small number of Loyalist privateers also put to sea during the war, and preyed on the shipping of their rebel countrymen.
Packed with fascinating insights into the age of privateers, this book traces the development of these remarkable ships, and explains how they made such a significant contribution to the American Revolutionary War.

Table of Contents

Introduction
Background
Design & Development
The Business of Privateering
Life on Board
Privateers in Action
Further Reading
Index

Product details

Published Feb 20 2020
Format Ebook (Epub)
Edition 1st
Extent 48
ISBN 9781472836335
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations Illustrated throughout with 40 photos and 8pp of colour illustrations
Series New Vanguard
Short code NVG 279
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors

Author

Angus Konstam

Angus Konstam hails from Orkney, off the north of…

Illustrator

Paul Wright

Paul Wright has painted ships of all kinds for mos…

Resources

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