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


by Sheldon S. Cohen

Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2010. Pp. xxi, 232. Illus., maps, notes, biblio., index. $69.95. ISBN: 9780813034331

One of the finest American sea dogs of the Revolutionary War, Abraham Whipple is today largely forgotten. 

In this work, Prof. Cohen (emeritus, Loyola of Chicago), author of British Supporters of the American Revolution, Yankee Sailors in British Gaols, and several other works on the American  Revolution, takes a look at Whipple's long life (1733-1819) and varied career. Whipple was, by turns merchant seaman (occasionally carrying slaves as well as goods), successful privateer, Patriot activist, able and innovative naval officer who carried out one of the Navy's first overseas expeditions, and, in later life, an Ohio pioneer.  As he tells the story of Whipple's life, Cohen weaves into it a good deal of maerial on life, economics, and politics in his times, set against the background of the coming of the American Revolution, and, above all, provides an excellent picture of life at sea and the conduct of naval operations in the mid-eighteenth century.

A valuable read for students of the Revolutionary War or naval operations in the Age of Sail

Reviewer: A.A. Nofi   

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