This Day In U.S. History October 29, 1775 – Struggle For Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness – The American Revolution: Four armed American vessels sail from Cambridge as part of a fleet created to cruise the coast in search of enemy transports carrying arms and provisions.
In history class you’ll hear about the Battle of Saratoga … the Battle of Bunker Hill … the Battle of Yorktown. Those wouldn’t have been worth a popgun’s patoot if not for the critical role of privateers in the American Revolution. The colonists won more fights on sea than they ever could win on land.
Important Lessons from the Guns of Lexington and Yorktown
When the American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain, the infant nation was in no position to defy British rule of the seas. Britain’s navy in 1776 was the world’s most powerful. States individually outfitted vessels of war and Congress established a navy, but it was a slow beginning. At no point in the conflict did the American naval forces have adequate resources to confront the Royal Navy on its own terms. The Royal Navy—once the protector of American shipping—now made every effort to suppress and destroy it.
The Americans responded to the situation with the time-honored practice of privateering. American privateering activity during the American Revolution became an industry born of necessity that encouraged patriotic private citizens to harass British shipping while risking their lives and resources for financial gain. More …
Shipwrecks, Treasure and Cannon Fire: The True Story of an American Privateer
Compared with better-known stories of the Founding Fathers who, author and regular Reason contributor Jackson Kuhl note, “don’t do much,” the story of privateer Samuel Smedley is brimming with action. His new book, “Samuel Smedley, Connecticut Privateer,” delves into this true-life tale of revolution, shipwrecks, treasure and cannon fire.
American Revolutionary War Song:Yankee Privateer