Episode 357: Eric Jay Dolin, Privateering in the American Revolution

Ben Franklin’s World


On April 19, 1775, the thirteen colonies found themselves at war with Great Britain. British military forces ranked among the most powerful in the world. By contrast, the colonies had forces of militiamen–civilian volunteers– because the Continental Congress had not yet established its Continental Army and Navy.

How did the Continental Congress approach creating military forces that could go toe-to-toe with the British military during the American War for Independence?

Eric Jay Dolin joins us to answer part of that question by looking at the creation of the United States’ privateer fleet. Dolin is the author of fifteen books about the maritime history of early America, including Rebels at Sea: Privateering in the American Revolution.