Rebels At Sea: Privateering in the American Revolution

By September 17, 2024 Events, News

Tuesday, September 17th we welcome author Eric Jay Dolin.

A co-sponsored event between the Friends of Danvers Library and Danvers Historical Society.

The heroic story of the founding of the U.S. Navy during the Revolution has been told before, yet missing from most maritime histories of America’s first war is the ragtag fleet of private vessels, from 20-foot whaleboats to 40-cannon men-of-war, that truly revealed the new nation’s character―above all, its ambition and entrepreneurial ethos. In Rebels at Sea, best-selling historian Eric Jay Dolin corrects that significant omission, and contends that privateers, though often seen as profiteers at best and pirates at worst, were in fact critical to the Revolution’s outcome. Armed with cannons, swivel guns, muskets, and pikes―as well as government documents granting them the right to seize enemy ships―thousands of privateers tormented the British on the broad Atlantic and in bays and harbors on both sides of the ocean. Abounding with tales of daring maneuvers and deadly encounters, Rebels at Sea presents the American Revolution as we have rarely seen it before.

Eric Jay Dolin is the author of sixteen books, including Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America, which was chosen as one of the best nonfiction books of 2007 by the Los Angeles Times and the Boston Globe, and also won the 2007 John Lyman Award for U.S. Maritime History. His most recent book before Left for Dead is Rebels at Sea: Privateering in the American Revolution, which was awarded the Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award and the Samuel Eliot Morison Book Award for Naval Literature, given out by the Naval Order of the United States; and was a finalist for the New England Society Book Award and the Boston Authors Club Julia Ward Howe Book Award. The book before Rebels at Sea is A Furious Sky: The Five-Hundred-Year History of America’s Hurricanes, which was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize, and was chosen as one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, Booklist, Library Journal, and the editors at Amazon. It was also selected as a “Must-Read” book by the Massachusetts Center for the Book for, and was the winner of Atmospheric Science Librarians International Choice Award for History. Dolin lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts, with his family. For more information, please see

We are proud to participate in Mass Cultural Council’s Card to Culture program.

Rev250 Discover DanversSpeaker Series, typically, every 3rd Wednesday, 7pm.
Including a temporary exhibit of related artifacts from the Society’s collections.
Tapley Memorial Hall 13 Page Street, Danvers MA.
Danvers Historical Society: 978-777-1666 or E-mail to
Donations appreciated.