The Pirates of '76
Patriot Pirates

When Americans think of the Revolutionary War, the War for Independence, they think fife and drum, Minute Men, tri-cornered hats, George Washington on horseback.

When the British of 1776 — and ’77 and ’78 — thought of the American Revolution, many thought “pirates.” Cannon and cutlass and brigands on the high seas.

Washington and the Continental Congress unleashed thousands of American vessels — patriots and fortune seekers — to go after British shipping. And they did it with a vengeance.

This hour, On Point: Privateers, private booty, and the American Revolution.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.


Joining us from New York is Robert H. Patton, author of “Patriot Pirates: The Privateer War for Freedom and Fortune in the American Revolution.”

Read an excerpt from “Patriot Pirates.”

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