Author Eric Jay Dolin to present at Mattapoisett library

Aug 6, 2022

MATTAPOISETT – Most will not have heard this untold tale of a ragtag fleet of private vessels from the Revolutionary War, chronicled in Eric Jay Dolin’s latest book, ‘Rebels at Sea: Privateering in the American Revolution.’

Dolin will present on his latest work as part of the Purrington Lecture Series on Wednesday, August 17 at 6:30 p.m. in person at the Mattapoisett Library. 

This presentation is co-sponsored with the Mattapoisett Museum.

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 fifteen 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. A graduate of Brown, Yale, and MIT, where he received his PhD in environmental policy, Dolin lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts, with his family.

To learn more about the Mattapoisett Museum, visit or visit in person Thursdays through Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free for members and $5 per adult; children under 18 are admitted for free.

The Purrington Lecture Series is funded by the Mattapoisett Library Trust, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to expanding the role of the Library in the community. Visit the library’s website to learn more about the Trust.

To register, send an email to or visit the library’s calendar of events to find the registration form. The library’s website can be found at