What’s a whaleboat – and why does it matter to my Revolutionary War ancestors?

Used in whaling, a whale boat was a small vessel of about 30 ft with a crew of 6. The New Bedford Whaling Museum has an excellent description. During the American Revolution, they were used not for whaling but for raiding.

The best know examples occurred between Connecticut and Long Island. Sometimes called the Whaleboat War, this group of raids had British and Americans attacking shoreline settlements in search of supplies, reloading them into whaleboats and selling them upon return to their home locale. The Americans were well known for depriving the British Army of Long Island’s cattle herds in this way.

To learn more, Dr. Joanne S. Grasso, The American Revolution on Long Island (Charleston: History Press, 2016), 50, 51, 76.

Published by Bryna O'Sullivan

Proprietor of Charter Oak Genealogy, Bryna O'Sullivan specializes in assisting clients with lineage society applications and with French to English genealogical translations.

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