Hopkins, Esek

Hopkins, Esek
born April 26, 1718, Providence, R.I.
died Feb. 26, 1802, Providence, R.I., U.S.

American naval officer.

He went to sea at age 20, proving his ability as a seaman and a trader. A marriage into wealth put him at the head of a large merchant fleet prior to the French and Indian War (1754–63); his privateering during that conflict added to both his fortune and his naval reputation. In 1775 he was appointed the first commander of the Continental Navy. Instructed to attack the British fleet in Chesapeake Bay, he sailed instead for the Bahamas, where he captured the British post at New Providence. He returned to Rhode Island, where the fleet became largely inactive. In 1776 an investigation by Congress led to his censure for disobedience. The fleet's continuing inactivity led to his suspension from command (1777) and dismissal (1778).

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▪ United States naval officer
born April 26, 1718, Providence, R.I.
died Feb. 26, 1802, Providence, R.I., U.S.
 first commodore of the United States Navy in the period of the American Revolution (1775–83).

      Hopkins, who went to sea at the age of 20, proving his ability as a seaman and trader, and a marriage into wealth put him at the head of a large merchant fleet prior to the French and Indian War (1754–63). By privateering during that war, he added to his fortune and won a considerable naval reputation. Rhode Island named him a brigadier general of its land forces at the outbreak of the Revolution, but a call from the Continental Congress, where his brother was chairman of the naval committee, induced him to forsake the army and accept the command (Dec. 22, 1775) of the first Continental fleet then outfitting at Philadelphia. Instructed to attack the British fleet under John Murray, 4th earl of Dunmore, in Chesapeake Bay, Hopkins considered his orders discretionary and the enemy too strong. He therefore sailed his fleet of eight armed vessels to the Bahamas, captured considerable war matériel at New Providence Island, and upon his return fought an inconclusive action with the British ship “Glasgow” (April 1776).

      Dissatisfaction with the achievements of the fleet and its subsequent inactivity in Rhode Island led to an investigation by Congress. Censured for disobedience of orders, Hopkins returned to the fleet, but his continued inactivity and quarrels with his officers induced Congress to suspend him from his command in March 1777. He was dismissed from the navy in 1778 and thereafter played a prominent part in Rhode Island politics.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Hopkins — Hopkins, Frederick Gowland Hopkins, Gerard Manley * * * (as used in expressions) Gallaudet, Thomas Hopkins Hopkins, Esek Hopkins, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Harry L(loyd) Hopkins, Johns Hopkins, Mark Hopkins …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Esek Hopkins — Gravure française de Esek Hopkins Esek Hopkins, né le 26 avril 1718, mort le 26 février 1802, était le Commandant en chef de la Continental Navy durant la Révolution américaine. Biographie Esek Hopkins est né le 26 avril 1718 à Scituate (Rhode Is …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hopkins — /hop kinz/, n. 1. Anthony, born 1937, English actor, born in Wales. 2. Sir Frederick Gowland /gow leuhnd/, 1861 1947, English physician and biochemist: Nobel prize for medicine 1929. 3. Gerard Manley /man lee/, 1844 89, English poet. 4. Harry… …   Universalium

  • Esek Hopkins — (26 April 1718 ndash; 26 February 1802), was Commander in Chief of the Fleet throughout the American Revolutionary War. Esek Hopkins was born in what is now Scituate, Rhode Island. Before the Revolutionary War he had sailed to nearly every… …   Wikipedia

  • Esek Hopkins House — Infobox nrhp name = Esek Hopkins House nrhp type = caption = lat degrees = lat minutes = lat seconds = lat direction = long degrees = long minutes = long seconds = long direction = location = Providence, RI lat degrees = 41 lat minutes = 50 lat… …   Wikipedia

  • USS Hopkins (DD-249) — The third USS Hopkins (DD 249/DMS 13) was a Clemson class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War II. She was named for Esek Hopkins. Hopkins was launched 26 June 1920 by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation; sponsored by Miss Sarah …   Wikipedia

  • Stephen Hopkins (politician) — Stephen Hopkins (March 7, 1707 ndash; July 13, 1785) was an American political leader from Rhode Island who signed the Declaration of Independence. He served as the Chief Justice and Governor of colonial Rhode Island and was a Delegate to the… …   Wikipedia

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  • USS Hopkins (DD-6) — The first USS Hopkins (DD 6) was a Bainbridge class destroyer in the United States Navy named for Esek Hopkins. Hopkins was launched by Harlin Hollingsworth Company, Wilmington, Delaware, on 24 April 1902; sponsored by Mrs. Alice Gould Hawes,… …   Wikipedia

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