By George C. Daughan

A few months after the outbreak of the conflict of 1812, Captain David Porter set out within the USS Essex on an epic, seventeen-month cruise to the South Seas. Porter used to be pursuing status and riches, and by way of so much money owed his odyssey used to be a beautiful good fortune: it introduced glory to the fledgling American military, cemented Porter’s acceptance as a bold and proficient commander, and has lengthy been celebrated as one of many maximum maritime adventures in U.S. background. much less renowned, even if, is the bad fee that the group of the Essex paid for his or her captain’s oversized ambitions.

In The Shining Sea, award-winning historian George C. Daughan tells the complete tale of Porter’s exciting, action-packed voyage, revealing the heights of Porter’s hubris and the real depths of his failure in this fateful cruise. purpose on attaining own glory, Porter made the treacherous trip round Cape Horn and into the Pacific Ocean, the place he deliberate to catch a British man-of-war. From Valparaiso to the Galapagos to the Marquesas, the Essex roamed the South Seas, seizing British whaling and service provider ships, wreaking havoc on British trade, and incomes Porter and his males wealth and acclaim. Flush together with his victories, Porter welcomed the inside track British frigate—the HMS Phoebe—was on his tail, and he resolved to seize her. yet Porter couldn't triumph over the Phoebe’s greater firepower. Over the process a determined, bloody conflict, he misplaced the Essex and over two-thirds of her crew—a surprising finish to a bold journey.

A swashbuckling story of danger and wreck at the excessive seas, The Shining Sea brings to lifestyles the monomaniacal quest of 1 of the main misunderstood commanders of the struggle of 1812. Porter’s singular voyage, Daughan exhibits, stands as a cautionary story for any chief who may positioned own glory and ambition sooner than reason and countrymen.

Show description

Read Online or Download The Shining Sea: David Porter and the Epic Voyage of the U.S.S. Essex during the War of 1812 PDF

Similar American History books

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Vietnam War

While you're too younger to recollect the Vietnam struggle, this e-book offers you a finished view of the thirty-year clash, a extra entire tale than you could get on your heritage textbook. it is going to fulfill the interest of these who need to know extra in regards to the historical past and tradition of the us throughout the sixites and seventies, and it'll supply older readers an impartial reminder in their early life.

Unflinching Courage: Pioneering Women Who Shaped Texas

In Unflinching braveness, former usa Senator and big apple instances bestselling writer Kay Bailey Hutchison brings to existence the brilliant tales of the creative and courageous ladies who formed the country of Texas and stimulated American background. A passionate storyteller, Senator Hutchison introduces the moms and daughters who claimed a stake in the land whilst it was once managed via Spain, the better halves and sisters who valiantly contributed to the Civil conflict attempt, and ranchers and marketers who've helped Texas thrive.

U.S. Marshals: Inside America's Most Storied Law Enforcement Agency

Mixing heritage and memoir, retired U. S. Marshal Mike Earp—a descendant of the mythical lawman Wyatt Earp—offers an particular and interesting behind-the-scenes examine the main storied legislation enforcement corporation in the United States, illuminating its important position within the nation’s improvement for greater than 200 years.

Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different

During this brilliantly illuminating staff portrait of the boys who got here to be referred to as the Founding Fathers, the incomparable Gordon wooden has written a ebook that heavily asks, "What made those males nice? " and indicates us, between many different issues, simply how a lot personality did in truth subject. The lifetime of each—Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton, Madison, Paine—is awarded separately in addition to jointly, however the thread that binds those photos jointly is the assumption of personality as a lived truth.

Additional info for The Shining Sea: David Porter and the Epic Voyage of the U.S.S. Essex during the War of 1812

Show sample text content

Of their trip north they handed close to the small islands of Lobos de los angeles Mare and Lobos de los angeles Terre. Fifteen miles aside and prosperous the coast, they have been with out crops, however the type and quantity of marine and poultry lifestyles have been wonderful. unique birds lined the barren hills, whereas seals in nice numbers cavorted within the within reach waters. Fish of all types have been lively, pursued through birds, seals, boneters, and porpoises. an identical scene was once repeated as they entered the Bay of Paita, the place the ocean boiled with aquatic lifestyles. huge fish and seals chasing small fish, have been obvious with flocks of birds soaring overhead. There could have been whales within the neighborhood under the outside, yet Porter didn't see any. On April eleven, the Essex and Barclay approached the harbor of Paita with the majestic saddle of Paita mountain within the heritage. crude catamarans approached and their skippers talked with Porter, telling him there have been no vessels of curiosity within the harbor. He took them at their notice, rotated, and formed a direction for the Galapagos Islands. bankruptcy 12 FORTUNE SMILES within the GALAPAGOS ISLANDS THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS STRADDLE THE EQUATOR greater than 500 miles off the Peruvian coast. The south equatorial, or Humbolt, present runs on to the islands. Sweeping up the west coast of South the USA from nearly the southern tip of Tierra del Fuego, the well-known present curves west on the Equator. within the Age of Sail, including the present exchange winds, the present carried ships conveniently to the archipelago. It used to be stated that it ran greater than fifteen miles each twenty-four hours, yet Porter suspected the particular fee was once a lot greater, seeing that he usually met with violent ripples within the sea. the present used to be darker than the encompassing water, and simply pointed out. It created a different weather within the waters round the Galapagos, inflicting the temperature of the water to upward thrust greater than one could anticipate and the weather to be milder and drier. Upwelling alongside the current’s path triggered the waters round the Galapagos to be remarkably wealthy in marine existence. Porter used lifeless reckoning to navigate. The chronometer that had served him so good early within the voyage were lifeless due to the fact that they left St. Catharine’s. And he had no stable chance to right the useless reckoning through lunar commentary given that he was once touring within the hotter season (December to May), while rain used to be frequent—often coming daily—the skies cloudy a lot of the time, and the water temperature conducive to swimming. because the Essex advanced in the course of the benign sea, Porter ready the group and the send for strive against. He placed the journal in sturdy order, and expecting calms round the islands, he prepared seven boats to assault the enemy, assigning ten males to every boat. He assumed that seventy males in seven boats will be good enough to catch any armed whaler. Lieutenant Downes used to be answerable for the assault strength. at the morning of April 17, the Essex and the Barclay arrived off Chatham (San Cristobal) Island, the easternmost of the bigger Galapagos.

Rated 4.77 of 5 – based on 42 votes