Hopkins, Esek

Hopkins, Esek,

1718–1802, American Revolutionary naval hero, b. Scituate, R.I.; brother of Stephen HopkinsHopkins, Stephen,
1707–85, colonial governor of Rhode Island and political leader in the American Revolution, b. Providence, R.I. A member of the colonial assembly for many years, he also served as assistant justice (1747–49) and chief justice (1751–55) of the
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. He commanded a privateer in the French and Indian War, and in Dec., 1775, he was appointed commander in chief of the newly established Continental navy. In 1776 he made a successful raid on New Providence in the Bahamas. After a dispute with the Continental Congress, he was suspended from command in 1777 and then dismissed from the service in 1778. Hopkins is known as the "first admiral of the American Navy."


See biography by E. Field (1898, repr. 1972).

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Hopkins, Esek

(1718–1802) naval officer; born in Scituate, R.I. He was commander-in-chief of the Continental navy (1775–77). He disregarded congressional orders to attack British ships in the Chesapeake Bay; he instead attacked and captured New Providence, Bahamas (1776). Following a difficult year for the new navy in 1776–77, Congress dismissed him from the naval service.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.