(1733–1819)Revolutionary War naval officer. Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Abraham Whipple captured 23 French prizes in six months as a privateer during the French and Indian War (1754–63). He led one of earliest overt acts of colonial rebellion when a group of rebels from Providence captured and burned the troublesome British revenue cutter Gaspée in June 1772. Three years later he captured the first British ship taken under an official commission while commanding a state coast defense vessel. In December 1775 he was commissioned a captain in the Continental navy. He took many British prizes as commander of the Columbus and then the Providence. The three ship squadron he led in the latter vessel captured 11 merchantmen out of one convoy in July 1779. The next year his reinforced squadron was sent to strengthen the defenses of Charleston, but when the city fell to the British Whipple was captured. He was paroled but saw no more action. After the war he farmed for a while in Rhode Island before moving to Marietta, Ohio, where he died.
From The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Warfare and Defence.