His name was Esek Hopkins and he held the rank of commodore. It is interesting that the Americans, in the Revolutionary War, widely used the services of pirates in addition to their Navy ships.
On this day the man who was the first commander-in-chief of the U.S. Navy died. His name was Esek Hopkins and held the rank of commodore. This distinguished rank, after which the Commodore computers were named, represents a middle ground between the rank of a captain (which is below the commodore) and the rank of an admiral (which is superior to the commodore). The more respectable captains, whose main ship was accompanied by several smaller ships, were often appointed commodores.
The first U.S. Navy was named “Continental Navy” and had quite a humble beginning. It initially had only a few rather small ships. It is interesting that this Navy was formed even before the famous Declaration of Independence was adopted. Commodore Esek Hopkins was appointed as its commander-in-chief.
Hopkins’ navy played the role in the American War of Independence, which the United States fought against the British. It is interesting that the Americans, in the Revolutionary War, widely used the services of pirates in addition to their Navy ships. Specifically, they issued licenses to privateers to plunder British ships (the so-called Letters of Marque). Indeed, during the war Congress issued as many as 1,697 such licenses.
Commodore Hopkins himself was a successful pirate in his previous career. He died on this day in 1802 on his farm in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. Interestingly, Rhode Island is the smallest of all U.S. states, but it was also the first one to declare independence from the British.