["\n\n\n\n\n\n \n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n \n Esek Hopkins (1718 - 1802) - Genealogy\n \n \n \n\n \n\n\n\n \n \n \n \n\n \n \n\n \n \n \n\n \n\n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n \n\n \n\n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n \n \n\n \n\n\n\n\n \n\n \n\n\t\n\n \n \n \n\n \n \n\n \n\n \n \n \n \n\n \n\n \n \n \n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n \n \n \n\n
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\n \n \n \n \t Esek Hopkins\n \n \n (1718 - 1802) \n MP\n \n \n

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Commodore Esek Hopkins, Commander in Chief of the Continental Navy's Geni Profile

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Birthplace:\n Providence, Providence, RI\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n
Death:\n \n Died\n \n \n \n \n in \n \n N. Providence, Providence, RI\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n
Occupation:Commander in Chief of the Continental Navy during the American Revolutionary War, Commander in Chief of the Fleet (1775-1778)
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About Esek Hopkins

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A Patriot of the American Revolution for RHODE ISLAND with the rank of BRIGADIER GENERAL. DAR Ancestor # A057986

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esek_Hopkins

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Esek Hopkins (April 26, 1718 – February 26, 1802) was a Commander in Chief of the Continental Navy during the American Revolutionary War.

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Esek Hopkins was born in Scituate, Rhode Island. Before the Revolutionary War he had sailed to nearly every quarter of the earth, commanded a privateer in the French and Indian War, and served as a deputy to the Rhode Island General Assembly. Appointed a brigadier general to command all the colony's military forces October 4, 1775, he immediately began to strengthen Rhode Island's defenses with the help of his deputy, William West. A few months later, December 22, 1775, Hopkins was appointed Commander in Chief of the Continental Navy authorized by the Continental Congress to protect American commerce. He also was a founding member of the Society of the Cincinnati.

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In September 1764, during his time as a privateer and merchant, Hopkins took command of the slave ship the Sally owned by Nicholas Brown and Company.[1] Hopkins had no prior experience in operating a slave trading vessel at the time, and the 15 month voyage would result in disaster with 109 out of 196 slaves dying after being acquired. In late 1765, the Sally arrived at its first trading destination in the West Indies, but the surviving African captives were in such poor health that most sold for very little. Hopkins' failed command of the Sally contributed to the Brown brothers reconsidering their participation in the active slave trade of Rhode Island in the 18th century.[2]

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On January 5, 1776, Congress gave Hopkins his second set of orders. "You are instructed with the utmost diligence to proceed with the said fleet to sea and if the winds and weather will possibly admit of it to proceed directly for Chesapeake Bay in Virginia and when nearly arrived there you will send forward a small swift sailing vessel to gain intelligence....If...you find that they are not greatly superior to your own you are immediately to enter the said bay, search out and attack, take or destroy all the naval force of our enemies that you may find there. If you should be so fortunate as to execute this business successfully in Virginia you are then to proceed immediately to the southward and make yourself master of such forces as the enemy may have both in North and South Carolina...Notwithstanding these particular orders, which it is hoped you will be able to execute, if bad winds, or stormy weather, or any other unforeseen accident or disaster disable you so to do, You are then to follow such Courses as your best Judgment shall suggest to you as most useful to the American Cause and to distress the Enemy by all means in your power."

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Hopkins took command of eight small merchant ships that had been altered as men of war at Philadelphia. By taking advantage of the loop hole in the second set of orders, Esek Hopkins sailed south February 17, 1776 for the first U.S. Fleet operation that took the fleet to Nassau in the Bahamas. The Battle of Nassau, an assault on the British colony there March 3, 1776 was also the first U.S. amphibious landing. Marines and sailors landed in "a bold stroke, worthy of an older and better trained service," capturing munitions desperately needed in the War of Independence. The little fleet returned to New London on April 8, 1776, having also made prizes of two British merchantmen and a six-gun schooner, but failing to capture the HMS Glasgow on April 6. John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, wrote Hopkins: "I beg leave to congratulate you on the success of your Expedition. Your account of the spirit and bravery shown by the men affords them [Congress] the greatest satisfaction . . ."

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However on August 12, 1776, Hopkins was censured by Congress. Humiliation and a destroyed reputation followed after the censure. Many sources say it would have been better if Hopkins was relieved of his command after the censure, rather than resume his command with a disgraced reputation and a lost respect from his officers.

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Hopkins' little fleet was mostly blockaded in Narragansett Bay by the superior British seapower for the rest of Hopkins' tenure as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Navy. As time progressed, pressure on the nature of Hopkins' character and ability became increasingly significant. Hopkins had disregarded his second set of Congressional orders directing him to rid the Chesapeake of British cruisers, instead raiding New Providence. This was compounded by allegations of inaction such as the failure to capture HMS Glasgow on the return voyage from Nassau. Because of the continuing debacle, on 2 January 1778, Hopkins was relieved of his command permanently.

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He continued to serve the Rhode Island General Assembly through 1786, then retired to his farm where he died February 26, 1802. His home, the Esek Hopkins House, is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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See USS Hopkins for ships named in his honor.

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Hopkins was the brother of Rhode Island governor Stephen Hopkins, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Hopkins' daughter, Susanna Hopkins, became the wife of Jonathan Maxcy, a Baptist minister and second president of the formerly Baptist affiliated Brown University which was then known as the College of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

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from "The History of Scituate, RI" http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~rigenweb/article242.html :

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"Eseck Hopkins, one of the sons of William Hopkins, was the first commodore of the navy, and his conspicuous services in the Revolutionary War are well known. He married Miss Desire Burroughs of Newport, and took up his residence there. His fleet consisted of the ships 'Alfred', Captain Dudley Saltonstall; the 'Columbus', Captain Whipple; the brig 'Andrea Doria', Captain Nicholas Biddle; the 'Cabot', Captain John B. Hopkins (son to the commodore); and the sloops 'Providence', 'Fly', 'Hornet', and 'Wasp'. In the month of February, 1776, they put to sea, and cruising among the Bahama Islands, succeeded in capturing the fort, 'New Providence', at Nassau. On his return, he captured two British armed vessels. Not meeting with success in creating an efficient navy, he resigned, and engaged in private armed vessels, as did his colleague, John Paul Jones. The commodore died in 1802, and was buried in the old North Providence cemetery."

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-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------- From History of St of RI w/Illustrations; Albert J Wright, Pub, 79 Mille St, Corner of Federal, Boston. Hong, Wade & Co, Philadelphia, 1878. p 299-305 (pt 6): Esek Hopkins, son of William Hopkins, was 1st commodore of Navy, & his conspicuous services in Rev War are well known. He m Miss Desire Burroughs of Newport, & took up residence there. His fleet consisted of ships 'Alfred', Capt Dudley Saltonstall; 'Columbus', Capt Whipple; brig 'Andrea Doria', Capt Nicholas Biddle; 'Cabot', Capt John B Hopkins (Commodore's son); & sloops 'Providence', 'Fly ', 'Hornet', & 'Wasp'. Feb 1776 they put to sea, & cruising among Bahama Islands, succeeded in capturing Ft New Providence, at Nassau. On return, he captured 2 British armed vessels. Not mtg w/success in creating efficient navy, he resigned, & engaged in private armed vessels, as did colleague, John Paul Jones. Commodore d 1802, & was buried in North Providence Cem.

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From RI Historical Cemeteries Database:

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Hopkins, Esek, Admiral 1718-26 FEB 1802 PV023 (removed to N Burial Grd)

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From findagrave.com:

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Birth: Apr 26 1718

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Death: Feb 26 1802

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Am Rev naval hero. Native of Scituate, RI appointed commander in chief of newly formed Continental Navy in 1775. 1st ships converted to US naval use were under his command, thus he is recognized as 1st ranking officer of US Navy. In 1776 he led Colonies' 1st amphibious naval attack. He was to go to Charleston, SC, but instead sailed to Bahamas where he successfully raided New Providence Island storage facility & captured supplies & equipment needed by Colonies. While returning home his fleet engaged & captured 2 small British warships. Although successful, operations were considered controversial & he was censured by Congress bef being dismissed in 1778. However, he retained popularity amg people & remained active in RI state politics until death. 2 US Navy destroyers have been named in his honor.

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Burial: North Burial Grd, Providence, Providence Co, RI, USA

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AND (2nd Entry):

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Birth: Apr 26 1718, Scituate, Providence Co, RI, USA

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Death: Feb 26 1802, N Providence, Providence Co, RI, USA

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Admiral. He was Commander in Chief of Fleet thru out Am Rev War.

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Esek Hopkins b in what is now Scituate, RI. Bef Rev War he had sailed to nearly every quarter of earth, commanded privateer in French & Indian War, & served as deputy to RI Gen'l Assembly. Appointed brigadier gen'l to command all colony's military forces 4 Oct 1775, he immediately began to strengthen RI's defenses w/help of his deputy, William West. Few months later, 22 Dec 1775, Hopkins was appointed Commander in Chief of Fleet authorized by Continental Congress to protect Am commerce. He also was founding mbr of Soc of Cincinnati. Sep 1764, during his time as privateer & merchant, Hopkins took command of slave ship "Sally" owned by Nicholas Brown & Co. Hopkins had no prior experience operating slave trading vessel & 15 mo voyage would result in disaster w/109 of 196 total slaves dying aft being acquired. Late 1765 "Sally" arrived at its 1st trading destination in West Indies, but surviving African captives were in such poor health most sold for very little. Hopkins' failed command of "Sally" contributed to Brown brothers reconsidering their participation in active slave trade of RI in 18th Cent. Hopkins took command of 8 small merchant ships that had been hastily altered as men of war at Philadelphia, then sailed south 17 Feb 1776 for 1st US Fleet operation to Nassau, Bahamas. Battle of Nassau, assault on British colony there 3 Mar 1776 was also 1st US amphibious landing. Marines & sailors landed in "bold stroke, worthy of older & better trained service," capturing munitions desperately needed in War of Independence. Little fleet went back to New London 8 Apr 1776, having also made prizes of 2 British merchantmen & 6-gun schooner. John Hancock, Pres of Continental Congress, wrote Hopkins: "I beg leave to congratulate you on the success of your Expedition. Your account of the spirit & bravery shown by the men affords them [Congress] the greatest satisfaction . . ." Hopkins' little fleet was mostly blockaded in Narragansett Bay by superior British sea power for rest of Hopkins' tenure as Commander-in-Chief of Continental Navy. As time progressed, pressure on nature of Hopkins' character & ability became increasingly significant. Hopkins had disregarded his 1st set of Congressional orders directing him to rid Chesapeake of British cruisers, instead raiding New Providence. This was compounded by allegations of inaction such as engagement versus HMS Glasgow on return voyage from New Providence. Because of continuing debacle, 2 Jan 1778, Hopkins was relieved of his command permanently.

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Esek Hopkins House:

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He continued to serve RI Gen'l Assembly thru 1786, then retired to his farm where he d 26 Feb 1802. His home, Esek Hopkins House, is listed on Nat'l Register of Historic Places.

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3 ships were named USS Hopkins in his honor.

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Hopkins was bro of RI Gov Stephen Hopkins, signer of Declaration of Independence.

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Burial: North Burial Grd, Providence, Providence Co, RI, USA

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Commodore Esek Hopkins, Commander in Chief of the Continental Navy's Timeline

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April 26, 1718
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Providence, Providence, RI
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November 28, 1741
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Age 23
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Newport, Newport, RI
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\n \n 1742\n \n \n
July 25, 1742
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Age 24
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Newport, Newport, RI
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\n \n 1744\n \n \n
September 1, 1744
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Age 26
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Newport, Newport, RI
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1745
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Age 26
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October 25, 1746
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Age 28
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Newport, Newport, RI
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February 19, 1748
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Age 29
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United States
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January 26, 1751
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Age 32
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Providence, Providence, RI
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March 6, 1753
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Age 34
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Providence, Providence, RI
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\n \n 1756\n \n \n
May 10, 1756
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Age 38
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Providence, Rhode Island, United States
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