Age of Sail Naval Non-Fiction Section



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Commanding Old Ironsides

Silas Talbot’s life illuminates his time―not with greater brightness than the lives of his more famous contemporaries, but with perhaps broader range and greater insight into the experiences and circumstances of a plain citizen of the new republic―a citizen whose bravery and energy helped to create it.

Silas Talbot was a farmer’s son who went to sea, learned the building trades, saved and invested his money wisely, married well several times, fought as a Rhode Island soldier in the Revolutionary War, became a lieutenant colonel, served with courage and competence, became a privateer and a prisoner-of-war in the conflict at sea, speculated in western lands, was elected to the New York State Legislature and the U.S. Congress, represented the interests of American sailors forced to serve in Britain’s navy, and finally achieved the rank of U.S. Navy captain and became the second commanding officer of the frigate USS Constitution.

In a full and energetic life of sixty-two years he met and served the famous―Washington, Adams, Hamilton, Lafayette―and also raised a family; advanced in the social, political, and business circles of New York and Rhode Island; and was, as the author notes, “among the first of the new citizens of the new republic to seize its gifts.”

  • Author: William M. Fowler, Jr
  • Title: Commanding Old Ironsides: The Life of Captain Silas Talbot
  • First Published by: The Lyons Press
  • First Published Place: US
  • First Published Format: PB
  • First Published Date: 7 May 2024
  • ISBN-10: 1493077880
  • ISBN-13: 978-1493077885

© 2008-2024 David Hayes (Astrodene)