By George C. Daughan
A few months after the outbreak of the battle of 1812, Captain David Porter set out within the USS Essex
on an epic, seventeen-month cruise to the South Seas. Porter was once pursuing repute and riches, and through so much debts his odyssey was once a gorgeous luck: it introduced glory to the fledgling American military, cemented Porter’s acceptance as a bold and gifted commander, and has lengthy been celebrated as one of many maximum maritime adventures in U.S. background. much less renowned, although, is the negative fee that the group of the Essex
paid for his or her captain’s oversized ambitions.
In The Shining Sea, award-winning historian George C. Daughan tells the whole tale of Porter’s exciting, action-packed voyage, revealing the heights of Porter’s hubris and the genuine depths of his failure in this fateful cruise. rationale on attaining own glory, Porter made the treacherous trip round Cape Horn and into the Pacific Ocean, the place he deliberate to catch a British man-of-war. From Valparaiso to the Galapagos to the Marquesas, the Essex roamed the South Seas, seizing British whaling and service provider ships, wreaking havoc on British trade, and incomes Porter and his males wealth and acclaim. Flush along with his victories, Porter welcomed the inside track British frigate—the HMS Phoebe—was on his tail, and he resolved to seize her. yet Porter couldn't conquer the Phoebe’s more suitable firepower. Over the process a determined, bloody conflict, he misplaced the Essex and over two-thirds of her crew—a stunning finish to a bold journey.
A swashbuckling story of chance and break at the excessive seas, The Shining Sea brings to lifestyles the monomaniacal quest of 1 of the main misunderstood commanders of the warfare of 1812. Porter’s singular voyage, Daughan indicates, stands as a cautionary story for any chief who may placed own glory and ambition prior to reason and countrymen.