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Patriot Pirates
When Americans think of the Revolutionary War, the War for Independence, they think fife and drum, Minute Men, tri-cornered hats, George Washington on horseback.

When the British of 1776 — and '77 and '78 — thought of the American Revolution, many thought “pirates.” Cannon and cutlass and brigands on the high seas.

Washington and the Continental Congress unleashed thousands of American vessels — patriots and fortune seekers — to go after British shipping. And they did it with a vengeance.

This hour, On Point: Privateers, private booty, and the American Revolution.

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Joining us from New York is Robert H. Patton, author of "Patriot Pirates: The Privateer War for Freedom and Fortune in the American Revolution."

Read an excerpt from "Patriot Pirates."

This program aired on May 11, 2009.

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