Captain Jeremiah O’Brien and a crew of 35 colonial “haymakers” in 1775 presented and won the first challenge by the fledgling American navy to the colossal naval power of Great Britain. This brilliant victory by a Yankee settler represented the first of the soon-to-be-numerous naval victories of the Revolutionary War. The exploits of this sailor-soldier-privateer are, however, little known today. Jeremiah O’Brien of Machias, Maine, captained six privateers at sea between 1775 and 1781, and during his only time ashore, he was the captain of a company of militia defending against British-inspired hostile Indians.
Captain Jeremiah O'Brien and the Machias Liberty
By Lieutenant Commander M. D. Giambattista, U. S. Navy