Abraham Whipple Biography

Abraham Whipple was a great American revolutionary commander. Read on to know more about Abraham Whipple’s profile, childhood, life and timeline in this biography.

Abraham Whipple

Quick Facts

Gender: Male
Birthday: 26 September 1733
Died: 27 May 1819
Nationality: American
Sun Sign: Libra

Abraham Whipple was a great American revolutionary commander, who worked with Continental Navy. Whipple, who wished to be a seafarer, commenced a career in West Indies trade with industrialist Moses and trader John Brown. He then moved on and chose to become a privateersman. He is popular as the first man to open trade to the Northwest Territory by sailing 2000 miles down from Ohio to the Caribbean.

Early Life & Career

Abraham Whipple was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on 26 September 1733. He was born to a local farmer, Noah Whipple, Jr. John Whipple, one of the early owners of the Providence Plantations, was his grandfather. Whipple was greatly fascinated by sea; a natural call of one who lived in a place with one-third occupied by tidewater region.
Whipple had an imperfect early education but, he was naturally endowed with strong mind and resolution of purpose. This, along with his passion for sea, knowledge of navigation and accounts and his skill to conduct the command of vessels in the West India trade helped him earn name while at the same time get good and profit to his employers.
Whipple started his career as a trader but later, he became a privateersman and in a six-month cruise he seized 23 French ships. He was commissioned a captain in the Continental Navy and was given command of the ship 24-gun frigate Columbus, which he commanded during the first Continental Navy-Marine Corps amphibious expedition, cruising to regions like Bahamas to capture some essential military supplies from the British garrison at Nassau. After serving continental Navy he chose to become a farmer. However, he did two spells of seafaring; as master of ‘merchantmen’ and ‘St. Clair’.
Abraham Whipple took his last breath on 27 May 1819 at Marietta.

Legacy and Contributions

Whipple was one of the most important naval officers of the U.S. Navy during the American Revolution. Even before being appointed as a commodore, Whipple conducted a raid along with fifty fellowmen, to bring down the British vessel ‘HMS Gaspee’. Three years after the incident he was made the commodore of two ships by the Rhode Island General Assembly. His job was to guard the colony with the ships provided to him. As expected, Whipple accomplished everything that was asked of him. He successfully captured the ship ‘HMS Rose’, employed to suppress the smuggling activities in Rhode Islands.
Later, the Continental Navy appointed him as a captain of the 24-gun frigate ‘Columbus’. He undertook various invasions on some important ships which belonged to the British Crown. Whipple continued to fight against, but the overpowering British armed forces took over the Continental Navy and Whipple was imprisoned. After his release he took up farming and later helped in foundation of the town Marietta, Ohio.

Media Representations

Capt. Abraham Whipple was mentioned in ‘The Case of Charles Dexter Ward’ by H.P.Lovecraft.

Personal Life

Whipple was more than just seeking adventures. He was fond of dangerous exploits and was always in the hunt of it. In his days, no man in the American navy could outdo him or dare to go that far. It is said that he was at his courageous and cheerful most when the sea stormed. The fiercer the sea, the more vivacious Whipple would become. This was one side of him. The other side was the more of a more benevolent and lovable one. His men liked for the man he was and respected for he did for them.


1733: Whipple was born on September 26.
1759: He was a privateersman for a year.
1761: Abraham married Sarah Hopkins.
1772: He captured the HMS Gaspee.
1775: He was appointed as a commodore of two ships by the Rhode Island General Assembly.
1776: Abraham commanded the 24-frigate Columbus and went with his army to New Providence, in Bahamas, where he seized important military supplies.
1780: He was captured and imprisoned.
1788: Whipple and his family were helped the build the town of Marietta, Ohio.
1818: His wife, Sarah, died in the month of October.
1819: Whipple died on May 27, at Marietta, Ohio, at the age of 85.

Citation Information

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Abraham Whipple Biography


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Last Updated

May 28, 2019

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