In Pursuit of Glory
In 1807, the fledging American merchant marine and naval ships continued to be harassed by the British Royal Navy in search of British deserters or sailors of British ancestry. Young Oliver Baldwin served as midshipman under Captain Stephen Decatur, the American hero of the Barbary Coast wars fought several years earlier. This book is second in the series of tales that follows the adventures of Baldwin, from the time he joined the American navy as a midshipman when he was twelve years old through the War of 1812.
The story begins with the true account of the court-martial of Commodore James Barron, who, aboard the USF Chesapeake, surrendered his ship to the HMS Leopard of the Royal Navy without much of a fight. After the trial, Baldwin is caught up in the fight to stop the impressment of American sailors and enforce the U.S. embargoes in retaliation for the British navy’s actions, which leads to the early days of the war between Britain and the United States in 1812.
This is a well-written novel by Mr. White, who uses actual and fictional characters to follow the American struggle for the right to sail the ocean unimpeded against Britain and its larger naval force. A lifelong sailor, the author knows his history and the language of the men who sailed these glorious ships in the early 19th century. I recommend this novel to those who enjoy a good sailing yarn.