Sixteen-year-old Jed Starbuck, a young Nantucketer, had lost his father when their whaler went down in a storm off Cape May, at the southern tip of New Jersey. The orphaned boy had been indentured to a Quaker farmer who treated him with strict fairness. When the Revolutionary War broke out, Jed had a burning ambition to do his part, but what chance did a “bound” boy have to strike a blow for liberty?
His first opportunity came when he participated in a night raid on a gang of Tory plotters. Then a privateer schooner, the True Patriot, was launched, and Jed was asked to join her crew; his master consented because he had half a share in the venture. In the exciting months that followed, the schooner took some rich British prizes and had many narrow escapes in a series of daring sea fights. By the time winter came again, Jed’s share of the prize money enabled him to pay off his indenture.
Stephen Meader, whose many books for young people are known and loved throughout the land, now lives in historic Cape May County. In this new book, he not only tells a fast-paced story of action at sea but also describes with color and accuracy the hard life of farm families in the colonies and their struggles with the lawless Tory “refugees” who hid in the cedar swamps. A Blow for Liberty will take its place with the best of Mr. Meader’s historical fiction.