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Cap’t Adam Hyler Attacks British Navy Using Armed Whaleboats

Adam Hyler (1735–1782) was a privateer and whaleboat captain during the Revolutionary War. He harassed the British fleet in the New York harbor area, destroying ships and capturing crews. Hyler lived in New Brunswick, New Jersey. On Friday, October 5, 1781, Captain Hyler, with one gun boat and two armed whaleboats, within a quarter of a mile of the guard ship at Sandy Hook, attacked five British vessels, some of which were well-armed, and captured all five within 15 minutes. Hyler’s men salvaged all of the usable material from the British ships before setting them afire (but one, to spare the lives of women and children on board), before making their escape while under constant barrage from British guns on shore.

Sources: The Pennsylvania Packet (Philadelphia), 16 October 1781, p. 3.

Photo courtesy Navesink Maritime Heritage Association

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