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Esek Hopkins (1718–1802) by unknown engraver, pubd 1776 (after Wilkinson) Ashmolean Museum, Oxford


Hopkins, Esek (1718–1802), revolutionary naval officer, was born on 26 April 1718 in Providence, Rhode Island, the sixth of nine children of William Hopkins (d. 1738), farmer, and his wife, Ruth, daughter of Samuel Wilkinson and his wife, Plain. He spent his youth working on his father's farm and received little formal education. Upon his father's death, he suddenly had to make his own way in life. As two of his brothers, ...