Tag Archives: John Kendrick

Explorers have to be ready to die lost.

After a career as a privateer in the first American War for Independence and before there was a Constitution, Captain John Kendrick’s embarked on a cruise of exploration and trade from Boston to the Far East. In the process he lost his two sons on the Columbia River and was killed himself by a British warship firing a salute of recognition. Having been one of the first Americans to reach Japan and China he was buried on a hidden beach in Hawaii which even with the irony of his means of passing seems a fitting resting place. Ridley’s book is a fine tribute to a great sailor.

Morning of fire : John Kendrick’s daring American odyssey in the Pacific  Scott Ridley  New York, NY : William Morrow, c 2010  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xii, 452 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 427-444) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG


Morning of Fire by Scott Ridley is the thrilling story of 18th century American explorer and expeditioner John Kendrick as he journeyed  for land and trade in the Pacific. Set against the backdrop of one of the most exciting and uncertain times in world history, John Kendrick’s odyssey aboard his sailing ship Lady Washington carries him from the shores of New England across the unexplored waters of the Pacific Northwest to the contentious ports of  China and the war-ravaged islands of Hawaii, all while avoiding intrigues and traps from the British and the Spanish.


Just four years after the Revolutionary War and more than a decade before Lewis and Clark’s expedition, a remarkable plan was hatched along the docks of Boston Harbor. Two ships carrying the flag of the newly formed United States would be dispatched in 1787 on a landmark adventure around South America’s Cape Horn and into the largely uncharted waters of the Pacific Ocean, far past the western edge of the continent.


The man chosen to lead the expedition was Captain John Kendrick, a master navigator who had made his name as a charismatic privateer during the Revolution. On the harrowing seven-year voyage that followed, Kendrick would establish the first American outpost in the remote Pacific Northwest, sail into a deadly cauldron of intertribal war in the Hawaiian Islands, wage a single-ship campaign to hold off advances of the British and Spanish empires, and narrowly escape capture by samurai in Japan before meeting his own violent and tragic end thousands of miles from home.


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