You’ve probably never heard of Luke Ryan. You probably didn’t know that Benjamin Franklin had his own private navy during American War of Independence and yet Ryan - Franklin’s most dangerous privateer - did more damage to British shipping than any other commander, including the great John Paul Jones.
This is an extraordinary, little-known story of selfless heroism, love, intrigue and betrayal. It is a bold story about bold men, about rough Irish mariners who in the beginning of their adventure sail for money but later find themselves fighting for a new nation’s struggle for liberty, becoming true American patriots along the way.
- 1778 -
Ryan, a 25 year old smuggler and thief, is the master of the Black Prince, one of the fastest ships on the water. He runs a very lucrative business between Dunkirk and Dublin and is indifferent to the brutal war raging back and forth between the Colonies and Great Britain until the British seize his ship one day and toss his men into Dublin’s notorious Black Dog. Ryan escapes capture, breaks his men out of jail and together they retake their ship by force. But now the Irishmen have committed piracy and they will all hang if caught. They cannot return to smuggling so Ryan sails to France to offer his services to Franklin, the American ambassador to the French Court who, Ryan has heard, is quietly assembling a private navy to fight the British in their own home waters. Franklin’s reluctant decision to unleash Ryan and his Irishmen will bring unforeseen consequences and have a significant impact on the outcome of the war…
Mark lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area and enjoys writing.