New Book about Record-Breaking Shipmaster from Cape Cod Who Was Mysteriously Lost at Sea

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Also Tells Broader Story of Nineteenth-Century Maritime Trade That Shaped America

The Historical Society of Old Yarmouth today announced the release of its latest publication, The Lost Hero of Cape Cod: Captain Asa Eldridge and the Maritime Trade That Shaped America, by Vincent Miles. Born in Yarmouth in 1809, Asa Eldridge became one of the greatest shipmasters of his age, and still holds the record for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic by a sailing ship. His career included many other highlights—notably, command of Cornelius Vanderbilt’s private “steam-yacht”—but was cut short when he disappeared at sea under mysterious circumstances.

Beyond Eldridge’s career, the new book also tells a much broader story, of the battle between the American and British merchant navies for supremacy in transatlantic trade in the decades following the War of 1812, and of the contrasting government policies that allowed Britain to reclaim the Atlantic after a quarter-century of American dominance.

“Asa Eldridge has long been one of Yarmouth’s favorite sons,” said Duncan Oliver of the Historical Society of Old Yarmouth, “but until Vincent Miles’ meticulous research, we had never appreciated the full range of his accomplishments, nor the extent to which these illustrated much broader developments in US maritime history.”

The Lost Hero of Cape Cod: Captain Asa Eldridge and the Maritime Trade That Shaped America is available from Amazon.com and other booksellers. For more information, visit http://www.lostherocapecod.com.

About the Historical Society of Old Yarmouth (HSOY)
HSOY was founded in 1953 to preserve, and develop community interest in, the history of Yarmouth. The Society operates the Captain Bangs Hallet House Museum and the Historical Society Nature Trails, both of which are open to the public, and each year sponsors lectures, school programs, exhibitions, walking tours, concerts, holiday events, and various other social and educational opportunities for the community. HSOY also has an active publishing program designed to encourage historical scholarship about Yarmouth and make it available to the public. For more information, visit http://www.hsoy.org.

About Vincent Miles
Vincent Miles wrote The Lost Hero of Cape Cod after realizing that his house on the Cape must have been visited regularly by Asa Eldridge, who was the original owner’s nephew and lived just around the corner. Since Miles grew up in Liverpool, a port that figured prominently in Eldridge’s career, he was curious to learn more. The new book is the result of that curiosity.

Contact: The Historical Society of Old Yarmouth
Amy Heller, (508) 362 3021, hsoy(at)comcast(dot)net

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