In the vise of empire: British impressment of the American sailor
Phelan, Claire Pauline
Doctor of Philosophy
This dissertation examines the late-eighteenth and early nineteenth century issue of British impressment of American seamen. It evaluates the degree to which British insistence on the right to impress negatively impacted the American national psyche. It also highlights the disparity between the public sentiment and sympathy for those sailors impressed, and the paucity of practical and financial assistance given to those who suffered the hardship. By focusing on the experience from the perspective of the impressed mariners themselves, this project illustrates the devastating personal hardships that the practice had on this humble section of American history.