Fast, lightly rigged and sleekly styled with wide, clear decks, the Baltimore Clipper appeared in American waters about the time of the American Revolution and instantly launched a colorful and romantic chapter in maritime history. Because of their speed and maneuverability, these "rakish topsail schooners" were quickly taken up by privateers, slavers, smugglers, and pirates. More often than not, to spot a Baltimore Clipper on the horizon was to spot trouble on the way. Until the publication of this book, little literature was available on these ships. The fascinating and beautifully illustrated volume corrected that deficiency, offering a detailed chronicle of the history and construction of the Baltimore Clipper — during the Revolution, its development from 1782 to 1812, role during the War of 1812, use as a slave ship, and eventual decline. The author, one of the foremost American authorities on sailing and sailing ships, has enhanced the text with over 70 meticulous line illustrations of sail plans, deck plans, and other features of some of the best-known Baltimore Clippers: the Ann McKim, the slave brig Diligente, H. M. Schooner Flying Fish, the French lugger Le Coureur, and many more. In addition, 36 halftone plates depict actual privateers, schooners, slavers, and other vessels, often in dramatic action or battle scenes. The authentic plans and details reproduced here make this book an invaluable reference for shipbuilding hobbyists. Moreover, its rich and comprehensive history of a fascinating era in maritime history will make it a welcome addition to the library of any lover of the great age of sail.