For nearly four centuries, the maritime history of Stratford, Connecticut set the standard for the growing relationship between the United States and the sea. For the long years when ocean and river were the only practical means of travel, and from the struggles for independence to the quest for commerce that played out upon the waves, Stratford's brave sons have navigated both Long Island Sound, whose waters lap their shores, and the wide world beyond. Stratford and the Sea is the story of Captain David Hawley fighting to save the young American Revolution. It is the story of privateer Samuel Nicoll's furious attacks on British shipping in the War of 1812 that forever altered our nation's future. And it is the story of merchant captains like Dowdall, Sterling, and Benjamin who pioneered transatlantic commerce and opened up trade routes to the Orient, establishing American dominance in international trade. But there is more to the story than the men who tell it. Here also-brought to life with 200 vintage photographs, period maps, and antique postcards-is the tale of the rise and fall of the mighty oyster fishery, the birth of decoy carving as a unique American folk art, and the rush of progress and industry brought to town by Igor Sikorsky and his flying boats.