Sears, Isaac, c.1730–86, American Revolutionary leader, b. West Brewster, Mass. A merchant sea captain, Sears won a reputation as a daring privateer during the French and Indian War. He was a leader in the resistance to the Stamp Act in New York City, helped organize (1766) the Sons of Liberty, and remained prominent in the agitation against the British during the next decade. Arrested (1775) for anti-British activities, he was rescued at the prison door by his comrades. When news of the battle of Lexington reached New York, Sears led a mob that drove prominent loyalists from the city and seized the British arsenal. After the British capture (1776) of New York, Sears went to Boston and promoted privateering for the remainder of the war. He was later elected (1784, 1786) to the New York state assembly.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.