J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Thursday, December 05, 2013

“Kidnapping the Enemy” in Newport, 12 Dec.

Next Thursday, 12 December, the Newport Historical Society will host author Christian McBurney’s first lecture about his new book Kidnapping the Enemy: The Special Operations to Capture General Charles Lee and Richard Prescott. The society describes the event this way:
On December 13, 1776, at an isolated New Jersey tavern, George Washington’s second-in-command, Major-General Charles Lee, was captured by a party of British dragoons. The American army needed a British captive who was the same rank as General Lee.

Rhode Island’s William Barton planned and executed the cross-bay capture of Major-General Richard Prescott at the Overing house in Middletown, where Prescott commanded the British garrison occupying Newport and the rest of Aquidneck Island. Barton’s raid was the outstanding special operation of the Revolutionary War and still ranks as one of the greatest in American military history. But did the pride he earned from this mission ruin thirteen years of his life?
McBurney is a graduate of Brown University and partner in a Washington, D.C., law firm. He is the author of other books on early Rhode Island history, including The Rhode Island Campaign: The First French and American Operation of the Revolutionary War and British Treatment of Prisoners During the Occupation of Newport, 1776–1779.

Admission to this event is $5 per person, or just $1 for Newport Historical Society members. It will take place in the Newport Colony House, Washington Square, starting at 5:30 P.M. To reserve a space, call 401-841-8770.

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