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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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

McBurney on “Spies in Revolutionary Rhode Island,” 11 Dec.

On Thursday, 11 December, the Newport Historical Society will host a lecture by Christian M. McBurney on the topic of his new book, Spies in Revolutionary Rhode Island.

Aquidneck Island and Narragansett Bay were contested territory during the Revolutionary War, with American, British, and French troops occupying Newport at different times. The area was thus a crossroad for spies on both sides.

In this talk, McBurney will discuss such individuals as:
  • Lieutenant John Trevett of the Continental navy sloop Providence dressed as an ordinary sailor, grew out his beard, and went from tavern to tavern in Newport gathering intelligence.
  • William Taggart became a Patriot spy and enlisted the help of his son to pass messages from Middletown to the American army at Tiverton.
  • Portsmouth’s Metcalf Bowler became a traitor on the order of Benedict Arnold as he spied for the British while professing to be a Patriot leader.
  • Disguised as a peddler, Ann Bates spied for the British ahead of the Rhode Island Campaign.
McBurney is the author of The Rhode Island Campaign: The First French and American Operation of the Revolutionary War and Kidnapping the Enemy: The Special Operations to Capture Generals Charles Lee & Richard Prescott.

This talk will start at 5:30 P.M. in the Colony House, Washington Square. Admission is $1 for Newport Historical Society members, $5 for everyone else. Reserve a seat by calling 401-841-8770.

1 comment:

J. L. Bell said...

For Christian McBurney's other signings and talks during this Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts, visit his website.