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This book consists of seven stand-alone accounts of individuals who operated as spies during the American Revolutionary War. They were not trained as covert agents, which meant they had to develop their skills and techniques on their own, often while in the midst of the enemy where discovery meant almost certain death for them, and suffering and hardship for their family and friends. Five of them spied for the American cause and two spied for the British. Not all were motivated by patriotism, and not all escaped capture, yet their often painfully gained experience benefited future operatives and operations. They all were daring, intelligent and resourceful, and each had an unusual personality. Their labours resulted in battlefield victories, thwarted enemy plots, and significantly changed the conduct of the war, yet in spite of their efforts and their riveting stories, they and their deeds have remained relatively unknown.
By all accounts, Sally Townsend of Oyster Bay was a very attractive young lady - petite, vivacious, intelligent and remarkably beautiful. But her large beguiling eyes were her most striking characteristic, referenced in a 1779 Valentine poem from an admiring British officer: ""Thou know'st what powerful magick lies Within the round of Sarah's eyes."" She was the sister of Robert Townsend, a principle member of the ""Culper Ring,"" General Washington's most effective spy network. During the British occupation (1776-1783), Redcoat, Hessian and Loyalist officers were quartered in the Townsend home, and Sally assisted her brother in gathering intelligence, coyly flirting with the enemy. She was the romantic interest of Jager officer Ernst Wintzingerode, dallied with Major John Andre, the British adjutant general, and was courted by Lieutenant Colonel John Graves Simcoe of the Queen's Rangers. This book tells the story of Sally Townsend, her secret service during the Revolutionary War and the heavy price she paid for her role in thwarting the Benedict Arnold treason plot. The author explores the possible identity of the mysterious ""Agent 355"" mentioned in a cryptic Culper Ring message.
In the mid-seventeenth century, the Iroquois Confederacy launched a war for control of the burgeoning fur trade industry. These conflicts, known as the Beaver Wars, were among the bloodiest in North American history, and the resulting defeat of the Erie nation led to present-day Ohio becoming devoid of Indian inhabitants. Only in the first quarter of the eighteenth century did tribes begin to tentatively resettle the area. This book details the story of the Beaver Wars, the subsequent Indian migrations into present Ohio, the locations and descriptions of documented Indian trails and settlements, the Moravian Indian mission communities in Ohio, and the Indians' forlorn struggles to preserve an Ohio homeland, culminating in their expulsion by Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act in 1830.
George Washington and the Half King Chief Tanacharison is a detailed account of the singular events in western Pennsylvania that precipitated the French and Indian War. In particular, it describes the interpersonal relationship between twenty-two year old, inexperienced, but self-assured George Washington and the fifty-four year old wily Iroquois half-king, Chief Tanacharison, and how their interaction resulted in, as Horace Walpole quipped, Washington firing ""a volley in the backwoods of America that set the world on fire."" The book explores the history of the French and English rivalry for the trans-Allegheny territory, and its impact on the Indians in the area. It details how Washington and Tanacharison each sought to influence the other to gain support for their respective agendas. Washington wanted the Indians to endorse Virginia's claim to the Ohio territory, while Tanacharison wanted nothing less than a war between England and France so that the Iroquois could maintain their dominance over the Ohio Indians. The book describes in detail the sequence of events through which the crafty half-king manipulated Washington into starting the war he wanted, and by his actions implicated Washington in nothing less than a cold-blooded murder.
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