The Original American Spies

Seven Covert Agents of the Revolutionary War

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About the Book

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 labors 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.

About the Author(s)

Paul R. Misencik is a former airline captain and retired division chief of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). He is a member of the First Virginia Regiment of the Continental Line, living history foundation. He lives in Reston, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Paul R. Misencik
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 192
Bibliographic Info: 9 maps, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7794-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1291-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface 1
1. The First Spy: Captain Nathan Hale (1755–1776) 3
2. The Sons of Liberty Spy: Dr. Benjamin Church (1734–1780) 23
3. The Christmas Spy: John Honeyman (1729–1822) 48
4. The Quakeress Spy: Lydia Barrington Darragh (1728–1789) 63
5. The Most Effective Spy: Ann Bates (1748–?) 78
6. The Affable Spy: Hercules Mulligan (1740–1825) 92
7. The Conflicted Spy: James Rivington (1724–1802) 125
Epilogue 164
Chapter Notes 165
Bibliography 171
Index 179

Book Reviews & Awards

“refreshing…lavish detail…extensive research”—Stars and Stripes.