I wrote a review of the superb book “George Washington’s Secret Six” back on January 29 of this year which can be found at:
In the course of that review I wrote that little had been written about this subject of the network of spies which the Father of our Country managed to set up in British-occupied New York City during the War for American Independence. As I said in the amended version of that review a couple of days ago, I was at that time unaware of the book
“Washington’s Spies” by Alexander Rose, which is the basis for the TV Series “Turn” which is currently being broadcast on the AMC Cable TV Network. So as I said in the amendment, I am currently reading Mr. Rose’s book and should have a review of it, likely comparing and contrasting it with Mr. Killmeade’s book, as well as perhaps saying something about how well it transfers to our living room TV screens. Look for that on this Blog by the end of this month, or the beginning of next.
But, in addition to cluing you in to the fact that this is coming up, I wanted to give you an absolutely outrageous excerpt from Mr. Rose’s book. He is here speaking of the odd conglomeration of people which had collected in New York City as a result of the fact that it was under British occupation, and was therefore cut off from the rest of the American Colonies. Read the whole paragraph if you have the time, but definitely read the part which I have highlighted at the very end. I promise you will be blown away!! It really is pretty amazing. Read and believe:
“New York’s inhabitants were compressed into a tiny area, an inverted triangle measuring half a square mile. There were about 25,000 residents in 1776—including 3,137 free, freed, and enslaved blacks, as well as Scots, Irish, Germans , Jews (some 300 ), Spaniards , and
Portuguese— but this figure did not account for soldiers. In May 1776, 8,767 American troops were deployed in and around the city; by August, there were no fewer than 20,375 American and 34,614 British servicemen in the area, all demanding food, fuel, and shelter. Within the month, the vast majority of civilians had fled the fighting, leaving just 5,000 living in the spookily deserted city. (Among those who remained, whoever’s soldiery was in town, were the 500 hopeful prostitutes plying their trade in what was known as “Holy Ground”— it was land owned by the Church of England— that occupied the area later occupied by the World Trade Center .) “
That’s all (for now) folks!!!!!!!! See you soon!!
“Washington’s Spies” by Alexander Rose, Bantam Books, New York, 2006, p. 91