John Russell Bartlett Society

Drawing of John Russell Bartlett.
Collection of the John Carter Brown Library.

For John Russell Bartlett Society
Past Events 2012 / 2013

Past Events 2013
Past Events 2014
Past Events 2015

Fall 2015

Thursday, September 17, 2015 6:00 PM:

Join us to hear Christian McBurney discuss his book Kidnapping the Enemy: The Special Operations to Capture Generals Charles Lee and Richard Prescott. On December 13, 1776, a party of British dragoons surprised and captured at an isolated tavern in New Jersey Major General Charles Lee, second-in-command in the Continental Army, behind only George Washington. At the time, Lee was plotting to unseat Washington. In order to have a British captive the same rank as Lee, Providence’s William Barton planned and on the night of July 10-11, 1777, executed the cross-bay capture of Major General Richard Prescott at the Overing house in Portsmouth, at a time when 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 it secured his place as Providence’s greatest Revolutionary War hero. But did the pride he earned from this mission after the war ruin thirteen years of his life?

The lecture will be held at the Rhode Island Historical Society Research Center at 121 Hope Street in Providence. Original letters of Barton and related documents will be on display.

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