Sunday, February 5, 2012

Long Island Raid

On February 5, 1776, The Newport Mercury reported, "We learn from New York, that a large body of men landed the week before last upon Long-Island, took 7 or 8 principal Tories, and disarmed a considerable number of others, some of whom had been supplied with arms from the Asia man of war."

Throughout the Revolutionary War, Patriots from New Jersey and the New England states raided eastern Long Island on whaleboats.  Some raiders, however, were marauders looking for a chance to loot.  Others were Americans hoped to exchange captured Tories for Americans detained in New York City prisons and prison ships.

For more on the "whaleboat war," consult Edwin G. Burrows, Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Stor of American Prisoners During the Revolutionary War (New York: Basic Books, 2008), 133-36; and the essays (rather, the well-told true stories) collected in Joseph S. Tiedemann and Eugene R. Fingerhut, eds., The Other New York: The American Revolution Beyond New York City, 1763-1787 (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005).  
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