AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Overviews

P - Z

Paltsits, Victor H. "The Use of Invisible Ink for Secret Writing during the American Revolution." New York Public Library Bulletin 39 (May 1935): 361-365. [Petersen]

Patrick, Louis S. "The Secret Service of the American Revolution." Journal of American History 1 (1907): 497-508. [Petersen]

Pearl, Nathalie. "Long Island's Secret Agents of George Washington during the Revolutionary War." Nassau County Historical Journal 7, no. 1 (1945). [Rose]

Pennypacker, Morton.

1. General Washington's Spies on Long Island and in New York. Brooklyn, NY: Long Island Historical Society, 1939.

Constantinides notes that this work is based on correspondence between George Washington and Maj. Benjamin Tallmadge, who ran the Culper ring. There is a great deal here on clandestine operations of the time. Washington's "flair for and use of deception based on reliable intelligence are well brought out and illustrated."

2. General Washington's Spies on Long Island and in New York. Vol. 2. Supp. East Hampton, NY: Pennypacker Long Island Collection, East Hampton Free Library, 1948.

This is a slim (42 pages) addition to the materials and story presented by the author in his 1939 publication (see above).

Peterson, Michael L. "The Church Cryptogram: To Catch a Tory Spy." American History Illustrated 24, no. 6 (1989): 36-43.

Potts, James M. French Covert Action in the American Revolution. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, 2005. (Digital edition available)

Peake, Studies 50.4 (2006) and Intelligencer 15.2 (Fall-Winter 2006-2007), finds that the author has answered questions about how the French clandestine support to the United States during the Revolutionary War "was initiated, when it began, the types of materials involved, and the impact it had on the war effort.... Potts shows that without this help Washington could not have sustained his army in the field until the critical battle of Saratoga, a battle won with materials supplied by France." This is a "very well documented and well-told treatment of the first covert action involving the United States."

Rigg, Robert B. "Of Spies and Specie." Military Review 42 (Aug. 1962): 13-21. [Petersen]

Rose, Alexander. Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring. New York: Bantam, 2006.

According to Peake, Studies 51.1 (Mar. 2007), the main topic of this book is the Culper Ring. The author's "documentation is exemplary," and the book "is well written, eminently readable and the best account of the Culper Ring to date." Zeman, I&NS 22.3 (Jun. 2007), finds that "[a]ll the elements of a great cloak-and-dagger story are present" in this "most interesting and engaging" book. The author "gives a comprehensive overview" of the Culper Ring.

Rose, P.K. [Pseud., Kenneth A. Daigler] "The Founding Fathers of American Intelligence." Intelligencer 11, no. 2 (Winter 2000): 9-15. [Appeared originally in Studies in Intelligence (Summer 2000).]

Vignettes of "George Washington: The First American Intelligence Chief," "John Jay: America's First Counterintelligence Chief," and "Benjamin Franklin: Master of Covert Action." See also, Kenneth A. Daigler.

Rowland, John Kenneth. "General Thomas Gage, the Eighteenth-Century Literature of Military Intelligence, and the Transition from Peace to Revolutionary War, 1774 to 1775." Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques 32, no. 3 (2006): 503-521.

Thamm, Gerhardt. "Clandestine Spirit of '76." Intelligencer 10, no. 3 (Dec. 1999): 18-21.

This review of the many facets of intelligence practiced by America's "first foreign intelligence directorate, the ... Committee of Secret Correspondence," is well worth a read.

Thompson, Edmund R., ed. Secret New England: Spies of the American Revolution. Kennebunk, ME: The David Atlee Phillips New England Chapter of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, 1991. Portland, ME: Provincial Press, 2001.

According to Surveillant 1.5, this is a "rare look at over 100 special intelligence landmarks in New England." FILS 11.4 comments that this book provides a "fascinating walk through the history of the intelligence personnel, plots, and New England's part in the Revolutionary War." For Bath, NIPQ, Summer 2001, this work is "both a history and guide to American and British intelligence activities during the Revolutionary War.... [F]amiliar stories ... are retold with historical accuracy.... [And] lesser lights are included" as well.

Crooks, IJI&C 6.1, notes that "[r]eaders with an interest in this historical period will enrich their understanding of the American Revolution; intelligence specialists ... may be somewhat disappointed by the absence of 'sources and methods' documentation in the form of footnotes.... Both groups ... will appreciate the clarity of the prose and the highly readable style." The book includes "an unusually detailed bibliography."

Tourtellot, Arthur B. William Diamond's Drum: The Beginning of the War of the American Revolution. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1957. [Petersen]

U.S. Army. Center for Military History. "Rangers in Colonial and Revolutionary America." http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/documents/revwar/revra.htm.

This is a brief and easily read article that traces the evolution of the "ranger tradition" from the seventeenth century wars between colonists and Native American tribes through the Revolutionary War.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Intelligence in the War of Independence. Washington, DC: 1976.

Constantinides calls this a "quick and commendable introduction to the subject."

Van Doren, Carl. Secret History of the American Revolution: An Account of the Conspiracies of Benedict Arnold and Numerous Others, Drawn from the Secret Service Papers of the British Headquarters in North America, Now for the First Time Examined and Made Public. Garden City, NY: Garden City Publishing, 1941. New York: Penguin, 1968. [pb] Clifton, NJ: A.M. Kelley, 1973.

Constantinides: This work focuses on "British and loyalist clandestine and covert actions against the revolutionary cause on the American continent." At the time of its publication it was hailed as a "basic addition to the great books on the American Revolution"; today, it is just as important for its effect of stimulating others to study the role of intelligence in the Revolutionary War.

York, Neil L. "Clandestine Aid and the American Revolutionary War Effort: A Re-Examination." Military Affairs 43, no. 1 (1979): 26-30.

The author concludes that clandestine aid, especially from France, was critical to the success of the revolutionary cause.

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