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Humpday History Highlight

By Wyatt Earp | October 5, 2011

October 5, 1775 – Washington Informs Congress Of Espionage

On this day, General George Washington writes to the president of the Continental Congress, John Jay, to inform him that a letter from Dr. Benjamin Church, surgeon general of the Continental Army, to Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Gage, British commander in chief for North America, had been intercepted. Washington wrote, “I have now a painful tho’ a Necessary Duty to perform respecting Doctor Church, Director General of the Hospital.”

Benedict Arnold may have been the Revolution’s most renowned traitor, but he certainly was not the only one.

How was Church revealed? A woman . . .

Washington described how a coded letter to a British officer, Major Crane, came into Washington’s possession by a convoluted route from “a Woman who was kept by Doctor Church.”

The woman Washington interrogated was the mistress of Dr. Benjamin Church, a renowned Boston physician. In July 1775, Washington had named Church the first surgeon general of the Continental Army, only to find out three months later that he had been spying for the British since 1772. Despite Church’s plea of innocence, he was charged with treason, convicted and sentenced to life in prison. After becoming ill while incarcerated, Dr. Church was exiled to the West Indies.

The ship in which he traveled is believed to have been lost at sea.

Yeah, that’s just what the British wanted us to think!

Topics: HHH | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Humpday History Highlight”

  1. JT Says:
    October 5th, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Slippery bostard.

  2. Picky Says:
    October 5th, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Washington knew what to do with traitors.

    That is all.

  3. Wyatt Earp Says:
    October 5th, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    JT – Agreed. Rat fink.

    Picky – He strung up a bunch of deserters at Valley Forge, too. Hard core.

  4. Ingineer66 Says:
    October 6th, 2011 at 12:08 am

    You pick the Moral of the story 1) You can’t trust a woman 2) Don’t keep a mistress 3) You can’t trust somebody from Boston. I would go with number 2.

  5. Bob G. Says:
    October 7th, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    The story behind Arnold’s “defection” is pretty good…

    At least Arnold had a (dumbass) reason…
    What have the leftists got THESE days?

    Stay safe