This exciting new webinar reveals the action, intrigue and terror of the people living around Long Island Sound during America’s War for Independence. With the Connecticut and
This exciting new webinar reveals the action, intrigue and terror of the people living around Long Island Sound during America’s War for Independence. With the Connecticut and Long Island coasts less than 10 miles apart in many sections of the Sound, raiders crossed every fair night either to smuggle and/or steal goods; and kidnap or kill enemies. Spies, on both sides, rounded out this dangerous cast of characters.
The economic blockade between British occupied Long Island and Patriot led Connecticut was the foundation of this violent conflict. But bitterness and desire for vengeance was fueled by the fighters’ familiarity with one another. Families and communities were ripped apart as Patriots in Connecticut expelled Loyalists and Loyalists on Long Island banished Patriots. Many Connecticut Loyalists ended up on Long Island and many Long Island Patriots became refuges in Connecticut. Rabble-rousers on both coasts knew exactly where their enemies lived and it is not surprising that they started to violently attack each other.
The attack vessel of choice was the whaleboat. These boats were powered by up to 10 men and measured about 25 feet in length. Some had a sail and/or a swivel gun on the bow; they were very maneuverable and could operate quietly. These shallow boats were easily hidden in the many inlets and islands of the Sound.
Some raids were led by “individuals” or loosely organized small groups, but sophisticated planning was employed for bigger raids involving hundreds of men. The lecture will detail some of these raids and discuss the fate of Patriot prisoners held by the British.
This program is co-presented by the Ridgefield Library and supported by Fairfield County Bank.