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Beckwith, George, Sir (1753-1823) [British spy report]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05224.01 Author/Creator: Beckwith, George, Sir (1753-1823) Place Written: New York Type: Manuscript document Date: 5 September 1781 Pagination: 1 p. ; 33.5 x 20.4 cm.

Summary of Content: Reports on George Knox "formerly a Capt. in the Continental Army" who had resigned his commission in April 1780 and resumed farming in Newark. Informs that Knox turned himself over to loyalist refugees at Bergen and sought to join the British service. Relays that Knox reported that General George Washington is below Philadelphia and the troops with him are the Jersey Brigade of about 600 or 700, the Congress Regiment, a detachment of light infantry formed from York troops, and the French troops. Knox also reported that the New England troops are at the Hudson Highlands under General William Heath. George Knox was probably a planted informer and possibly a ruse since Washington was heading towards Virginia.

Background Information: Beckwith was the head of British intelligence operations in the Colonies at the end of the Revolutionary War.

Full Transcript: New York Sepr 5th 1781

George Knox, formerly a Capt. in ye Continental Army, but resigned his Commisn. in Apl. 1780, & has lived in Newark since that time. He came over yesterday ...to ye Refugees at Bergen, & delivered himself up to them; He says his intention of coming in is to offer his Service to Govert. in the Military line, he is at present delivered to Mr. Loring as a prisoner, He desired to return in a few days on his parole, to effect an Exchange, and then if he can be employed here he will sell his Estate in Newark & come in with his family.

Knox says Washington has got below Philadelphia, that he has taken no troops with him to the Southward, but the Jersey Brigade which is 6 or 700, the Congress Regt. about 80 or 100 men, a detachment of Light Infantry from [illegible] York Troops, & The french Troops -
The New England troops are all out & about [illegible] Highlands under Genl [William] Heath -
A Regt made up of 3 & one years men under Colo Sealy lay about four miles back of Newark -
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People: Beckwith, George, 1753-1823
Heath, William, 1737-1814
Knox, George, fl. 1781

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Revolutionary WarMilitary HistorySpyingContinental ArmyLoyalistRefugeesRevolutionary War GeneralFranceBattle (Siege, Surrender) of YorktownGlobal History and CivicsForeign Affairs

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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