The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn: An Untold Story of the American Revolution

The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn: An Untold Story of the American Revolution

by Robert P. Watson
The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn: An Untold Story of the American Revolution

The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn: An Untold Story of the American Revolution

by Robert P. Watson


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The most horrific struggle of the American Revolution occurred just 100 yards off New York, where more men died aboard a rotting prison ship than were lost to combat during the entirety of the war.

Moored off the coast of Brooklyn until the end of the war, the derelict ship, the HMS Jersey, was a living hell for thousands of Americans either captured by the British or accused of disloyalty. Crammed below deck — a shocking one thousand at a time — without light or fresh air, the prisoners were scarcely fed food and water. Disease ran rampant and human waste fouled the air as prisoners suffered mightily at the hands of brutal British and Hessian guards. Throughout the colonies, the mere mention of the ship sparked fear and loathing of British troops. It also sparked a backlash of outrage as newspapers everywhere described the horrors onboard the ghostly ship. This shocking event, much like the better-known Boston Massacre before it, ended up rallying public support for the war.

Revealing for the first time hundreds of accounts culled from old newspapers, diaries, and military reports, award-winning historian Robert P. Watson follows the lives and ordeals of the ship's few survivors to tell the astonishing story of the cursed ship that killed thousands of Americans and yet helped secure victory in the fight for independence.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306825521
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 08/15/2017
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 509,381
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Robert P. Watson, PhD, has published three dozen nonfiction books, two encyclopedia sets, three novels, and hundreds of scholarly journal articles, book chapters, and reference essays on topics in politics and history. A frequent media commentator, Watson has been interviewed by outlets throughout the United States and internationally and serves as the political analyst for WPTV 5 (NBC) in Florida. For many years he was also a Sunday columnist with the Sun-Sentinel newspaper. An award-winning author, Watson's recent books include The Presidents' Wives; Affairs of the State; and America's First Crisis, which received the 2014 Gold Medal in History from the Independent Publishers' Association (IPPY). He is a Distinguished Professor of American History at Lynn University.

Table of Contents

Map of New York City in 1770 ix

Map of Wallabout Bay During the American Revolution x

Preface xi

Introduction: "A Vast and Silent Army" 1

1 Warship 11

2 "The Glorious Cause" 18

3 City of Prisons 29

4 Privateers 43

5 Patriots 48

6 Adventure on the High Seas 61

7 Floating Dungeons 73

9 Welcome to Hell 90

10 The Final Voyage 103

11 Tempest 116

12 Negotiations 130

13 July 4 144

14 Escape 156

15 Run! 163

16 Turning Point 179

17 Freedom 192

18 Death and Demise 206

19 Rediscovery 218

Postscript 226

Appendix I "The Poet of the American Revolution" 235

Appendix II List of Prison Ships 241

Notes 243

Bibliography 264

Index 275

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