tv After Words CSPAN December 24, 2013 2:15pm-3:16pm EST
man of geniality and kindness and people often said that. it doesn't often come through history, kindness. but he was able to end this debate to empathize with people in different walks of life and different color and circumstances and be able to see their point of view and i think that was enlarging to him and ultimately enlarging to the country and i think that's very important and i think the other thing that becomes important and that we think about is we don't have predictions and pronouncements for today, but i think what is significant is also the ability people could have an interest and people who've made the changes often are people that have a capacity to change their mind. and i think one of the things that people say about again going back to lincoln because you asked about him was the capacity to grow and this means
changing your mind and revisiting some of the points of view that you had earlier and being able to see that perhaps they were time around about where you were that you were willing to say no i think i will move in a different direction, and i think that is what we need always. >> that ends our time with nathaniel philbrick. [applause] thank you very much and best wishes to all of you. up next on book tv, "after words" with guest host historian richard brookheiser repeated this week fox and friends cohost brian kilmeade and his latest book george washington's secret
six. and at the syndicated tv radio host tells the story of us by range of six previously unknown revolutionary war spy is that infiltrated the british ranks of new york credited with turning the tide of the war. this program is about an hour. >> this is a terrific and an engrossing book. begin by telling me why did george washington need a spy ring and where did he need it? >> guest: thank you first off. he needed a spy ring because he has a numbers problem and experience problem. i believe he had 9,000 troops and at the low point he had 3,000. the british entered with 40,000 -- over the whole course of the war and they get as much as 80,000. washington sees what happened in new york and saw that he almost was annihilated and saw the revolution almost right before his eyes after all the success in massachusetts and said --
>> host: what your? >> guest: 1776 is when he really comes over after the success, i consider it a success at bunker hill. they said you want boston i will give you boston. they went to canada to regroup and washington said i know exactly where they are coming back, to new york. so they come back to new york city and he knows he can't face them or beat them head-to-head so he has to use espionage and guerrilla warfare and he's got to be smarter than that and he's got to be able to anticipate them so it's only logic that would bring you to welcome he needs a spy for scum he needs his own cia. then you find out he's got this huge espionage background. he is noted from the french indian war. he went out of his way to brush up on those skills so he tells talmadge and others and general scott brigadier general space come here's what we need, here's what we are going to need to do. reza find these people to help me out. >> host: to fill in the background, tell us briefly what he did in the french and indian war.
>> guest: well i know -- i don't say the were extensively, but i know he was an officer where he had a chance to work with the french and had a chance to find out what were they thinking here and there and of course what he's able to pick up working with the british and they also made mistakes. he was way too aggressive as i believe the colonel at that point, and he learned from that and that is another thing which i found fantastic about george washington who's on the side of the mountain. he couldn't do anything wrong and made mistakes and own up to it and learned from it before our eyes. he chronicled everything to get so that was my goal, bring washington to light and let the average ordinary people know in this generation but they are capable of doing by looking at that generation. >> host: so the british had taken new york in the summer of 1776. and what is the importance of
new york city in the strategic shape of the war? why is that so important? >> guest: its educational for me and i find when people write me now they say should i give this to my 15-years-old, to my 14-year-old? fi lived and grew up on that island. and i love history and social studies. and i was thinking to myself okay. is this going to be on the test. if you look at the 13 colonies and the ports and its location it's the center of what would be the new country. it's where most of the traffic was, much of the commerce, where the big ships could pull in and the big ships could pullout and people knew of majorca and have this other area called long island where you could grow food and you could have cattle and you could actually feed an army like the british army. so, if the colony's planned on becoming a country, they can't do it as long as britain is there. they can't do it as long as they don't have control of the ports
and the area. >> host: washington's first idea for a spike is nathan hale, right? tell us that story. >> guest: nathan hale was sad he missed bunker hill. he wanted to see the action. and i know you notice inside and out. he missed by a little while. he comes back with washington and gets a familiarity there and he's a teacher and a yale graduate. talmadge will be important leader. nathan hale volunteers to be a spy. washington says he needs volunteers and he knew that this guy was ill-prepared to do it, he had no experience, extremely bright, good looking guy, robust and ambitious and seemed to be fearless. he said against by understand and what i've concluded is against his better instincts. as far as we can tell and as far as my research would reveal a couple days. he goes into huntington and i saw the point in which he crossed and in a couple days there's a few stories going on
but one of which said that he was overheard asking some questions and some one pretended to be sympathetic to what he's doing and he was captured and a few days later he is hanged unceremoniously. there is a debate about the location that on a understand was 56 and third and i was heartened to see when i went there i believe it was a dress for less, but there is a plaque here stood nathan hale and its are now where we are keeping this and that's fine. but i think most important i want people to say she didn't get hang on mars, and new york city they are sending a message you're going to go for the other side, you're not going to the loyalist we are going to be brutal and direct and we want this to be over quick and he failed because of his inexperience and because he's also a stranger to the area, right? >> guest: he is from the
northern northeast and didn't know long island as far as we could tell and the witnesses in the famous line i only regret i have one life to lose for my country, but the most important is people chronicled the bravery that he showed and people also noted and wanted him to see the brutal way in which he died quickly. so we didn't know the area she was ill-equipped and didn't have the techniques. washington didn't seem to have relayed much to him and it took washington a year. he knew he had to get size together and he had to regroup and find out where to go from here. >> host: what conclusion does he draw from that failure on his mission? >> guest: we have to be clear on our objectives and there's got to be more than one person. and there has to be a way to communicate on which washington can communicate with people whose familiarity with the area to to believe in the mission and the 100% trustworthy and they also have a will of steel. the way that i understand it as
you move through the book, they had all of the symptoms of ptsd and they were being run down. every day was borrowed and they didn't know if today was the last day they were going to be alive. unbelievable stress. even during the war and i don't want to jump too far ahead, but robert, one of the key spies in this location never gets his life together after. in the book we start talking and people start asking questions what happened to him next it so i started looking into him and seeing his letters and i see his older brother solomon who by all accounts is a stud. he's a really big and strong why and he is writing letters to robert saying the war is over. you can do more than this. get out of the house and it reminds me of what we have learned with ptsd when our soldiers come home the trouble getting on track because the mission isn't clear and from the experienced. >> host: so who is the officer that washington turns to to help him set up this rangel that he
needs? >> guest: it would be benjamin talmadge. >> host: and you mentioned him before. >> guest: he is a roommate and former ivy league graduate f. hale at yale. benjamin talmadge has shown himself as a natural leader from all indications working under washington and a side note, his 55 page biography in 1835 was one of the most fascinating 50 pages i've ever had to read because he is as close to anyone i know that can say this is what washington was like. this is what he did. and i know because i was next to him. so talmadge ended up getting the commission to go over and the way i understand it is the first stop was abraham. he was thought to many -- >> where was talmadge from? >> guest: he was from -- and i was just there and at his house
-- she was from the area. >> host: and where is that? long island? >> guest: picture long island, picture a very rural land full of coves and some swampy areas especially near the water. and benjamin talmadge live right by the water with his family who had generation's on long island. everyone knew them and back then, i was -- i found out a lot of the families knew each other because there were very few and they would stay and grow and purchase additional land. so talmadge knew the area and left to go to school and goes back so the first stop he makes his to his grammar school mate abraham would halt who is convinced it would be somebody you can trust. as far as we can tell he is the last remaining son and his older brother had died and abraham is working in the depended on him for his sisters and parents depend on them to be the man of the house because he was robust
and his dad was kind of sickly and also he was kind of sickly. he reminds me of a steve deutsch any type of person but his heart was in the right place. >> host: she's an independent former. >> guest: and like so many he is depicted as somebody that says you guys fight this i have a farm. i might have to stand back to this, but i'm not ready to fight for it. leave me out of it and what happened is the british became so oppressive and so many ways and acted like thugs and crooks and basically it militarize the whole area and made militance of people that were in different. >> host: what did they do to the people that he knew? >> guest: well, what hall in particular got himself into a little bit of trouble. she was somebody the british were keeping a close eye on. in fact the colonel got the word we ought to keep an eye on him once talmadge mobilized him and of course she is doing some suspicious things and one day he
can't find his way home and he gets hung up and in different spy activities, but they do go to his house and they do find his dad and they count on him and beat up his dad pretty good. >> host: who is an old man. >> guest: no fight is left they did it in front of the wife and daughters of it is humiliating and that also sent a message my goodness, can my life for a cause that seems so remote as much as i despise the british july really be putting my family's response. and i am glad you asked these questions because there were times when individuals by is go underneath. they lay low for a while or i think i won out for a while. that is one of the times where abraham said i need to lay low. they're looking at the number one, number 2i need to rethink this so the others kind of ticked up the slack. >> host: now, did woodhall said just the other people in
the ring? >> guest: the next thing washington wanted and is critical if you read the letters, i got in the movement pivoted understand. i need better stuff than this and he went right back and the tone of the letters listen i'm not much of a writer and i never planned to leave. i never thought i was a slight. i'm doing the best i can. but one thing led to another and they realized they had to get to somebody that had a cover story to be in new york city, not someone to go in and out and stay within the under hill was a family friend and then leave and a while. it looks too suspicious and that led him to another famous man and that was the thompson family of plaister of a long island. >> host: and what is there a connection with new york city? >> guest: well, the townsin had a business there and they had a different business a little bit later on. and i go back to the house and described the house back then as a huge mansion. i look at it now and it looks
like a five real house. now, there are normal houses in and in 1930 they said let's stop building around here. let's preserve it, but robert townsin had the the british by his house and say -- and he is the middle brother of six. we are going to be staying here. so his dad took these risks along with his sister and they were jammed into one room. so all of a sudden he was susceptible to doing this. the way the british are treating him and number two, he had nowhere to stay. they didn't like seeing his dad like this respected by many and basically said fought to have signed a loyalist note saying he would be loyal. >> host: so being bullied anyway. >> guest: absolutely. and the way the accounts were in that. they would walk around drinking the archery and pounding on guys and beating up people. so robert picks up stakes and
goes to new york city and he starts buying and you read one thing and another and the reason he was a good spy number when he comes off as extremely intelligent and never to come he's motivated. murphree he understood ships because his dad was in the shipping business. he knew what they must have been up to and how much material was coming in and how much was coming out. and his information immediately upbraided the quality we haven't identified yet what would be the culper ring. that is the code name to be a samuel culpepper when he became a junior and townson, two key members of the ring. how do they get the information to him? once they get in new york and get it out of new york, do they
convey that back >> guest: here is the dramatic part they're able to listen. people get to see and say what's going on heading north where we had it? a great then they would go upstairs and pan a letter and go to the location he penned his letter after the beginning in invisible ink and it was very precious stuff they invented or brought to the states. >> host: let's talk about the ink. how did it work? >> guest: the way it was they called it a sympathetic stain and when you do is you would write -- and i've tried this -- imagine writing and not be daniel to see the letter prior that you wrote it is really confusing.
i don't write great anyway. it vanishes as you write and you are writing all this stuff down and put it inside a book and it comes off as a white page or 76 in the middle of a book, i don't know what that means. that means you go to 76 in the journal which and the page might be blank that was a message to washington if he wanted to bring it to life on long island devotee go to page 76 and that's where you'll find the invisible ink. i don't know if you want me to go ahead but they got more sophisticated afterwards and then they said what if someone figures out the said why don't we right between the lines so they took books from james and a lot of them who was a printing press guy that owned the gazette and they would take the books and write in a certain page whether a prominent writer at time and they would send the message that way. and the guy that would pick it up for the most part was named
austin row. he was the tavern owner, dry good owner, printing press, former. people watching right now say it i can't be washington. you might be right you can't be washington, but can you be -- can you on a tavern, believe in the country and be willing to sacrifice for the cause? that's what we see with the $1.3 million fight we have today in my humble opinion. but they are able to get the message to austin row. he has a reason to go to the city with his cover story. i have a bar and a tavern i have to pick up supplies. i don't want a cheap stuff. every time it was perilous and every time he's going through british forces a lot of these times they were drunk and hanging out hop on the ferry, 55 miles back and he would give it to him and give it to caleb
rooster. >> guest: he's a captain and to me when he comes to life my vision is the rock. it's hawaii in and not that many at that time but she is a big strong determined confident he said i would like to be caleb then he got the guys together in a boat with a tavern on the front and he decides i'm going to go across the long island. picture the body of water can you imagine i was down there during the stand up to explain the story. 65 degrees and line by the water and it's a choppy. can you imagine that in december from january, for jury? he would have to go through the british media and sometimes been the aggressor and scale them to stay away from them, pick up
messages and drop off messages to the courier whether it was talmadge and go over to washington. >> host: said he's taking them across to connecticut. >> guest: on a regular basis. >> host: and then once it gets to talmadge he sends it to washington. now, how do you read the invisible ink? >> guest: there is a thing called some synthetic you have to use it to bring it to life and there are some funny passages in there where he is working on this and he goes to bring it to life and his sisters jump and yell and scream at him and they're goes all over the place. meanwhile at some level it is at stake in washington said treat this like gold we don't have much of it. >> host: there is also a woman in the spring. >> guest: people will fight me on this as you know and it is our conclusion there is absolutely a woman and it seems they refer to it in the book and one of the letters somebody that
is to be a help to us that has just joined the fray. he seems to be working with a regular and when she joins after that letter the intelligence picks up and it seems as though she penetrated the social circle and one conclusion leads to another and major entrée who is the key figure for the british comic actor charismatic and very well respected who to a degree is a british spy and eventually will be working with benedict arnold in the effort to change the war for over to turnover west point to the crowd. so this woman seems to have infiltrated the social circle and got that information to robert and there was an extreme danger all around. the other thing we conclude in the books without a shot of a doubt is that james ludington not only did he employee james as a writer -- >> host: before we get there i want to stay on this woman. what else if anything do we know about her? >> guest: we know she's sophisticated and comfortable in
the high and social circles. >> host: you're not giving her name? >> guest: we don't have her name and i don't believe it is anna strong because i don't think she would be described as a lady that seems to be someone that would be perfectly comfortable and the higher and upper-class area where new york city was. >> host: so she would be giving to the british party. >> guest: absolutely. >> host: how is she identified? >> guest: she is in the ledgers and for example they were not always general washington, got good news the ships have left. they would write in cryptically general washington would be 711 and abraham would be 712, new york at the top of my head i think was 86 khan yunis 711 headed to 86. you cannot even if you had the invisible ink figure this out. we know she is referred to has 355. now this female is known as the lady and we to conclude that she had to have died after benedict
arnold came back into new york city determined to find out who the spy was that helped unmask his plot and he went on a rampage the point that they quit and told george washington i'm out, not doing it and they would say forget it, the heat is still on. i'm not going to come back and they would get convinced to come back and finish off the war. there was a sadness that went through the group and i believe by the paper back which could be six months i would get even closer to naming someone that i thought why reach if i go out of my way to convene the separate stories that live and breathe this everyday from oyster bay to new york city why am i going to reach out to something as significant as who this woman is. >> host: so for now she is 355 and that is all history knows of her for a name. >> guest: and i believe someone will figure out exactly who it is.
>> host: tell us about you already mentioned him, but james rivington is one of the six. >> guest: when i started being passionate about this not knowing i wanted to do it but i knew i wanted to learn more i thought that james rivington was the editor daily list newspaper because he was loyal to the crown after all he had his place burned to the ground by the sons of liberty prior because they were convinced that he was for the british crown and perhaps he was put at some point during the war he switched sides and he kept writing and putting up the newspaper. >> host: so he is a journalist in new york city. >> host: he showed his sympathy to the >> guest: good point. every officer wanted to be in it because not only new york city but back to britain. look at my son, the captain, look what the lt. accomplished, look at the plan the general has for the end of the war and how
long he thinks the war is going to last and the maneuver he says he's in a meeting in the hudson to it said he would get additional information from his adjacent coffee shop and jot that down and put it in the newspapers and books, work with townsin and a 355 to give washington incredible intelligence. >> host: like most journalists, he knows more than he prince. >> guest: absolutely and he gives it to washington not his newspaper. >> guest: >> host: so we have the whole secret six, and we've got them in place in new york city and also in long island. ts up with one of the things that they've accomplished. give us one story that or one of revelation that they get to washington. >> guest: one of the big breaks is that word got out to robert townsin deborah shore bragging least of the paper that they make their currencies.
why is that a big deal? as we know now because we printed currency pretty rapidly at a trillion dollars a month i think if you go and flood the market of the patriot market and the new colonies and the new country with currency it makes the payment worth less, so they were losing money and losing their homes which could be harder than that? what about fighting if for no money? of the flooded the market it would discredit the troops and get them to break up and they had a series of losses almost annihilated so he doesn't get the news and say okay act like brian kilmeade would act giving it he says everything from this day on 1780 and on, brand new currency. tell everybody. prior to 1780, it still works since late people are not paid during their walls with currency. we won the rain and robert townsend is directly involved.
>> host: is that because they knew from rivington about the paper? >> guest: no, the word got to robert townsend where they are printing just like ours with a special paper we get the dollars, the paper was stolen and that was the british intent. he goes through the cycle to woodhull come over to caleb brewster and washington makes the adjustment and has to walk quickly and he does. >> host: one point about this ring and we are coming to a break but this seems like a crucial point in espionage. how many of the secret six know all the other six? >> guest: i'm going to tell you from what i know i believe that robert townsend knew all of them and i haven't seen interaction with him and brewster because he was very judgment on his couriers because he would break his but to get
information. and when he would hear that one of them would panic and dump that which happened a few times, he refused to work with them. so often, roe was pleased and that was his brother and he worked with him once in awhile so they knew each other. i think that woodhull knew everybody, talmadge knew everybody, no doubt about it, except for 355, which i have to say in accuracy i don't know that they interacted triet and rivington probably logically didn't know brewster but would absolutely have to know roe and woodhull because they would do the run. that was his gig before townsend stepped in. so they did interact. what i find fascinating is they didn't really afterwards they didn't interact much and when there was a barbecue at the end of the war when they got together, townson never showed and when washington said i want to go meet my ring, only austin,
roe and woodhull. >> host: so that is also a safety precaution that people -- >> guest: the departmental location. >> host: so if somebody is caught in questions he can't spell all the beans. he doesn't know them all. >> guest: i kept reading this term and i didn't really know what it meant. so they said you know, they do the dead drops. so if i'm working to get information to you, i might say we put you at these coordinates on this block -- you want to take that and pick up?
>> host: we were talking about dead drops. figure that off. >> guest: you asked me about the tools of the trade and one of the tools of the trade the cia told me, and i just did that because i wanted to make sure that i wasn't so caught up in the story that i was being blurred by it. i wanted to make sure am i going at the right path and saying that this is a special group and they told me that they teach them the same especially the dead drops for example like how would you define that and they said you have a set location and i would tell you go to 66 a third and i will give you coordinates and leave something there. when you decide it's okay to get up, then you would pick it up. so, you're caught, i'm not and that information is going to be put in a way whether it is incorrect in invisible ink it's not going to get you, or in trouble. so, they did dead drops all over the place. they didn't want to be able to mail to people in one place. >> host: and these would change? >> guest: yes. a lot of them were on woodhull's
property or i was last week a couple times. there's nine houses now what he is to have a huge property and put it we understand in different areas by different offenses where he would be able to take stuff -- picked stuff up and drop off and go through it in his house and get it over to caleb brewster who would go to washington. >> host: do you see a personality type at all that most of the secret six shared any common traits that they had? >> guest: yes. humility, patriotism, a human because you see at different times all of them get close to cracking except for brewster after the war. he took up all in what they call the musket ball in the neck and he's like i had a pension. i took a bullet for you. that's the only time we really saw him complain.
but i see all that. i see the human humanity. number two, i see people are adjusting to a war in the middle of the war and not trained and that's the way they acted. they remind me of the term citizen spy makes sense. i will do the best i can with what you tell me, but i'm not perfect and i am not built for this but i tell you what, i believe in the cause and i want the british out of here. i believe all of them are pretty intelligent and i think they got better as the war went on. and you really get the sense that they got their gratification from within because they never got any money. they certainly didn't get any fame. i went out of my way in the book to put robert townsend's tombstone there and he's in the back of the barn which will lead you to the head stone. that is in the way you treat a war hero. that isn't paul revere -- >> host: this isn't a plot -- >> guest: it is a family plot its stock in what looks like a junkyard behind its. so that is just not the way they
do it in boston for the people that we know and from samuel adams to john adams i know he wasn't president when he would think it does say revolutionary war served there and would be treated better. >> host: you also say that reflects a part of their timber. so there is something quite yet about these people and willing to be in the shadow. >> guest: i used the term admirable and magnanimous. they don't want the credit they also know within that they are doing something pretty special and the cause is certainly worth their while. >> host: you told us how they frustrated the british plot to counterfeit the money and dry if inflation even higher than it was already going. they also frustrated an attack on the french fleet. tell us about that. >> guest: washington worried when the french said they were on their way, he worried the british knew they were on their way and he quickly activated the
ring again after they were down for a little while to find out. townsend finds out pretty quickly. this is after the death of 355 he finds out how quickly they know and they mobilize. they know exactly what they are going to do. the british are going to go right down to words rhode island and they are going to take out the french before they can get there and go to the land links. they are going to hit them right away. so washington -- >> host: the french fleet is coming to rhode island to new port? >> guest: yes. two new port and the british know it. so they have to stop -- it wouldn't be the whole french media that there is an excellent chance the french would take some losses and go i wasn't into this anyway. i'm out of here. we can't suffer like this and i'm not sure of the cause right now. as a washington again not being in the military might to would think that it's time to block. you know what he does? he sends somebody into any area that he knows they are going to find some resistance. he takes them off, he has them
go and a satchel comes off intentionally and in that satchel is information that washington is going to attack. cities officers actually think that washington woodhull just got the battle plan that washington's intentions are to attack manhattan. they bring it back into the offices and a look what i just found in the satchel from someone that looked unseemly and got away. they said pull the troops back. they told the british troops back and they don't want to be the general to lose new york because washington had been laying low for a while they didn't know if he had been fortified and capable of doing this. but they have to worry so they pulled him back. the french plant there is no problem. a direct link. washington is brilliant. absolutely. additional have to activate the ring and find out if their traditional because i know they will stop them before they come to shore? yes. or washington. but he used them and their information. >> host: so it was the rain that told him he had to do something and then but he does
is this. >> guest: but he just shot kamins the way i understand it wouldn't have worked. he had to let them think that they got a secret plan in order to stop it. so that's pretty genius. >> host: now the british were no slouches at espionage themselves. and you've already mentioned benedict arnold which is the great plot on the other side. so tell us how that developed >> guest: we say listen i might be looking at switching sides. he reached out and got to major andres. >> host: and arnold is? >> guest: benedict arnold is the general and the american army. he has had quite a bit of success. but if you really study him he seemed to be a bit of an arrogant guy that always feels he has a persecution complex. he always feels he's getting the short end of the stick. he fought brilliantly coming used his own money, has to get reimbursed, goes to
philadelphia, has a command and ends up being a relatively cocky about alienating yalof his under officers so he finally says listened if you aren't going to give me washington, i'm going to go take west point. let me handle that and washington always liked him so he went up to west point and he stayed there and he was supposed to make a attack force but he made it clear to the british i'm looking to come to your side. they don't have a shot and i'm looking to come to your side. he knows about it and he wants to -- >> guest: remind us -- >> guest: major andre is a charismatic officer in the british military located in new york city and major andres is the guy that the ladies liked and even a lot of the americans liked who was very gregarious and was someone evidently good looking, and he also was in charge of their espionage. his code name was john bolten. john anderson. so, he would rendezvous and the goal was for him at the right time to rendezvous with
mcdonald, get out west point, pretend to put up the fight, but in the end, overrun and it looks like taking captive west point, the hudson the lungs to the british and the war is over. there's also a school of thought and it seems logical that washington was due at west point not only did he want to give away west point but pretend like he didn't want to, but he wanted to hand over washington as well. from the guy that got the commission he always wanted and got the respect he always sought. >> host: so the british could get commander in chief of the american army and the key to the hudson river. >> guest: right. and the number one most fortified base in what would be the country. so it gets thwarted, but they are up and talmadge knew that there was a general and the mets and an officer in their midst looking to switch sides and we believe 355 had the most role to play in that and infiltrated the social circles over here in the
plots come here in major on trade talk. he had a big mouth and liked to drink. all of a sudden things are moving and they knew something was going on and he is patrolling the area but it looks like the end of intersecting and he was on the road to meet with benedict arnold and putting their plan in motion to turn over west point. well then major andre gets stopped and as soon as we hear about this arrest they are brought to the global campus -- >> guest: he stopped on the american territory. evidently he looked like he just got out of the shower, he looked like an upper class officer, he didn't look like the guy that he was dressed to be and they thought he has to have money. he had no money really. fees two cowboy like forest rangers americans who were just not in the military. they stopped him. they were loyal to us but for
the most part looking for a quick score. we will shake him down. he had no money with him and he said you come back with me i will bring everything to new york. there was something about his explanation that threw him. he was on the hunt for this whole thing because he's been tipped off and they bring it to a local camp where they were watching him and as i write in the book that he seems to walk with a perfect style and grace. he is and who he thinks he is. so when talmadge arrives they were ready to give major on trade to benedict arnold. i got him. you probably want him. i think he's a british officer. >> host: a commanding officer in that. >> guest: but he arrived just in time. keep him here i want to talk to him. it doesn't take long to find out about the british officer in the
to and to get together and hear about the rest. the next arnold knows and he gets out and you could trace them back. he has an idea. i'm an officer in the british. the kind of agreed after telling each other when it comes to prison. so talmadge ironically is the one who more than likely didn't move them and he was hanged for being a spy. they said i have one officer that i exchange for you and it was ben mcdonald, -- benedict arnold. i can't give up bennett donald.
>> host: she asks talmadge at one point, doesn't he, what is going to become of me? >> guest: yes and he thought the firing squad. he thought a firing squad was becoming of his officer if he was to lose his life. they said we are going to hang you and evidently according to talmadge in his biography as well as what we found there wasn't a dry eye in the place. he went with a great dignity because he was on the wrong side of the war. >> host: what did the british think of the acquisition? >> guest: if you're going to ask me at the end what happened after they kept quiet now, back then even if he were on the right side, if you were a spy you were relatively looked down on the adjudged even if your information was vital. washington judged you highly that the average person had duplicity on any level wasn't
something to be lauded. they won a few missions by this time the momentum of eventually shift and he first thing when he got to new york city was to look for the spy is because i knew someone found out about this. who are they and that is who they believe roundabout 355 among many others in a rapid rate of for the region. >> host: if he did capture her, what would have become of her? >> guest: she went on a prison ship, the largest which was a raft -- >> host: described those. >> guest: they are brutal. if you die of dysentery or whatever diseases is running thru. very little food. picture a floating prison. they just wanted these people off land and not to be a burden or fewer than getting out so people were basically in prison on these prison ships and point we did find the manifest with a name that could be hurt, but again i don't want to hurt the credibility of a book by making a leap i'm not comfortable with
and we just said let's leave it 355. but back to the original question, to show you what integrity washington had, there is interaction with benedict arnold to switch sides to join him. .. convince washington, can you let me know who they are? they do such great work. you know what he really wanted? he wanted to know who they are. before he got caught. he knew how to despise her. washington kept its promise. i'll never reveal who you are or where you are. that is my promise. >> guest: >> host: this is but washington still thinks the world of benedict arnold. excellent officer. >> guest: talmage in washington would not give up the names. again, integrity matters. this is george washington living up to the hype. why he's in enough.
little things like that. he just seems to show integrity. >> host: washington liked this work, wouldn't you say? ran an aspiring? >> guest: i think you got it. >> host: what does that tell us about him? >> guest: he is a plotter, planner, resourceful. heath miller. there's something about him that likes to secrecy. i could not give you a psychoal pfile n say he appreciates the effort it take takes to get a. i think also he knows he actually needed because trade up against the british -- finish that sentence, doesn't work. i also think he loved and he loved the process of acquiring it. the process of acquiring right because it took almost all the attribute that he has, resourcefulness, intellect, out thinking the other guy, kyle,
all those things you rejected of the people. as i learned to study leaders, leaders love when people they teach have the success. almost if they have it themselves. i can imagine in seeing this ring come together and see the information which acted live events lombardi at times, harassing them to give them more stuff and better stuff and more specific in a timely fashion. he sees this ring start to function so proficiently. i imagine he has a tremendous feeling of pride. what do you think? >> host: clearly he was doing this when he was a young man companies to invest in his second work, the american revolution. he is the most honest upright figure in that whole revolution but there's also parking that likes the shadows. parlays likes running people who are in the shadows. >> how about this? will do anything to win. is a resourceful guy. you will have to kill me which
seems to have been impossible by the way. you'll have to kill me because of will keep on coming up on my plans in order to outthink and outmaneuver you. >> host: how does that secret six react when they are suddenly five? win 355 get scott. >> guest: you have to go back, they went down for a while. one of the letters talks about woodhall saying, washington saying if he will do this i need you to go to the city and do this. he seems to be destroyed. destr. robert thompson seems to be taken at the heart of thought about that. considering we didn't know for sure brewington was a spy, i don't get his emotional state. they were devastated. they went under and they were also at the same time seemed to have left the prey. benedict arnold was on the hunt and they knew they couldn't show their faces.
dignity could be suspect did and remotely suspected they were scooped up because there's no code of justice are taken for the wrong reason. that's another reason i conclude she absolutely was there, absently took part in played a vital role in absolutely was killed. >> host: thompson never married? >> guest: never married. as a kid robert junior and possibly some of the young adult books written say she had his baby, died in prison ship. but there's no evidence of that. it seemed as though robert junior's for the oyster bay people ranked, the most logical thing is one of robbers older brothers died at a young age and not critters than his kid that he raised because he stayed in the house. he didn't really amount to much if you are -- if you judge people by the financial success in business. he seems to have been significantly damaged by the
war. he was en route to be a successful businessman. being successful after the war, he found a letter from solomon saint kaman, robert, pick it up. you have so much going for you. you get engaged again. >> when the ring goes down, holland is to stay down? >> guest: i believe it stays down because when the three engaged in washington has to know that the french are coming and. so it herscher caucus out to reactivate the rain and in the latter, washington says junior cannot be -- he cannot be poked and prodded come here cannot do it. you have to find a way. we need this information quickly. it sometimes took a week in a house, sometimes two weeks.
>> host: that is a week and a half and could in the information in new york to getting it back to george washington. >> if you look at it and say straightening out and say this is what we need we should use and give it to you that brewster who would go off. >> host: now, the peace treaty is not long after the war ends. but when did the british finally leave your? >> guest: 1783. in the war was over since 81. this is where the thomas burg -- i want make this clear. i want to does not want other people have done and martin pennypacker was the one who found out who robert townsend lies when they wrote the biography and george washington's grandson i love it. let's make this book better, the
story richer and more accurate. so your question was, what is it going to take to get your back? don't they know they lost the word yorktown? they're not. washington one day since records to new york. i need to to secure some operatives that have been of extreme health risk. questioning goes, permission granted. under the american psyche takes his horse into manhattan and secures his guys. again, shows you how good they were. he believes he would be looked at his listed if it may be killed or maimed or search me her. washington wrote it and officially became an american city. they left but that essay. do i really need to go steamroll new york now? after we technically offended the word yorktown? they'll leave soon. when he made it clear for coming and coming they had dinner, hung
out in two or three days later started pulling out. they went to canada and then washington as he put in the book it was good in 1793. and the biography and talks about how a soldier while for the promotion and now yes everybody to come up and touch his hand. i expected this to be perhaps to the mile or two miles right there. he looks the same judging by the photos. get on a barge and go home. poster that's the famous and not the history books. >> guest: one of the things we
are proud of his george washington pastor or church pastor washington wrote one of the first people he saw when he got into new york city was james rivington and a hurt gold changing hands. why would present washington -- general washington visit the editor, writer of his loyalist newspaper? the royal gazette, unless of course i was his great-grandson race, he was able to get a needle close, the british naval cozy for the battle of yorktown and rockets into france, the french navy to nurture less over the british still haven't figured out why they lost and were successful. so if you're that have become a right to rivington and that's exactly what he did. he'd reemerge out. best part of the mystery of this. when i first started researching mass, they did not know he how
you, but the more i researched it, he did higher the drygoods owner, which would help robert townsend and more intelligent. it makes total sense the metal were saw how brutal the british were new york city and the thugs they were in everything going on. i'm on the wrong side. i'm not going to be enough to say it. >> host: did washington meet any of the other secret six when it comes back into the city? >> guest: when i sat down with a local houstonians and experts, the thing that came to mind is definitely austin row. he said austin rose tavern. more than likely logically, yes. absolutely they've met before. the answer is yes. what i wanted to find out is robert thompson, did he meet
robert thompson, the tortured soul who is forced into the british enforcers and in many respects. we can't identity as he did. however, his dad was above the page should they went to jail because of that. it would make sense to me at when he would die, you might knock on the door because the houses here. hewitt to visit the promenade area. the towns and houses here. three blocks away. it might be wise to say he might go say hi to samuel thompson at one point he might have said colbert junior. i do know that moment and i've yet to have anybody revealed there was that moment. ironically, teddy roosevelt is diagonally across any love this stuff. so he did not know there's a patriot in his midst like robert thompson. there is an area called the landing, where there's nothing but water and that's the local
legend worried that the house here, the planting here could sily have been done. robert is a master keeping things secret. he would never tell. it seems to be a strong rumor. if we couldn't prove it, we didn't write it. >> host: today would we say that robert towne and mr. press? all his life. even the loss of 355 and stress of the war, just kind of his personality. >> guest: he's usually low-key guy, humble guy is a smart, bright guy. after the war when it trouble reconciling what he did in the war because he was a spy which according to that time wasn't looked up to as we've been over a few times. they be tough reconciling now. logically i had a hard time living up to his younger brothers of older brothers who were does the stars. >> host: a greater started all
of them. >> guest: in the end. >> host: what is the lesson you like modern american readers? >> guest: how special america was at that time. much as patrick henry, paul revere, sam adams, george washington benjamin franklin. everyday americans fighting for the cause they believed in that one at no credit, wanted no applause, but wanted to be respected. that is what they believe. just because the name is not forefront in her social studies class, doesn't mean they were vitally import. >> host: okay, brian kilmeade, terrific book. interest: thank you for your ecpr >> host: take care. spent that was "after words," wh booktv signature program int which authors of the less nonfiction books are interviewed by journalists, public policymakers, legislators and others familiar with they material. "after words" airs every weekend on booktv at 10 p.m. on saturdays, 12 and 9 p.m. on
sunday, and 12 a.m. on monday. you can watch "after words" online, go to booktv.org and click "after words" in the booktv series and topics listed on the upper right side of the page. >> scientology was created as a religion. they would use celebrities are when it was set up it was established in los angeles in 1954, and there was a reason for that. al ron hubbard, the founder of scientology, realized that americans really do worship one thing for sure and that's celebrity. and where is the capital of celebrity? hollywood. scientology has become one of the major landlords in hollywood. and early on they set out to recruit celebrities. there was a church publication put out shortly after the founding of the church with a roster of prospective
celebrities, people like uphold, walt disney, marlene dietrich. howard hughes. some of the most famous people in the world but those are the kinds of people that they sought to use as each man for their new religion. celebrities become to the church. they built a celebrity center so celebrities would feel at home there. and in some of the early people that came into the church, rock hudson passed through. apparently, he got very upset when he was in the middle of an auditing session and they need to go put more money in the parking meter and they wouldn't let him out of the room. so he stormed out and never came back here gloria swanson, who was the sort of faded movie star of silent movies. you know, later people like leonard cohen and even