Book Extract

We know of John Hancock, Geo. Washington, and Aaron Burr, but we seldom hear of the behind the scenes movers and shakers of the Revolutionary War. A review of all the letters, that the obscure Rev. Andrew Eliot of Fairfield Connecticut wrote to his Boston based father of the same name, details how he was intimately involved with all these famous people. The missives create a distinct suspicion that both father and son were American Secret Agents trading information about both the British and American movements valuable to General Washington in order to coordinate his maneuvers. Highlighted ... are explicit facts obtained by Rev. Andrew Eliot as he associated with the above persons, along with various generals from both sides of the foray, plus reports and news obtained from deserters, escapees and other parties he named; He paid fastidious attention to details and investigated the accuracy of all reports, rumors and even gossip.

However, the Culper Spy Ring which Benjamin Tallmadge operated from Fairfield Connecticut delivering reports to Gen. Washington is never mentioned in Rev. Andrew Eliot's reports. ..Large confidential packets with directions to take care to maintain the secrecy are exchanged between both Reverends; to be given with discretion to the right parties, who were never explicitly named; although great care to identify names, places, supplies, and wounded in regards to the Revolutionary War was always given.

I believe based on these letters, that the enlightenment flowed in many directions, not just from Fairfield Connecticut to Setauket L.I. and on to New York City continuing on to wherever Gen. Geo. Washington and other American generals were currently camped. Washington was never stationary for more than a few months time within the Revolutionary War conflict, therefore the secret intelligence system had to be fluid, and have untainted informers. Since the majority of the spies have not been uncovered, even today my investigations of Spy doom are therefore, highlighted in order that the reader may determine the efficaciousness of this theory of Rev. Andrew Eliot’s siphoning secret intelligence for the benefit of freedom and independence to the colonies....

Marriage makes strange bedfellows. The family ties creating loyalty for the country (and the connection to the author writing this) is intertwined with marriage both vertically and horizontally. Aaron Burr and Rev. Andrew Eliot’s wife, Mary (Pynchon) Eliot are related through the common ancestry of direct lineage from the King of England, Alfred the Great (born about 848 and died 899). Aaron Burr was the first cousin and close friend of one of the major nonentities, Thaddeus Burr, who played a major role in the Revolutionary War from his estate in Fairfield Connecticut. Thaddeus Burr entertained both the British royalty and the American patriots. The political differences created the struggle for independence, but the loyalties were more slowly ripped asunder. Therefore, for a time, the British Captains and British Governor Tryon continued to be welcome at Thaddeus Burr’s home, where at least on one occasion, secrets were divulged when wine was indulged! ...

The friendship connection between Thaddeus Burr and Rev. Andrew Eliot deepens through the years as Mr. Burr becomes the Uncle/Father-in-law to Andrew Eliot’s daughter, Betsey who marries Thaddeus Burr’s nephew/adopted son. ...This genealogy continues and is the connection that allows me to have these documents. Marriages are a zigzag pattern which is inherent throughout and on to the present generation. Marital unions can be traced with artifacts such as the earrings given to Mrs. T. Burr from John Hancock's wife which are in my possession. .... Thaddeus Burr had raised his nephew, Gershom Burr as his son and left him a large inheritance. When Gershom Burr and Betsey Eliot married the interfamily ties tightened. Therefore, close family and/or friendship bind the major characters (Geo. Washington, Aaron Burr, John Hancock) with the minor participants (Thaddeus Burr and Rev. Andrew Eliot) to oppose the British insurgence.

However, the missives written by Rev. Andrew Eliot from 1777-1778 tell their own story of the personal struggles with small pox, the inconveniences and joys of that period, and the accounts of pillaging, but more importantly: the amount of supplies, amount of troops and their destinations, amount dead, and wounded; the troop movements of both the American and British side; the retreats, losses and wins; investigating war gossip and rumors for the truth; certifying factual accounts and detailed conjectures; carefully verifying each item as soon as it is available. Yet most especially he warns of possible attacks with as much specific particulars as he is able to glean. He receives details first hand from such important individuals as: George Washington, Ben Franklin, General John Hancock, and the then teenage Col. Jackson, at Thaddeus Burr’s discretion which are particularized in his letters to his father, Rev. Andrew Eliot of Boston.

Here is a direct quote from his July 31, 1778 letter to his father the Rev. Andrew Eliot of Boston,“I did not send you any news in my last {letter} as Gen. Hancock {none other than the signer of the Independence document} was the bearer, and you could have every thing by him at first hand must therefore depend on you {The elder Rev. Andrew Eliot of Boston} for the best information. You shall have all I can procure from the Westward....

One more quote from Rev. Andrew Eliot’s letter of November 13,1777 to exemplify the closeness to John Hancock: “President Hancock was here yesterday & set away this morning. I dined with him and spent the evening with him at Mr. Burr’s. He was excessively agreeable & treated me with great politeness... This lends itself to the theory that he was a major secret agent for the American side. Therefore I will continue the hypothesis with additional facts. Another possible coconspirator could be (and most probably was) Thaddeus Burr who was deputy and Justice of the Peace of the county, who resided in Fairfield, and was a close friend with Rev. Andrew Eliot. Thaddeus Burr was Sheriff of the county in 1779...