tv After Words CSPAN December 1, 2013 9:00pm-10:01pm EST
okay. have a great holiday. [applause] this week fox and friends cohost brian kilmeade in george washington's secret six. the tv hosts told the story of a spy ring and six previously unknown revolutionary spies infiltrated the british ranks in new york and are credited with turning the tide of the war. this program is about an hour. >> host: this is a turkic and engrossing book. "telling me why he did george
washington need the rain and where did he get it? >> guest: thank you first off. he has a numbers problem and experience problem and i believe that cops he had 9,000 the british entered the 40,000. >> over the whole course -- >> guest: over the whole course and they get up to 80,000. washington sees that happened in new york and he was almost annihilated and assault a revolution right before his eyes after all the success in massachusetts -- >> what year are we? >> guest: 1776 is when he really comes over after the success at bunker hill. the british say you want boston i will give you boston and they go to canada to regroup. washington said i know when they are coming back to new york. so they come back to new york city and he says you can't face them. you can' can to be can't beat td so he has to use espionage and the guerrilla warfare. he has to be smarter bandanna.
so it's only logical that we bring it to he needs a spy force, he needs his own cia and then you find out that he has a huge espionage background. he is noted from the french and indian war. to brush up on those skills so he tells the others this is what we are going to need to do. we need to 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: i know that he was an officer where he had a chance to work with the french and find out what were they thinking here and there. he was able to pick up working with the british and they also made mistakes. he was a aggressive as a colonel at that point and he learned from that. that is another thing which i found fantastic about george
washington who was on the side of a mountain. you would think no mistakes, he owned up to it and he learned for it right before our eyes. he, called everything. so that was my goal. bring washington to life and what the average ordinary people know in this generation what they are capable of doing by looking at that generation. >> host: so the british have taken new york in the summer of 1776. what is the importance of new york city in the strategic shape of the war? why is that so important? >> guest: this is what i find when people say should i give this to my 15-year-old, should i give it to my 14-year-old? >> guest: i grew up on long island, and i love history and social studies and i was just thinking to myself okay is this going to be on the test.
>> guest: it is the center of what would be the new country and it's where much of the traffic and the commerce was and the big ships could pull in and out. people knew in new york and they had 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 colonists plan on becoming a country they can't do that as long as britain is there as long as they don't have control over the ports into the area. >> host: washington's first idea is nathan hale, right? tell us that story. >> guest: keenest bunker hill and wanted to see the action. and i know you notic know this e and out. he missed by a little while. he comes back with washington and there's a familiarity there and a yale graduate.
his roommate is benjamin talmage and he volunteers to be a spy. washington knew that he was not prepared to do it and he had no experience, he's extremely bright, robust, ambitious and seemed to be fearless. against what i understand and concluded as his better instincts as far as we can tell and as far as my research would reveal a couple of days. i sa sold a point at which he crossed and there's a few stories going around about one of them said that he was overheard asking some questions where someone pretended to be sympathetic to what he was doing. it's a trap and he was caught and captured and a few days later he is hanged unceremoniously. there is a debased about the location that i understand was 56 and third. i bb there is a plaque.
some say that's fine. but most important, i want people to say he didn't get hanged on mars. in new york city they are sending a message you are going to go for the other side. you aren't going to be a loyalist we are greatly brutally and directed we want this to be over quick. >> host: he failed because of his inexperience and because he's also a stranger to the area, right? >> guest: he's from connecticut, the northern northeast, doesn't even know long island as far as we can tell. the witnesses only regret they have one life to lose. the important thing is people chronicled the bravery in which he showed and people also noted and wanted him to see the brutal way in which he died quickly. so he didn't have the technique. washington didn't seem to have related much. so i they took washington a yea.
he knows it took him a year to regroup and figure out where to go from here. >> host: what conclusion does he draw from this mission? >> guest: we have to be clear about our objectives and have a way to communicate and it has to be more than one person. there has to be a way to communicate that washington can communicate with somebody familiar with the area. they have to be later than it should be 100% trustworthy and understand espionage and they have to 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. everyday was borrowed. they didn't know if today was the last day you were going to be a live. >> guest: i don't want to drop too far ahead about one of the key spies in this location never get his life together after. when they handed the buck people start asking questions that happened to hit next.
so i started looking into see his letters and i see he told brother solomon who by all accounts he is a real strong guy writing letters get it together. othe war is over. get out of the house. and it reminds me of what we have learned with ptsd when our soldiers come home they have trouble getting on track because the mission isn't clear and from what they've experienced. >> host: who is the officer that washington turns to to help him set up? >> guest: it would be benjamin talmage. he's a roommate and a fellow graduate at yale. he has shown himself as a natural leader from all indications working under washington and a side note his
55 page biography of 1835 was one of the most fascinating 50 pages i have ever had to read because he was as close to anyone that i know that could say this is what washington was like and this is what he did and i know because i was next to him. so he ended up getting the commission to go over and he comes over and the way that i understand is the first stop was abraham and that was thought to many people -- >> host: where was he from? >> guest: he was from -- and i was just there and at his house from the area. >> host: and that is where, long island? >> guest: picture the landfill of codes and they have generations on long island. back then, i found out that a lot of these families just knew each other because they were
very few and they would stay and grow and purchase additional land. so he knew the area and have left to go to school and goes back so the first stop he makes is to the grammar school abraham woodhall who was convinced it would be somebody that he could trust. as far as we could tell he was the last remaining son. his older brother had died and abraham was working and depended on his sisters and parents to really be the man of the house because he was really buff and his dad was kind of sick o that also he was sickly. he reminds me of a steve the kind of person but his heart was in the right place. >> host: c. he's a farmer. >> guest: right and like so many to pick it as somebody as this whole thing you guys fight the war. i have a farmer. i'm not ready to fight for it.
just leave me out of this. what happened is the british became so oppressed in many ways and acted like thugs and crooks but it basically militarized the whole area and made militants of people that were in different. >> host: what did they do to people he knew? >> guest: he was somebody the british were keeping a close eye on. they said we ought to keep an eye on him once he mobilized him and of course they mobilized him that he's doing some suspicious things and one day he is supposed to get beat up or arrested he can't find his way home. he gets hung up in different activities but they do go to his house and they do find his dad and they pound on his dad and beat up his dad pretty good and -- >> host: who is an old man. >> guest: they did it in front of the wife and the daughters of its humiliating and that also sent a message.
how much that it seems so remote as much as i despise the british should i really be putting my family through this command i'm glad you asked thes ask these qs because there are times when the individuals fight to go underneath. i have to lay low for a while. i went out for a while. that is one of the times he said i need to lay low. they are looking at me and number two i need to rethink this. so they kind of picked up the slack. >> host: did they suggest the next people ask. >> guest: the next thing and washington is critical if you read the letters. he said i got the movement. i understand. i need a better stuff than this and he went right back into the tone of his letters were listening not much of a writer and i never planned to be. i am doing the best i can but one thing led to another and they realized they had to get somebody that had a reason from a story to be in new york city.
not someone to go a out and leave for a while. it looks to suspicious and that led him to another famous family and that was the town townsend y of oyster bay long island. >> host: and what is their connection with new york city? >> guest: they had an interesting business and was basically a drive through business. i go back to the house and they described the house back then as a huge mansion. i look at it now and it looks like a five room house. there's normal houses and after roberts was found to be the spy of 1930 they said let's stop building around here. let's preserve it. but robert townsend had the british on his house -- and he's the middle brother of six. he said we are going to be staying here. so his dad who took these risks in the community along with his
sisters they were jammed basically into one room so robert townsen thompson of townd was susceptible to doing this. number one way the british were treating him and it will living at home. seeing his dad like this and who was respected by many they basically said they were thought to have signing a note saying they would be loyal to the crowd. the way that they were in that area they would walk around drinking and pounding on people. so he picks up the stakes and she goes into new york city and you read one thing to another and the reason he was such a good spy, he comes off as extremely intelligent and number two, he was motivated. number three come he understood the shifts because his dad was in the shipping business and how much material was coming in and how much was going out and his information immediately upgraded the quality of the haven't identified yet but it would be
the ring. washington said -- that's the code name under the spy ring and it was the region right next to where washington was born. samuel culpepper and senior woodhall. the two key members of the ring. >> guest: how do they get the information to him once they get it in new york and get it out of new york how do they come they got back to the america's? >> guest: here's the dramatic part. they are able to listen. people talk loud. you might say hello what's going on upstairs? we saw you leaving heading north. where are you going?
great. and they would go upstairs and have a letter and go to his other location and he would do it after the beginning and end visible ink and it was very precious stuff that he invented or brought to the states. >> host: let's talk about that. how did it work? >> guest: i write -- imagine writing and not speaking about to see the letters that you wrote. it's confusing. >> host: so it vanishes. you are writing all this stuff down and you put it inside a book. that means you go up to 76 in the book and the page might be blank. that is a message to washington or woodhall if he wanted to bring it to life, that would be good to page 76 and that is
where you will find the invisible ink. i don't know if you want me to jump ahead but they got even more sophisticated after. they said what if someone that e figures out that no one goes from webpage to buy page. so they would take the books and we found out from a lot of them they would take them and write in a certain page whether it was a prominent writer at the time and they would send the message that they and the guy that would pick it up for the most part was just again that message if i was to motivate anyone with this book he was a tavern owners printing press and i. people watching right now say you can't beat washington. that's right but can you go in a tavern and be leaving the country and sacrifice for the cause? that's what we see with the
$1.3 billion fighting force in my humble opinion but they were able to get the message to him. he has a reason to go to the city with his cover story. i have a bar, have a tavern i need to pick up supplies. every time was careless and every time he's going through and a lot of times they were drunk and hanging out at 55 miles back and he would go through it and package it up and give it to caleb brewster, the captain. i know there weren't many hawaii and at that time that he was the one who was a big strong determined and confident so caleb was the only one without a suit. then he got six guys together and a whaleboat with a cannon on
the front and he decides i'm going to go across the long island sound idio great if your viewers are not family or just picture a body of water causing about 26 miles so can you imagine i was down there doing standup to explain this story in october. it was 65 degrees combine by the water and can you imagine into january and february that is exactly what they did. he would have to go through the british navy and sometimes be the aggressor and to scare them to stay away from them, pick up messages, drop-off messages to the courier. >> host: sai so he's taking them across to connecticut. and then once it gets to tell mitch how do you get to the end visible ink? >> guest: not only do you have to use it to write but to bring
it to life and there are some passages where he's working on this and his two sisters jump and yell very that goes all over the place. meanwhile in some level it is at stake and they say we don't have much of it. >> host: there's also a woman in the spring. >> guest: there are people that will fight me on this and it is our conclusion that she was absolutely a woman and it seemed when they refer to it in the buck as someone that is good to be an extreme help to us robert seems to be working with a regular and when she joined him after that letter the intelligence picks up and it seems as though she penetrated the social circles and one conclusion leads to another and major andre who is the key figure for the british, very well respected who to a degree is a spy for the british who eventually will be working with
benedict arnold in the effort to change the world forever. so this woman seems to have infiltrated the social circles and cynically, got that information to roberts and there was extreme danger all around. the other thing that we concluded without a shadow of a doubt is james worthington not only did he employ john townsend -- >> host: what else if anything do we know about? and you are not giving us her name. >> guest: we don't have her name and i don't think that she would be described as a lady that toomey seems to be somebody that would be perfectly comfortable in the higher and upper-class area where new york city was. >> host: how was she identified? >> guest: she is in the
letters and for example general washington, got good news. general washington would be number 711 and abraham would be number 712 and new york. 711 might hesitate 86 and you cannot even if you had to be the invisible ink figure this stuff out she was referred to as 355. there are females on the ledger and she is known as the lady. would you conclude that she would have had to have died after benedict arnold came into new york city determined to find out who the spy was that helped to unmask his plot and he went on a rampage to the point where junior quit and said i'm out, not giving it. he would say forget it. i'm not going to come back. they would ultimately get convinced to come back to finish off the war.
i believe by the paperback which could be six months i would be closer to naming someone but i thought why reach if i go out of my way to convey convene a separate who live and breathe this every day why am i going to reach the significance of who that woman is? >> guest: . >> host: so she is 355 and that is all history knows of her name. >> guest: i believe somebody will figure out who it is. >> host: you've already mentioned james rivington. >> guest: when i first thought of this project and being passionate about it and not knowing i wanted to give i do ii wanted to learn more, i thought that james was clearly the editor of a loyalist newspaper because he was loyal to the cloud. he had his place burned to the ground prior to the war because they were convinced for the
british and perhaps he was. he kept writing and opening up the newspaper. >> host: said he was getting pro-british stuff. >> guest: yes, good point. and we also want to be in it but only in new york city but also back to britain. look what the lieutenant accomplished into the plans that the general has for the end of the war. look how long he thinks the war is going to last and the maneuvers. is that he would write that indicate the issue from the adjacent coffee shop and jot it down and put it in the newspapers and books, work with him and i believe 355 to get washington and credible intelligence. >> host: so like most journalists, he knows more than he prints. it'it absolutely and he gives io washington, not his newspaper.
>> host: okay, so we have the whole secret fix and we've got them in place in new york city and also in long island. key us up with one of the things they accomplished. give us one story or revelation that they get to washington. >> guest: one of the big breaks is that the british were bragging about a it to baseball the paper so why is that a big deal at a trillion dollars a month if you go and flood the market that says the patriots market, the new colonies, this new country with courtesy, if you flood if it makes to pay worthless. so they were losing money and losing their homes and leaving their families behind fighting this war. what would be harder than that?
fighting for no money. they would've disputed the troops and get them to break up. so washington doesn't just say act like they would act. it's everything from this day on, brand-new courtesy. so we made the adjustment. we won the rain and robert thompson is directly involved. >> host: and that is because the new about the paper? >> guest: the word got to roberts that in philadelphia, this paper where they are printing it just like ours with the special paper where we get our dollars, the paper was stolen and that was for the british intent. he goes through the cycle back and get it over to washington and washington makes an adjustment and has to act quickly and he does.
>> host: one part about this wearing -- and we are coming to a break but it seems like a crucial point in espionage. how many of the secret six though all of the other six? >> host: i will tell you what i know. ipv that robert townsend knew all of them. i haven't seen interaction with him but clearly because he was very judgmental of the careers, because he would break his book that to get information when he heard that one of them with panic and dump it which happened a few times he refused to work with them after a while. so he was pleased and nathaniel was his brother and evidently he would work with him once in a while so they knew each other. i think that would halt you everybody, no doubt about it. except for 355, which i have to say i don't know that they
interacted. and he probably logically digital know brewster but would have to know what whole because he would do the runs and that was his gig before he stepped in. so they did interact and go. but i find interesting is that they didn't really afterwards they didn't interact much and when there was a barbecue at the end when they all got together, townsend ever showed and when washington said, on i want to go, meet by wing the rest of them went by themselves. >> host: so it was a safety precaution. so if somebody is called into question severely, he can't spill all the beans because he doesn't know them all. >> guest: the cia told me to read into this and i didn't really know what it meant. they said you know they did ed
drops. if i'm looking to get information to you, i might say we put you at these coordinates at this block -- >> host: we were talking about dead drops. finish that off. >> guest: they went to langley virginia and i did that because i wanted to make sure that i wasn't so caught up in the story that i was being blurred. i wanted to make sure am i going up the right path and a say in that this is a special group and they told me that especially the dead drops for example how would
you define that and they said you have a safe location and i would tell you that going to 66 and third i want to give you coordinates and i believe that. so you are caught, i'm not. that information is going to be put in a way whether it is encrypted with invisible ink it's not going to get you caught were in trouble. >> a lot of it was on his property, which i went back to last week and i've been to a couple times. we put it in different areas and different offenses. being able to go through it in his house and then get it to caleb rooster who would lower his way to washington. >> host: do you see a
personality type at all on most of the secret six, any common traits that they have? >> guest: yes. humility, patriotism, human because you see it. he took a bullhorn and what they call in the neck and he was like i thought i had a pension. i took a bullet for you. but i see all of that. i see people that are not trained for the war and that is where they've reacted. the term citizen spy accents. but i'm not perfect. i'm not really built for this but i will tell you why. i believe in the cause and i won the british out of here. i belief 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 anything. i went out of my way to put them in the gravestone there and he is in the back of the barn with hoses sticking out of the barn and leading to the headstone that isn't paul revere -- >> host: this isn't a plot -- >> guest: it looks like a junkyard behind him, so that's the way they do it in boston for the people they know it from samuel adams to john adams i know that he wasn't president but would take a war hero served there and would be treated better. >> host: so there is something quiet about these people and willing to be --
>> guest: i would call them at a rubble and unanimous. they knew that they were doing something pretty special. in the calls were certainly worth their while. >> host: you told us how they frustrated a british plot to counterfeit our money and drive inflation even higher than it was already going. they also felt frustrated and an attack on the french fleet. tell us about that. >> guest: he quickly activates the rain again after they were down for a while. after the death of the 355. the british are going to go through the flight to rhode island and take out the french before they can get to the land of links.
>> host: said they ar severe com rhode island to newport. there is a chance that they would take some losses and say i wasn't new to this anyway. i'm out of here. we probably can't suffer like this. so, washington again may not be in the military mind. you would think that he gets this move it's time for the block. you know what he does? he sends somebody into an area where they know that they are going to find some resistance. in the satchel is information that washington is going to attack. so they think that they got the battle plan and washington's intentions are to attack. they bring it back and look at what they just found in the satchel from a guy that looked unseemly and got away. he said pull the troops back. they pulled a british troops
back. they don't want the general to lose new york city had been laying low for a while and he was capable of doing this and they had to worry. so they pulled the van back into the french land. there is no problem. washington is brilliant, absolutely. they have to find out if the british will know because they will stop them before they come to shore clicks yes to me at all washington that he used their information to debate. >> host: so they told them he had to do something as then what he does is the saint. >> guest: but he just shot cannons the way that i understand, it wouldn't have worked. he had t have to let them thinkt they got the secret plans in order to stop it. that is pretty ingenious. >> host: the british were no slashes of espionage and you already mentioned benedict arnold which is the great plot on the other side.
so tell us how that developed. >> guest: he reached out and got to andre. benedict arnold is the general in the american army. he has had quite a bit of success. but when you really study it, there seems to be a bit of an arrogant guy that feels he has a persecution complex and he always feels he's getting the short end of a stick. he fought brilliantly, uses his own money come has to get reimbursed, goes to philadelphia, has a command, relatively cocky about it and only in aiding -- alienating a lot of officers. he says if you aren't going to get the washington's deal if the west point in washington knows what it's like, so he went to west point and he's still there, and he was supposed to make a former attack force but he made it clear to the british i am looking to come to your site. they don't have a shot.
he knows about it and he wants to -- he's a charismatic officer in the british military. even with a lot of the americans like, he was very gregarious and a good-looking guy and he was also in charge of their espionage. his codename was john bolton &. so they gave up west point and don't pretend to put up a fight but in the end we overrun and it looks like taken captive, the hudson belongs to the british and it is over. there is also a school of thought and it seems logical but only do they want to give away west point and pretend like they didn't want to but they wanted to hand over washington as well.
from the guy that got the commission that he always wanted and the respect. >> host: so they could get the commander-in-chief and hand over the key to the hudson river. >> guest: and the number one most fortified base in the country. so they get supported. but they knew that it was a general in the midst looking to switch sides and we believed that 355 at the most able to play in that and infiltrated the social service during andrzej talking had a big mouth and like to drink. they do something was going on. talmage was patrolling that area and they ended up intercepting pager on major andre to turn over west point. then he gets stopped and as soon as we hear about this arrest he's brought to a local camp --
he's stopped behind american life. he stopped on american territory. and he is -- he is in disguise. >> host: absolute we. >> guest: he looked like he got out of the shower like an upper-class officer. he didn't look like the guy that he was dressed up to be. he had no money on him. these cowboy forest ranger americans who were just not in the military. they stopped him. they were guerrillas, they were loyal to us that we get money from him. we will shake him down. he had no money with him. there was something about his explanation. he is on the hunt for this officer thing because he has been tipped off. as i write in the book that he seems to walk with perfect style
and grace he is not who he thinks he is. so they were ready to give the major to benedict arnold. i got this guy. you probably want him. >> host: a commanding officer and back. >> guest: he arrives just in time it says you're not getting him to anybody. keep him here. i want to talk to him. it doesn't take long to find that he's a british officer and he had a mission in the letter that he was handing to arnold. they hear about the oppressed and that is by the time they get to west point benedict arnold does i have to get out of here. how to approach who he was. they bring up the chambers that still exist today and he has an idea. we kind of agreed after beating
each other up after a few years. he's writing letters and telling washington okay i have an officer here and we can exchange for each other. so there he is. he just walked up and goes. >> host: he asks for not one point what is going to become of me. he started a fight during squad. he thought a firing squad was becoming an officer if he was to lose his life. so they hang him and evidently according to talmage in his biography and what we found and
put in our book there wasn't a dry eye in the place. he hanged because he was in the wrong side of the war. >> host: what do the british think of their new acquisition? >> guest: if you're going to ask me what happened to the spies after they kept quiet comeback then even if you are on thwereon the right side if you a spy you would relatively look down on and the judge even if your information was vital. washington only judged you highly but the average person with duplicity on any level wasn't something to be lauded. on one mission they would provide a momentum that would eventually shift and he first thing when he got to new york city was to work for the spies. if someone found out about this, who were they? that is what we grounded out 355 among the others in a rapid way in the region and --
>> host: what would have become of her? >> guest: essentially it was a wrath -- >> host: describe those. >> guest: they are brutal. you die of dysentery or whatever disease is running through greed picture a floating prison. they want them off land and not to be a burden and fear they are getting out so people are basically going to these prison chips and we did find a manifest, but again i don't want to hurt the credibility making a leap i'm not comfortable with and we just said that to the original question, to show you with integrity wit but washingtn had, there's interactions with benedict arnold asking talmage to switch sides and join him to bviashe said are you kidding me? switch sides. trying to convince washington, can you let me know who they are? you know what he really wanted,
you could tell the british -- >> host: this is before he got caught. >> guest: so he knew how good of the spies were and he kept his promise i will never read the old who you are or where you are. that is my promise. >> host: and that is when he still thinks the world of benedict arnold. >> host: excellent officer. >> guest: both how much were approached and washington. he would indicate up the names. again, integrity matters. this is george washington living up to the hype. why he is in a mountain. he was like that's time and time again he needs to show integrity. >> guest: i think that he loved that. >> host: what does that tell you about him? >> guest: he is resource for and smart.
>> host: there's something about him that likes to secrecy. >> guest: i can't give you a psychological profile of washington. i would say that he appreciates the effort that it takes to get it and he needed it because it is straight up against the british and doesn't work. but i also think that he loved the process of acquiring it and the process of acquiring it because it took almost all of the attributes that he had as a resource for ms. a-alpha thinking the other guy. also, as i learned in the leaders they love when the people they teach have the success. almost as much as if they had themselves. so, as he sees -- i could imagine him seeing this come together and see the information that acted like islam party at times and give them better stuff and more specific timely fashion as he sees it starts to function
so proficiently i would imagine he has a tremendous feeling of pride. >> host: he was doing this when he was a young man in doing this in a second war of the american revolution he was the most honest upright figure in the revolution but there is also a part of him that likes the shadows or at least likes running people who were in the shadows. >> host: how about this kind of anything to win. he is a resource for i. it seems to have been impossible by the way. you have to kill me because i will keep on coming up with my plan in order to outthink you and outmaneuver you. >> host: how does the secret six react when there are suddenly five under 355? >> guest: it went down for a while and in on ended one of ths it talks about washington saying
if he won't do this i need you to go to the city and do it. he seems to be destroyed. robert townsend seems to be taking at the hardest of all of them and considering that we didn't even know for sure that he was a spy i don't get his emotional untold recently. i don't know what his emotional state was, but they were devastated and they went under and at the same time seems to have left. they knew that they could show their faces and they could be suspected. they were scooped up as there was no court of justice. but that is another reason why i concluded that she absolutely was there and took part and she absolutely was killed. >> host: and thompson never married. >> guest: many people thought that it was his kid and possibly some of the young adult books written say that she had his
baby and died on the prison ship but there is no evidence of that and it seems as though roberts older brother died at a young age and that could have been his kid that he raised because he stayed in the house. and he really didn't amount to much. he seemed to be significantly damaged by the war. he was en route to be a successful businessman. after the war you would find a letter from solomon as i mentioned that said pickett had come you can do it. you have so much going for you. you get and gauge to again and no sign that he did. >> host: when the rain goes down how long does it stay down?
>> guest: ibb beasties down for less than a year because when it is reengaged it is reengaged when washington has to know and the british know that the french are coming in. so they called out to reactivate and find this information out and in the letter where washington says if junior cannot be poked and prodded we are going to have to find a way. and we needed this information quickly. so sometimes it took a week and i have to get these letters into sometimes two weeks. >> host: that is a week and a half from getting the information in new york to getting it back to george washington. >> guest: to look through it and say this is what we should use independent gives it to caleb rooster. >> host: the peace treaty isn't assigned until after the war ends, but when the british
finally leave new york -- >> guest: 1783. and it was over since 81. this is where the talmage book and i think that i want to make this clear i know we did in the pre- interview. i want to build on what other people have done when you talk about alexander and pennypacker's and the ones who found out who robert townsend was by matching the signatures and when i see that benjamin tallmadge ordered his biography and george washington wrote his journal, i loved it. let's make the book better and the story more accurate don't they know that they lost the war? dot washington monday told him we are going to new york. we are going in. no you're not. we need time to secure some operatives that have been of extreme help to us. permission granted. so under the american flag he
takes his hat and he secures them showing how good they were. he believed they would be looked at as loyalists and they may be killed or maimed or certainly hurt or wants washington road in and officially became an american city in american country. but they left without a fight. they just need to be pushed out. we need to go to new york now and after we have technically ended the war in yorktown he pulls back and says they will leave soon and when he made it clear that they were coming in, they had a dinner and two or three days later they started pulling out and they went to canada i understand coming up in washington as we put it in the book was saying goodbye to his officers that he thought was for good in 1783 and an emotional speech. he talks about being so with emotion how he couldn't speak at having to come up and touch his hand and he would leave for
instance the tavern that still stands today and walked to the barge. i don't go downtown a lot, so i expected this to be perhaps a mile to the walk her or 2 miles. it's right there in the tavern looks the same way looking at the sketches into the photographs and you can actually feel george washington leave the front of the building and walk out emotionally and get on the barge into go home. >> host: that is the famous scene that is in all of the history books. but he mean met rivington, doest he? >> guest: one of the things that we are proud of that came into the book is that torture washington blank great-grandson wrote that when he got into new york city he saw james rivington and he heard the change changing hands in the back. why wouldn't general washington go visit the editor writer of the loyalist newspaper unless of
course as his great-grandson writes he was able to get the naval post, the british naval post before the battle of yorktown and then rocketed them to the french navy in order to nature provides them in a way that the british still haven't figured out why they lost in the battle why they were not successful. if you are the copy that is exactly what they did they went behind closed doors and he reemerged out. that is part of the mystery of this. when i started researching, did not know they hired robert townsend but the more that i researched it they hired him to do some reporting to become more successful as a spy because he's more intelligent than that makes more sense because he saw how brutal the british were in new york city and how the thugs and everything going on there. they saw the goodness of america i would like to think instead you know i'm on the wrong side
but i'm not way to be stupid enough to say it. >> host: into the british occupied new york. does he need any of the other secrets to when he comes into the city? >> guest: the thing that came to mind is definitely often. he stayed at the tavern. more than likely, yes. if they've met before, so the answer is yes, we know for sure, yes. what i wanted to find out is robert townsend, did he meet with his tortured soul that did so much and was forced his hand in many respects and we cannot find evidence that he did. however, his dad was a well-known patriot that went to jail because of that and it would make sense to me, logically it would make sense. you might walk o knock on the dr because his house is here and he went to visit the prominent
family in that area. the townsend house was here, three blocks away. it might be logical where he might say i'm going to go say hi to samuel townsend at which point he might have said junior. i don't know that moment and i have yet to have somebody remind me that there was that moment. teddy roosevelt is a cross and he loved this stuff. but he didn't know that there was a patriot in his next. there is an area called the landing where there is nothing but wate waters water i waters d it still exists today and the local legend is that that is where he had met them. it could have easily have been done. he's a master of keeping things secret. he would never tell but it seems to be there is a strong rumor but if we couldn't prove it, we didn't write it. >> host: today wouldn't we say that he was depressed? >> guest: i think so. >> host: even the loss and the
stress of the war that's just the kind of personality. >> guest: at that time it wasn't looked over as we have been over a few times. i think that logically he had a hard time living up to his older brothers have younger brothers. >> host: what is the lesson that he would like the readers to learn from this book? >> guest: how strong america was at the time not just paul revere, sam adams, john adams and benjamin franklin, but it was every day americans fighting for this cause that they be beefed in that with no credit just wanted to be respected and that's what they be beefed.
just because it doesn't mean that they were not important. >> host: okay. terrific book. >> guest: blank. appreciate it. >> host: take care. >> that was "after words," booktv signature program which offers at the latest nonfiction books were interviewed by journalists, public policy makers, legislators and others familiar with the material. "after words" airs every weekend at 10 p.m. on saturday, 12 and 9 p.m. on sunday and at 12 a.m. on monday. you can also watch "after words" online. go to booktv.org and click on "after words" in the book tv series and topics list on the upper right side of the page. >> host: joining us on booktv is joshua. before we get into your book what is your day job? >> i led the white house
faith-based initiative and president obama's first term and now i am a columnist for the daily beast and i run a social consulting company called value partnership. >> host: do you have a church? >> i attended congregation in washington dc. i was an associate professor in cambridge massachusetts. >> how did you get associated with the president and the faith-based initiative? >> guest: i started within early in 2,005 and started defending devotionals. i was a staffer doing outreach like a lot of other folks and i decided one day that in addition to policy advice he needs somebody thinking about his soul so i decided to send him an e-mail one day and i have no idea if he would respond if were we like it but he wrote me back and said this devotionals is exactly what i needed today. would you do it every day? that was six years ago and i have been sending them every day since. >> host: and what will we find? find?guest.
>> 365 devotionals that help him start his day. in addition to that you'll find storieyou willfind stories of fe white house. president obama like we haven't seen him before at his vulnerable points, how he helped me go on the path to marriage and how he was there for the country and have times like after the newtown tragedy in addition to daily devotional. did you need his permission? >> i asked him if he thought it would be a good thing to inspire other people in the same way that these devotionals have inspired him and he said absolutely so i started putting them together a little less than a year ago. >> what has been the response? >> phenomenal. no matter if they are republicans or democrats they say we need to start our day disconnected from politics and the busyness of any given day and really focus on the purpose in life and that is what this is all about. >> why did you leave the white house? >> i wanted to put this book together and share it with people and i had other writing i wanted to do and spend some more