Britain’s Royal Navy took 11,000 American sailors captive during the Revolutionary War. They spent months or years buried from the world in prisons in England, Ireland, and Scotland—held indefinitely under the terms of a 1777 law that designated them as pirates and traitors, not as official prisoners of war. This talk by University of Maryland historian Dr. Richard Bell reconstructs their experiences. It uses as its case study the ordeal of William Russell, a privateer from New England who spend thirty months trying to escape from England’s Mill Prison before being transferred to the Jersey, a de-masted prison hulk floating in Brooklyn Bay in British-occupied New York. On the Jersey, Russell has to fight for simple survival.
Cost: $15 per household for General Admission; $10 per household for HA Members, Military, and HA Docents