Booktalk: Revolutionary Spies

Christian presentation will include highlights from his Spies in Revolutionary Rhode Island book. He will talk about American spies who operated within British lines when the British occupied Newport from 1776 to 1779. He will also reveal the work of a talented female spy, Ann Bates, who passed to the British information relative to the Battle of Rhode Island in August 1778.  He will discuss the famous Culper Spy ring and its effort to convey to the Count de Rochambeau in Newport intelligence of a planned invasion of Newport by British forces against the newly-arrived French army in July 1781.


Christian McBurney is an independent historian who has written eight books, including four on the American Revolutionary War and four on Rhode Island (see Christian is also the founder and publisher of Rhode Island’s leading state history blog, the Online Review of Rhode Island History at  He resides in the Washington, D.C. area and has a second home in West Kingston, Rhode Island.