Redcoats and Petticoats
When the American Revolution arrives in Thomas Strong’s sleepy Long Island village, his life is turned upside down. His church becomes a fort for the British, and a company of Redcoats are quartered in his family’s home. But worst of all, his father is arrested as a traitor and taken away. Katherine Kirkpatrick’s captivating story is based on the Culper Spy Ring, which operated on Long Island and in Connecticut from 1778 – 1783. Its purpose was to send messages to General George Washington about the activities of the British Army in New York City. Ronald Himler’s dramatic watercolor illustrations bring this pivotal period of U.S. history to life for contemporary readers. Katherine Kirkpatrick grew up near Setauket in Stony Brook, New York. She first learned of Anna (Nancy) Strong’s role in the Culper Spy Ring from Strong’s great-great-granddaughter, Kate Strong, whom she interviewed for a fourth-grade project. The complete spy ring route, which carried crucial information from British-occupied New York City to Patriot-held Connecticut, is depicted in a colorful map at the conclusion of the book; the detailed historical notes that follow will intrigue those interested in learning about the strong men and women who were instrumental in changing the nation's history. Himler's splendid watercolor paintings illustrate the danger involved in trying to foil the Loyalists and the daily threat of exposure that was faced by the Setauket spies.