AMERICAN-REVOLUTION-L ArchivesArchiver > AMERICAN-REVOLUTION > 2003-07 > 1059485740
From: "lguzman" <>
Subject: Re: [A-REV] Colonel Thomas JOHNSON - Newbury, VT
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 08:35:42 -0500
Ok, you're in my field now. Fiction! (I believe there are one or two other
fiction writers on the list who might want to chime in???)
I have nothing against the truth and non-fiction writers everywhere, but
letting your imagination fly when you get a nugget of information like this
is where the fun is.
Gen. Washington had spies everywhere. What if Tom was one? Apparently, he
did spy for Washington. How many times did Tom turn his coat?
Here's the plot I'd write. Tom gets himself captured so he can cozy up to
the British. He's treated better than the other men because he's an officer
and rank has its privileges. Being the charming fellow that he is, General
Bayley takes a shine to him. (Maybe he did some extraordinary deed to catch
the General's eye. Maybe Tom and Bayley were somehow related. Major Andre
was a charmer. So much so that Americans wept while hanging him.)
I find it odd that a condition of Tom's parole is to betray his side.
Usually, your parole was simply not to bear arms until exchanged. You gave
your word of honor not to escape. A gentleman would never risk losing honor
by breaking his parole.
Wherever the truth lies, Tom was playing a dangerous game. Just one
intercepted letter between him and Washington, and the British would be
stretching his neck.
To me, it looks like Tom wasn't a Tory, he only played the role.
----- Original Message -----
From: "pam prine" <>
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2003 9:26 PM
Subject: [A-REV] Colonel Thomas JOHNSON - Newbury, VT
> My ancestor, Thomas Johnson, from Newbury, VT was a Colonel in the
Revolutionary War. He was captured by the British on 18 February 1781 in
Peacham & was taken to Canada. The Colonel was treated considerably better
than the other men & some doubted his loyalty. General Bayley, however,
appears to have trusted Johonson. It had been agreed by Johnson, as one of
the conditions of his parole, that he should give the British information of
the movements of the Americans, with shelter & provisions to the British
Scouts & that he would meet with the British any place if asked. The
Colonel appears to have instead betrayed the British by giving warnings to
the Americans of possible attacks & writing letters to General Washington.
> Can anyone on the list help me understand Colonel Johnson's motives etc?
I believe that he was not a torie, but ???
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