"tis likely you have heard of the one Legged Spy taken up At Harwich he attempted to burn Barnstable Jail &c"
Despite the relative lowness of British fortunes in the spring of 1778, Loyalist agitation behind the lines continued. In his letter to Dr. Samuel Adams (whose letters to his wife have been featured previously), Thomas Paine of Eastham, Massachusetts (not to be confused with the famous writer) describes on-going Continental Army recruiting efforts alongside the activities of a Loyalist spy. His account, presented in full below, details the travails of a one-legged man believed to be a Loyalist agent and the reception (or lack thereof) he received from the local tory population. Eastham, located in eastern Massachusetts, retained a sizeable Loyalist population, though these dissidents from the Revolution were obviously well-intimidated by their whig neighbors, as seen by their unwillingness to harbor a spy. Our thanks go to Library Research Assistant David Swain for the following transcript.
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