FC 95 The British Raid on Essex with Jerry Roberts

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Jerry Roberts, the author of the book The British Raid on Essex: The Forgotten Battle of the War of 1812. This book re-introduces a part of the War of 1812 that was erased from American history.

Bio – Jerry Roberts

Jerry Roberts has been in the history business for over 30 years. He has served as Vice President in charge of Exhibits at the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum in New York City, Executive Director of Connecticut River Museum in Essex CT, and Battlefield Historian for The British Raid on Essex with Jerry Roberts on Fieldstone Commonthe British Raid on Essex Project. He has designed and built over forty exhibits, has written or co-written several books and documentaries and has published dozens of newspaper and magazine articles.

Roberts is an avid sailor and merchant marine master and has navigated the eastern seaboard in small boats and historic vessels from The Gulf Coast to Nova Scotia.

He now lives overlooking the Connecticut River with his wife and two children where he continues to write about adventures large and small while designing exhibits and public programs.

Book Summary

This is the dynamic account of one of the most destructive maritime actions to take place in Connecticut history: the 1814 British attack on the privateers of Pettipaug, known today as the British Raid on Essex. During the height of the War of 1812, 136 Royal marines and sailors made their way up the Connecticut River from warships anchored in Long Island Sound. Guided by a well-paid American traitor the British navigated the Saybrook shoals and advanced up the river under cover of darkness. By the time it was over, the British had burned twenty-seven American vessels, including six newly built privateers. It was the largest single maritime loss of the war. Yet this story has been virtually left out of the history books—the forgotten battle of the forgotten war. This new account from author and historian Jerry Roberts is the definitive overview of this event and includes a wealth of new information drawn from recent research and archaeological finds. Illustrations and detailed maps bring the battle to life.

Publication Info The British Raid on Essex with Jerry Roberts on Fieldstone Common

Title: The British Raid on Essex: The Forgotten Battle of the War of 1812

Publisher: Wesleyan University Press (2014)

Hard cover; 197 pages with appendices including transcriptions of original documents, a chronology, end notes and an index.

The British Raid on Essex is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview Jerry Roberts captivates us with the riveting story of a long forgotten but dramatic raid on the town of Essex, Connecticut during the War of 1812. The casualties during the raid were minor but the devastation was great with the destruction of over 25 vessels being built in Essex. Learn about the traitor who helped the British navigate their way up the Connecticut River and how the British escaped despite being surrounded by American troops.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winner

One copy of The British Raid on Essex: The Forgotten Battle of the War of 1812 is given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Wesleyan University Press.

The winner is:

  • To be announced next week

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Wesleyan University Press for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

The Direct Link to this post is
http://www.fieldstonecommon.com/british-raid-essex-jerry-roberts

News & Announcements

BIG NEWS for Android users! Fieldstone Common is now available in the Android app Stitcher. Stitcher is a program like iTunes but is available on the Android platform. Download Stitcher and search for Fieldstone Common or click here.

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 95)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 95 is the number of the episode.

 

FC 93 At the Point of a Cutlass with Greg Flemming

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Gregory N. Flemming, the author of the book At the Point of a Cutlass: The Pirate Capture, Bold Escape, and Lonely Exile of Philip Ashton. This book tells the fantastic story of a fisherman’s capture by a notorious pirate and his risky and dramatic escape.

Bio – Gregory N. Flemming

Gregory Flemming spent more than three years researching At the Point of a Cutlass, which tells for the first time the complete story of Marblehead fisherman Philip Ashton and the horrific pirates who captured him.

At the Point of a Cutlass with Greg Flemming on Fieldstone Common

photo: Laura Kallin Kaye

When researching and writing At the Point of a Cutlass, Greg explored many of the key locations in Ashton’s odyssey, from the remote Nova Scotia harbor where Ashton was captured at gunpoint to the Caribbean island of Roatan, forty miles off the coast of Honduras, where Ashton escaped. Much of Roatan’s hilly terrain remains, even today, unpopulated and heavily forested — the eastern part of the island, where Ashton was marooned and lived, is still accessible only by boat.

The book draws not only on Ashton’s own first-person account of his experiences, but also a wealth of other materials, including hundreds of colonial newspaper reports, trial records, and the hand-written logbooks and correspondence from the British warships that patrolled the Bay of Honduras and fought with Edward Low’s pirate crew.

Greg is a former journalist with a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A New England native, he is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire. He lives with his family in New England. You can learn more about Greg at gregflemming.com.

Book Summary

Based on a rare manuscript from 1725, At the Point of a Cutlass uncovers the amazing voyage of Philip Ashton — a nineteen-year old fisherman who was captured by pirates, escaped on an uninhabited Caribbean island, and then miraculously arrived back home three years later to tell his incredible story.

Taken in a surprise attack near Nova Scotia in June 1722, Ashton was forced to sail across the Atlantic and back with a crew under the command of Edward Low, a man so vicious he tortured victims by slicing off an ear or nose and roasting them over a fire. “A greater monster,” one colonial official wrote, “never infested the seas.” Ashton barely survived the nine months he sailed with Low’s crew — he was nearly shot in the head at gunpoint, came close to drowning when a ship sank near the coast of Brazil, and was almost hanged for secretly plotting a revolt against the pirates.

Like many forced men, Ashton thought constantly about escaping. In March of 1723, he saw his chance when Low’s crew anchored at the secluded island of Roatan, at the western edge of the Caribbean. Ashton fled into the thick, overgrown woods and, for more than a year, had to claw out a living on the remote strip of land, completely alone and with practically nothing to sustain him. The opportunity to escape came so unexpectedly that Ashton ran off without a gun, a knife, or even a pair of shoes on his feet. Yet the resilient young castaway — who has been called America’s real-life Robinson Crusoe — was able to find food, build a crude shelter, and even survive a debilitating fever brought on by the cool winter rains before he was rescued by a band of men sailing near the island. Based on Ashton’s own first-hand account, as well trial records, logbooks, and a wealth of other archival evidence, At the Point of a Cutlass pieces together the unforgettable story of a man thrust into the violent world of a pirate ship and his daring survival and escape.

Publication Info  At the Point of a Cutlass with Greg Flemming on Fieldstone Common

Title: At the Point of a Cutlass: The Pirate Capture, Bold Escape, and Lonely Exile of Philip Ashton

Publisher: ForeEdge, An Imprint of University Press of New England (2014)

Hard cover; 241 pages with end notes, a bibliography, an index, and some photos and illustrations.

At the Point of a Cutlass is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview Greg Flemming and I talk a lot about pirates! Philip Ashton, a fisherman from Marblehead, Massachusetts was taken captive for nine months by the notorious pirate Edward Low. We dive into a discussion about pirate culture, what it means to be a pirate and what life was like on board the ship. We also talk about the resources and challenges of researching in the early 18th century. This is a really fascinating tale you won’t want to miss!

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winner

One copy of At the Point of a Cutlass is given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of ForeEdge.

The winner is:

  • To be announced next week

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to  ForeEdge for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

The Direct Link to this post is
http://www.fieldstonecommon.com/point-of-cutlass-greg-flemming

News & Announcements

BIG NEWS for Android users! Fieldstone Common is now available in the Android app Stitcher. Stitcher is a program like iTunes but is available on the Android platform. Download Stitcher and search for Fieldstone Common or click here.

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 93)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 93is the number of the episode.