Handwritten and Twice Signed 1776 Document by Famous British Spy Thomas Hazard – American Revolutionary War
Handwritten and Twice Signed 1776 Document by Famous British Spy Thomas Hazard, an important key spy for General Sir Henry Clinton during the American Revolutionary War
Handwritten and Twice Signed 1776 Document by Famous British Spy Thomas Hazard | Thomas Hazard (1738-1820) | Thomas Hazzard was an important key spy for General Sir Henry Clinton, KB, MP (16 April 1730 – 23 December 1795) during the American Revolutionary War | General Clinton was best known for his service as a general during the American War of Independence. First arriving in Boston in May 1775, from 1778 to 1782 he was the British Commander-in-Chief in North America | Thomas Hazard was procuring intelligence for the British | Dimensions: Document only 4.5” W x 7.5 H” | Document, signed twice, New Haven, May 24, 1776. Hazzard acknowledges receipt of payment from James Rogers. There are four additional receipts signed by other individuals for moneys received from Rogers. James Rogers (c. 1726 – September 23, 1790) was an Irish-born British Lieutenant colonel. He emigrated to America at an early age and became a frontiersman. He served with his brother Robert Rogers during the French and Indian War. He then served as a Loyalist leader during the American War of Independence and later settled in Ontario in Canada.
Spies in Revolutionary Rhode Island by Christian M. McBurney, “Hazard . . . made his report to Admiral Arbuthnot and General Clinton.” Hazard’s report included a detailed map of the French ships in Newport Harbor and a description of Rochambeau’s defenses. The undated and unsigned map found in Clinton’s files, in Hazard’s handwriting and probably done around July 28 , shows seven French warships in a crescent line in between Coaster’s Harbor Island and Brenton’s Neck and nearby artillery emplacements. His written notes stated: ‘5500 troops embarked and some 2000 about so many sick, or at most not above 4,000 fighting men . Tomini Hill and little Tomini Hill both fortified in the best manner they can. The redoubts by Irish’s house and Bannister’s Hill and all the lines
from there to Easterns Beach are being repaired. The redoubts and forts on Windmill Hill are being repaired . They are building a fort on Black Point , on the east side, by John Holmes’s . Not above 3 or 4000 militia on the island as yet, but a great many are expected.'”Spies in Revolutionary Rhode Island by Christian M. McBurney, Page 81.
“On August 1, Hazard’s written report arrived in New York City. Clinton interpreted Hazard’s information in a letter to a colleague in England as follows: The French, by an account just received, have completed all the works we had at Rhode Island and added new ones; are reinforced with 3,000 Provincials and as many Militia, all from New England Provinces; they have fortified the ground where I at first proposed landing in the Sakonnet Passage. In short, with 5 or 6,000 men, which is all I dare move from hence [New York City], I cannot undertake a siege opposed by 8 or 10,000 in ground where General Pigot with 5,000 [during the Rhode Island Campaign] defended himself against 14,000 or more, and 12 sail of the line.” Spies in Revolutionary Rhode Island by Christian M. McBurney, Page 84.
British Map of French Defenses In Newport Rhode Island derived from Thomas Hazard Intelligence
Interestingly, Hazard’s intelligence was a key component of the British decision not to attack Newport. “General Heath [called] out thousands of militiamen and spurred Rochambeau to hurry improving the preparations of Newport’s fortifications. These militiamen and improvements in Newport’s defenses were noticed by Loyalist spy Thomas Hazard and British naval observers, which helped to discourage Admiral Arbuthnot from cooperating with Clinton, forcing the commanding British general to drop his plans against Newport.” Journal of the American Revolution, The War Years (1775-1783), December 9, 2014.
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