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Renegade RevolutionaryThe Life of General Charles Lee$
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Phillip Papas

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814767658

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814767658.001.0001

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The King’s Famous Prisoner

The King’s Famous Prisoner

(p.215) 13 The King’s Famous Prisoner
Renegade Revolutionary

Phillip Papas

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on Charles Lee's experience as a prisoner at the hands of the British. At New Brunswick, Lee languished in a small jail cell for more than a month. Some British officers were sympathetic to his plight, but others were not. Lee's fate rested with General William Howe, who faced a legal quandary on whether the prisoner should be subjected to a military trial for desertion, where punishment was death, This chapter examines the dispute between George Washington and the Continental Congress over Lee's situation before the former authorized a formal prisoner exchange to secure the release of Lee. It also considers Lee's proposal that he claimed would help Howe capture Philadelphia and crush the rebellion, along with the release of Lee after he was exchanged for General Richard Prescott.

Keywords:   prisoner, Charles Lee, New Brunswick, William Howe, George Washington, Continental Congress, prisoner exchange, Philadelphia, Richard Prescott

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