Covert Acts in Marblehead and the Spanish Connection on the Eve of Revolution
On the anniversary of the death of Colonel Jeremiah Lee of Marblehead due to his covert acts on behalf of Anerica's mounting revolution, an outdoor presentation will talk about this prominent trans-Atlantic businessman who became a covert Revolutionary leader in Essex County and Massachusetts, leading the town’s militia and working secretly and treasonously with the Massachusetts Committees of Safety & Supplies to organize, supply, and arm the rebellion from Autumn 1774 to April 19, 1775 when the first shots of the conflict were fired and indirectly claimed Lee’s life. The presentation will include little-known quotes from the period by and about Colonel Lee, who would be succeeded by Major John Glover as leader of the rebel militia that would soon become nearly a full regiment of the new Continental Army, just from this Atlantic seaport town (at the time, the sixth most populous in British North America). While their crucial efforts in several key battles during the first year and a half of the war have been credited, Colonel Lee’s covert work to secure vital arms largely has not. It was his presence near Lexington with the rebel committees that led to his premature demise, as he and two colleagues evaded the British regulars as they marched toward Concord on April 19. On May 10, 1775, Lee slipped largely unheralded into death (though it was recorded in the newspapers in Charleston, SC and elsewhere), while his townsmen and countrymen headed to the long war that would eventually win America’s independence. One little known fact is that his work involved an ally that played a quiet but important role in the mounting Revolution. And that was Spain.