Adam Maxwell


American Revolutionary War Rebel Patriot

c.1775


  Adam Maxwell was a schoolmaster and a staunch supporter of the Patriot cause. He kept school in the Brick Market of Newport Rhode Island in the winter of 1774-1775. In July of 1775 Mr. Maxwell aided the Patriot cause directly when he was called upon by his friend Godfrey Wenwood to discuss a secret letter an old girlfriend had brought him to assist in smuggling it into Boston. Maxwell opened the letter and discovered it to be in code, confirming their suspicions that it was the work of a spy. Yet they took no more action till September of 1775, probably because Wenwood did not want to reveal his old girlfriend to his fiance, or to protect the old girlfriend. In any case they both decided to hand the letter over to Henry Ward, Patriot secretary of the colony, in September when the girl contacted Godfrey again. The result was the capture of the English spy Dr. Benjamin Church.

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Sources: Spies of The Revolution, Katherine and John Bakeless, Scholastic Book Services, 1962, New York, NY