The Revolutionary War was nearing its end in early 1783. In his Hudson Highlands stronghold, General Washington kept a wary eye on the British force in New York City, 60 miles away. His army, owed months of back pay, and his officers frustrated by the negotiations over their promised pension, chafed under martial authority. A nationalist faction in Congress seized upon this discontent to instigate the Newburgh Conspiracy, a plot by Continental Army officers to menace civil officials who opposed the Impost, a 5% tax on imports to be collected by the central government, to satisfy the nation’s debts. The army–by this time a formidable force of seasoned veterans–was provoked into threatening the very liberties it had fought to defend. This book examines this last major crisis of the Revolution, when Washington stood between his men and the American people.
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