America's First POWs
May 31, 2004 10:00 AM   Subscribe

America's First POWs. The Department of Defense says there were 4,435 battle deaths during the Revolutionary War. More than twice as many Americans died in British prison ships in New York Harbor. You can get an idea of their suffering from the news stories I've linked, or read a more detailed account written in the 1860s from Henry R. Stiles's A History of the City of Brooklyn (scroll down a bit and keep hitting Next). There are more links at this site, which focuses on the long-neglected Monument for the Prison Ship Martyrs in Brooklyn's Fort Greene Park. A remembrance for Memorial Day.
posted by languagehat (6 comments total)
awesome history lesson, thanks
posted by matteo at 10:17 AM on May 31, 2004

Those damn lithographs! What were they thinking?
posted by srboisvert at 12:07 PM on May 31, 2004

Excellent post, languagehat. Thanks.
posted by homunculus at 1:10 PM on May 31, 2004

Fast forward to Iraq, 2004.

The area where the prison ships were is just a bit north of what is now DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights. Not a lot of people know that so many people died there.

The monument in Fort Greene is beautiful, but spotted with raggedy weeds. You can walk up all the steps and get a good high view of Brooklyn and the City.
posted by Dukebloo at 1:43 PM on May 31, 2004

Excellent post, languagehat, particularly for Memorial Day - thanks!
posted by madamjujujive at 5:50 PM on May 31, 2004

Nice research languagehat, thanks!

The DAR has some info on the prison galleys as well, but I don't any of it is online. Those of you in the DC area can probably drop by the museum and go through the archives if you're interested, however.
posted by dejah420 at 9:08 PM on May 31, 2004

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