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American Sanctuary: Mutiny, Martyrdom, and National Identity in the Age of Revolution
American Sanctuary begins in 1797 with the bloodiest mutiny ever suffered by the Royal Navy—on the British frigate HMS Hermione. Most of the Hermione mutineers had scattered throughout the North Atlantic; one of them, Jonathan Robbins, had made his way to American shores, and the British were asking for his extradition. Robbins let it be known that he was an American citizen from Danbury, Connecticut, and that he had been impressed into service by the British. American Sanctuary brilliantly lays out in full detail the story of how the Robbins affair and the presidential campaign of 1800 inflamed the new nation and set in motion a constitutional crisis, resulting in Adams’s defeat and Jefferson’s election as the third president of the United States.
By A. Roger Ekirch. Published by Pantheon, 2017. 320 pages, hardcover.