Hercules Mulligan was indeed a real person who passed intelligence to George Washington, mostly through two means - one was an enslaved man named Cato, and the other was the Culper Spy Ring.
Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
How do you find a new way forward when, suddenly, you have two ready or not, no matter what and you're going through. The question is really the same. How do we get fearless when we feel uncertain lives of change direction. So now what do we do? What's the first move You have no idea where you're headed for us. It was starting the road to somewhere asked- and we don't really know, however, going but everyone overemphasize takes us someplace a little different and we definite laugh our way through it, I'm really saws and I'm sure Herzog join us as we navigate our own big life changes, honour, podcast, the road to somewhere launching January twenty listen to the road to somewhere on the Iheart, radio, app apple pie, gas or wherever you get your bike us
Welcome to you, MR from our support and welcome, we will probably listens to or had the extremely good words into feeling incredible popular Broadway Musical Hamilton. You ve probably heard that George Washington knew his plan for the battle of Yorktown we're going to work because he had spy and inside. That's right. Hercules well again see we're talking about today by kind I want to do. I can't I want to say it like. They say it in the song in the play, but I would have to go away off. The microphone is very energetic. Hercules Mulligan, like the other people and Hamilton, was indeed a real person and he passed intelligence to George Washington, mostly through two different
one was unenslaved man named Cato and the other was the coal perspiring, but before he star spying on the british or the future president of the United States. He wasn't around arousing New York member of the funds of liberty, which is the same organization that in Massachusetts, had pulled off the Boston Tea Party, so urgent, Mulligan story of kind of a long one and spend a lot of the revolutionary war, some elements of which require a little bit of every pressure. If you are not steeped in revolutionary war history, so we're gonna tackle it in two parts that are really two parts it out Hercules Mulligan, I know folks, are probably tempted to he's right now and start emailing. Us about all the other people from Hamilton that we should do so, but I don't want to. I want, to assure you we already have that list. Every possible person place. Events and pamphlet has been suggested, except
so. He Hercules, no mulligan. Nobody asked us to talk about Hercules. Mulligan I just wanted to which is kind of funny. That I mean I am one of those things are. We have gotten any request for basically every bit of minutiae related to that play that I am shocked that this particular stone went unturned because it's a pretty it fascinating one. So to kick it off. Hercules Mulligan was born in Ireland in seventeen forty two hue and Sarah Cook Mulligan around seventeen, forty six, his parents emigrated to the colonies with him, his brother hue and his sister, Sarah, and at that point Hercules was the youngest, although another brother cook was born after they arrived, so their reasons for emigrating aren't really documented anywhere, but it's likely that the family paid their own way rather than travelling under an adventure that would have to be worked off, which is that another common way that people made their way to the colonies? The elder
mulligan appears on the New York List of Freeman of the city in seventeen, forty seven approximately a year after they arrived and indentured servants, weren't considered Freeman and sensitive the typical indenture lasted for about seven years. It's unlikely that the Maleagans had ever been subjects to one at first Hercules is Father, worked as a wig maker. Any move from their into work is a merchant. Eventually he got a job in law enforcement, which is a very common occupied for irish immigrants in the colonies for centuries? I would I mean they're still that still sort of a little bit of a true this boy, it's irish law, Pia yeah in time, though, like that the recent irish emigrants were that one of the major contributions to law enforcement, Labour force Hercules, education came through a private tutor and by the standards of the day it seems like he was quite well educated. He also grow up to be tall em
but of all very flamboyant. He retained an irish accent and he take any tended to gain people's trust really quickly and including total strangers. He was wanted. People who is everybody's best friend, basically from the moment that they met. He was also such a good story. Teller that people like to say that his family was from blarney, which they were not. They were from a town called colouring in the camp in County Antrim, both of Hercules as brothers became merchants, which was a trade that Hercules tried his hand there, but he didn't really take too if he later became clear. Ultimately rubbing his own business, employing several skill tailors over the first few years of his career, he moved his shop from one location to another, as various circumstances demanded it by seventeen seventy one he was described as New York's. Most fashionable merchant Taylor
one of Hercules, Maleagans most famous friends, was Alexander Hamilton Hamilton was born on the island of nervous in seventeen. Fifty five making him about fifteen years younger than Mulligan. When Hamilton came to the colonies from the Caribbean in seventeen, seventy two he brought with him several letters of introduction. One of them was directed to the New York Office of Trading Company were Hamilton, had worked and Saint Croy. That firm was the House of Cartwright and Company Hercules, brother, who was part
the UN's company, he was a junior partner in this particular firm. He would eventually by out his partner as an own, the firm outright which made him a really powerful family connection for Hercules to have so. It was through human again that Hercules and Hamilton first met and Hamilton made a good first impression on Hercules, who took an immediate liking to Em Hercules, helped get him enrolled in school and later on, he allowed Hamilton to board in his home, while he was attending kings college which later became Let me a university Hamilton continued to live with Hercules Mulligan after the latter Married Elizabeth Sanders on October, twenty seventh, seventeen, seventy three she was beneath them. An admirable Royal Navy and in seventeen seventy six mulligan moved his home in his business to twenty three Queen Street to Wall Street as much nicer and of fancier area of town and where he had been located before it was where his business would stay for the rest of his life, and that is also when Hamilton stop living with him
and that's not really became known as one of the finest closures in New York. This move to clean street was in the early years of the revolutionary war. So to very briefly, recap: patriots were seeking american independence from Britain. Loyalists, on the other hand, were loyal to the crown Hercules. Mulligan was a patriot through and through, like his family's reasons, for emigrating to the colonies. His reasons for this point of view are really documented anywhere and most biography simply boil it down too well. He was irish, Irish were overwhelmingly in favour of independence. Really he there you guys like some of them. The town is like will. Obviously he was area which I would why you say irish people are not monolithic in their toward toward English
overwhelmingly, yes, overwhelmingly irish folks were more in favour of independence when it came to independence Hercules Mulligan was really committed, an outspoken to the point that farm historian suggest that he might have actually influenced Alexander Hamilton and his views Hamiltons political away, upon arriving in North Amerika from the Caribbean really together. We well known or documents. We don't quite know what his thoughts were in that direction when he first got to New York, regardless long before he became a spy Hercules. Mulligan was an activist and we're gonna talk a lot about that after we first pause for a word from one of our here's the thing. Saving money with Geico was almost better than playing pick up basketball, because there's always that guy who joins your game, He never passes the rock he constantly bricks theories and who completely
you and then put his hands up and say no foul, no foul with Geico. It's easy to switch save on car insurance known the vacant ankle sprain, because you're absolutely exhausted? So which, in save with Geiger it's almost better than sports, Peculiar mulligan was already active in resistance against british rule long before he ever met Alexander Hamilton in seventeen sixty I've he arranged for the distribution of a publication that was violently against the stamp act. To do this. He and with the help of Laurent Sweeney, who was the only letter carrier at me in in New York City at the time sweetie was caught and then the publication was deemed to be seditious, but he refused to name any one is at source when he was interrogated. He instead made this. He made the sort of off the cuff a thing about
come come from an iron works in New Jersey and that became kind of an inside joke among patriot publications. After that they would prevent it and the letters down at the bottom of their pamphlets and stuff. The sons of liberty was founded at about the same time and Mulligan joined becoming one of its first New York members. He made no secret whatsoever of this fact and he was a prominent speaker at us Liberty Rally held in New York in July of seventeen seventy four later that year, Mulligan was elected to the Committee of Observation that was established in New York on November twenty second, these committees were established in based all of the colony used for the purpose of monitoring and resisting the so called oppressive acts. These were laws that had been passed in the wake of the Boston, tea party, more or less, to punish the colonies and the cheese that specifically, you can learn more about these laws and our podcast called thirteen reasons for the american revolution. As the war
went on the committees of observation went on to observe loyalists in general as well. I can't keep tabs on people whose views they didn't agree with. In March of seventeen, seventy five, the Committee of Observation, announced its intention to hold a meeting in the left New York delegates to the second Continental Congress, which was to convene in Philadelphia. The Cardinal Congress was a meeting of delegates from the thirteen colonies, the first of which was can be. in response to Britain's intolerable acts at a very, very, very basic level? The first Continental Congress set out to decide how the colony should respond to the intolerable acts. The second continental Congress would decide how the colony should respond to the war I remember sitting through what seems like it.
Ordinarily long lessons in history class of the child on the Continental Congress, the use that is not that's like not even really synopsis. That's the tiniest possible explanation of what they were and what? What? all was discussed there. This meeting to elect a New York's delegates was to take place at the exchange on marks March fixed and at this point, New York's residents included both loyalty. Then patriots, as well as a lot of people who just want a war to be over and otherwise didn't particularly care, one way or the other. When the loyalist heard about this meeting that the Committee of Observation was organizing They decided to have their own sort of pre gave meeting to try. get a loyalist slate of delegates elected the Patriots, on the other hand, heard about the loyalist plan to try to work up. The strategy descend only loyalists delegates, so the patriots had their own meeting as well to try to figure out how to beat the loyal.
numbers once the vote was held. In the end, the loyalist muster up a pretty large number of voters to extend this meeting at the exchange. The patriots, though had a lot more thanks to Hercules. Mulligan, Captain Isaac Spheres and Richard Livingston basically marched through New York and rounded up every person they could possibly find to bring to the meeting themselves. They basically vote brigade this meeting and the loyalists, not surprisingly, cried foul, saying that only people listed on the official voting role should be able to vote the Patriots countered that this was undemocratic and that every citizen should be able to vote. The Committee of Observation agreed with the Patriots and the patriot slate of delegates was elected to the second Continental Congress, which would ultimately go on to adopt the declaration of independence was really just feels like a way more on right.
well, who feels a lot like modern politics admitting recover yeah. Also in seventeen. Seventy five afterward of fighting and Lexington unconquered Massachusetts reach New York. The sounds of liberty decided to try to ban british vessels from entering or leaving the port of New York, and to do this, they stole the crown. The crown collectors keys to the customs asked if they control the Customs House than they would control entered and left the harbour. The sounds of liberty, with later go on to establish a committee of inspection to make sure that british goods couldn't enter or leave the port Hercules Mulligan. Bobbed in this effort and was on that committee as well. While all of this was going on, the sons of Liberty also move to try to take over the running of New York itself. Choosing a committee of one hundred people to handle things until a permanent government could be established on this committee, known among other things, as the Committee of one hundred was hurt, you
he's mulligan. He was very committee busy there were thirty committee is going on in in the early days of the revolutionary war. So much The activities of the patriarchate in the early days of the revolution went on from there. Some of them were above board, and some of them were not on top of all these committees in this administrative work. He also, for example, aided in the theft of muskets from the Loyalist City Corporation, which they then distributed to members of the sense of liberty, a little later on in the war. He was one of the people. You helped to tear down the statue of King George, the third and on the bowling green on July. Ninth, seventeen, seventy six! After a public reading of the newly signs declaration of independence, he is reported to have actually been the person who broke down the gate to get to the statue and then tied the rope that was used around it around the kings. Neck
He put his skills as a tailored to work for the war effort as well. Mulligan had been helping to recruit and organise military units in New York when Alexander Hamilton was commissioned, is a captain of the provincial company of artillery. Mulligan was the one who made a uniform for him and then helped recruit the necessary men, which is one of the terms for Hamilton being given a role in the future, place, is basically ok if you're gonna be given this role, you need the Unita Recruit. This many people to failure to fill your team and Hercules. Mulligan helped him do that. based on all of this extremely obvious activism. Having his name repeatedly associated with patriotic activities. Hercules Mulligan might not seem like the most logical choice for undercover espionage. On behalf the patriots he was right. I mean widely known as a patriot and a member of the sons of live.
liberty, but he wound that being a spy anyway, which we all talk about. After a sponsoring from the creator of the control group comes a noose did podcast the seventh daughter. They say the seventh daughter can name's conjure voices from the green cars. Feelings to rise and rolling Linda All that It is the family, the seventh daughter out in episode available February. Third, is this really something he should be involving pandora? There's something you're not telling me what There is a man very powerful and doing his name is called
The black eyes widened talks in the sudden. You have no right to put her in danger. The seventh daughter, listen on the Iheart radio, Apple pie, gas or wherever you get your by gas in the summer of seventeen. Seventy six David Matthews Mare of New York, the loyalist needed a new coat. He went to Mulligan shop by this point is a move to its final location at number: twenty three Queen Street, which had a reputation of being extremely fine and well stocked with quality fabrics, laces and trims, and which employed a number of very skilled tailors, as we mentioned earlier, a purpose close your reputation for quality matthies had been a regular customer. They are for quite some time. Mulligan provided his customers with food and beverages. During their visit they had Matthews had a reputation for being a heavy drinker. Eventually alcohol seems
got the better of Matthews Judgment and he started talking about how the british we're going to kidnap George Washington and if that plan failed, their backup was the poison his favorite meal of buttered peace, Hammond Lettuce. According to man, years many of Washington's own guard had not been paid, and they were better enough about it to be willing to betray him to the loyalists in exchange for money, buttered, peas, handling, lettuce, kind of weeks. We laugh at an interesting favorite meal. Tat Mulligan took advantage of this situation. He angle for more details and when it seems clear that his this kidnap attempt was going to take place within the next few days, he finished Matthews fitting he closed up his shop, any headed to Washington's home in Greenwich village. He ran into Alexander Hamilton along the way and told him about the
Why and went back to work apparently having? The fourth ought to realise the being seen going into Washington's headquarters would mean no other loyalist would ever be so careless around him again soon, elegans information was confirmed through some other sources. There were men who were captured in conjunction with other crimes who, when they were interrogated name some of Washington scarred as having turns traitor. A man named Thomas Hickey was arrested and he and several co conspirators were court martialed on June twenty. Fourth, seventeen, seventy six dickies defence, whether he had not we plan to go through. With this whole plan. He was trying to get the money and then not do any of the things that he had promised the view in exchange for that money, that defence failed and he was hanged on June. Twenty eight thirteen other HO conspirators were imprisoned? Mayor Matthews fled New York for England, people often linked to call Hercules Mulligan. The man who saved George Washington's life twice, and this was but the first time
the lie of seventeen. Seventy six, british and hessian troops started to land in Staten Island soon,.
It is generally sir, William how had established a headquarters there and he started recruiting loyalists from around a Europe which, as we said before, there were plenty actually living in New York, while New York had been roughly even in its proportion of loyalists patriots that that patriots. At this point, this huge influx of british troops are really tip the balance and also made things increasingly precarious for George Washington and the continental army. Washington had about eighteen thousand troops on Long Island, defending New York, but several of his advisers thought it would be wise to secretly evacuate because their positions were not easy to defend. Washington, however, did not take this advice and, as a result, the battle of Brooklyn Heights, also known as the battle of Long island, was devastating for Washington's fighting force, especially after they wound of essentially penned in by the ocean. It took a diversion in the night time escape made possible by sailors from Massachusetts.
Washington to evacuate, ten thousand or so remaining troops to Manhattan. Using much of the same strategy that had been suggested for an earlier secret escape Washington thought Manhattan would be nearly impossible to defend, especially considering how much water around it was now controlled by the British Congress denied his proposition to burn the city bounds, though that loyalists couldn't have use of it after a second assault. On September, fifteenth, the Patriot forces escaped through Harlem Heights, leaving the british and full control of New York City and ready to punish any patriots. They found one of the first order of business was to basic. Drop the names of everyone who had been disloyal from their point of view, and what are the names on? Every list was Hercules Mulligan.
every committee on everyone. I think people right have just like saying Hercules: Mulligan provide you with the other night of September, twenty in seventeen, seventy six part of New York caught fire and there still debate about whether it was deliberate and if so, who would have said that fire. And why? And while he was trying to evacuate his wife and two year old Son Mulligan was arrested for the first time, while his wife and child were allowed to continue on their way. He was taken to Provost prison, nickname for british Provost Marshall, William Cunningham, who with whom Mulligan did not get along Cunningham happen to have been with the patrol that had first captured Mulligan with while he was evacuating and it was under here. Orders that he had been taken into custody Mulligan spent about the next two months in jail was one of those things is not particularly clearly documented about when he went out and when he went out again, but why?
It was there is respected. Work is a clear and his clientele that included a lot of british officers turn into a huge asset. He spent a lot of his time in friendly conversation, full of lots of named dropping and references to us. No relationship to the lot of well known, powerful, loyalists and officers the order came down that he was to be released thanks in part to what a service he had done by making all those officers uniforms. He was freed. The condition that he not leave New York. In spite of this order, he crossed the river into Hackensack New Jersey on November seventeen of seventeen seventy six for reasons that once again, are not entirely clear. It's possible that he wanted to join up with Alexander Hamilton Artillery Company, which was in camp there, but regardless of why he did run into Hamilton who persuaded him to return to New York, so among other reach,
He could keep tabs on the British for the Patriots and that's what he did and we're gonna talk more about that next time, when we'll get into how he gradually went from sort of spy work by happenstance to being an official, basically full time, spy, exciting, do you have some listener: mailed a tide us over. While we clipping these poor people. I view this is normal, As for a magazine and Megan, says hello, Chaldean Tracy, I'm a graduate student spending a year in Nanjing. China writing my dissertation on theatre history, your point
I have kept me company on many of my commutes around the city, so I am glad that I finally have something interesting to share with you as a small gesture of thanks. A few weeks ago, I visited the junker Memorial shipyard here and managing the park is very quiet and mostly full of grandparents flying heights with their children. In the shadow of an impressive statue of young, her hat, however, history fans will appreciate the fact that this ability, urban landscape is built around three remaining trenches. Out of the many that John her used to construct the treasure, After construction, he would flood these pits with water and float the boats out to the Yangtse River. Yet another marvel of engineering, as you mentioned in the pot, cast the key attract
it is an enormous recreation of one of young- has smaller treasure ships floating in one of the canals, I have to say that it still difficult to comprehend the scale of these vessels, even when you are staring straight up at one or even a walking around on the deck. My mother, a huge western exploration back, was visiting me at the time of the two of us were simply in all recent excavations of also uncovered from artifacts, such as construction tools and masts from the bottom of the time. You can see in a small museum to the side of the entrance. If he ever come to Nanjing. There are many other remnants of the mink dynasty that you can still visit today, the city walls, the mink, tombs, the ruins of the imperial power.
And Lyon Hill, where John, how lived for the last years of his life, the chinese conception of what should be preserved rebuilt were completely reconstructed, differs a bit from what we might expect in the? U S. Still, it is remarkable to see how some things such as the construction of these treasure ships have left indelible mark on the geography of the city. Entering is the kind of place where history is always evident around. You think you're talking about John HOT and giving other people the chance to learn more about it all the best maggot. Thank you so much Megan Meccans pictures were great. I had seen sort of the stock image
places where we get our imagery for a lot of things on our website pictures of the ship, but having one that was taken from somebody actually standing on the deck of it was pretty awesome. So thank you again, Megan and if you would like to write to us about this or any other podcast, where history podcast that asked at how stuff works, dot com were also on Facebook at Facebook that calm, Flash, Miss than history and on Twitter at Lisbon. History are tumblr, is missing. History not tumbled out common, or else I'm interested pinterest accomplishments than history are Instagram is missing. strength between the state and sustained and put everything under the name. Mr history, if you would like to learn a little more out, we what we talked about today comes or a parent companies website, which is how stuff works, dot com, but the word George,
Washington into the search bar. You will find a George Washington Queers. We can test or knowledge about the man and his history. You can also come to our website, which is missing history that harm or you will find shone out of all of the episodes that Holly and I have worked on together. We have an archive of every episode that we have ever done. Occasionally we put up other funds step as well. They can do all that and a whole lot more. How stuff works that car poor miss than history for more on this and thousands of other topics, as it has not worked. How do you find a new way forward when, suddenly you have two ready or not? No matter what Change are going through. The question is really the same. How do we get fearless when we feel uncertain
allies of change direction. So now what do we do? What's? The first move When you have no idea where your headed for us, it was starting the road to somewhere. Cast, and we don't really know, however going but everyone overemphasize takes us. Some plays a little different and we deafened they laughed our way through it. I'm LISA, Jaws and I'm Herzog, join us as we navigate our own big life, changes, honour, podcast, the road to somewhere launching January I listened to the road to somewhere on the Iheart radio, app apple pie, gas or wherever you get your bike. Us.