Nearly two and a half centuries after the American Revolution came to an end there are still unanswered questions surrounding many of its events. The Revolution was fought both overtly and covertly on many fronts, visible on battlefields, hidden in cities and towns. Secretive spies and double agents operated behind the lines of both armies. Diplomats and foreign agents arranged deals to provide goods and services, in the capitals of Europe and along the docks of port cities. Politicians in the Netherlands, Paris, London, and Philadelphia made arrangements to accommodate each other while advancing their cause.
George Washington emerged as a spymaster of consummate skill, establishing espionage rings so artfully concealed that their true nature and extent remain hidden to history, some of their heroes as yet unknown. Known spies were kidnapped and turned to serve as double agents. In many ways the American Revolution was a civil war fought between men well acquainted with each other, and the eighteenth century ideal of the gentlemen’s code took precedence in their correspondence with each other. The discretion required of the code still holds in many cases. Some events occurred which defied understanding then, and continue to elude it now.
Here are ten mysteries of the American Revolution which historians and scholars have failed to fully explain or understand after more than 200 years of uncovering clues.