Tallmadge, Benjamin, Jr.

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Tallmadge, Benjamin, Jr.

TALLMADGE, BENJAMIN, JR. (1754–1835). Continental officer, manager of Washington's secret service. Born in Brookhaven, New York, on 25 February 1754, Tallmadge graduated from Yale in 1773 and became superintendent of the high school at Wethersfield, Connecticut. He left this post to fight in the Revolution, being made lieutenant and adjutant in Chester's Connecticut State Regiment on 20 June 1776, captain on 14 December 1776, and major on 7 April 1777 and was brevetted lieutenant colonel on 30 September 1783. He saw action at Long Island, White Plains, Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth. For his raid to Fort George, Long Island, on 21-23 November 1780, he was commended by Washington and Congress. During the period 1778–1783, after the cessation of major military operations in the North, Tallmadge was primarily occupied with the management of Washington's secret service. His initiative after the capture of "John Anderson" led to the exposure of Arnold's treason. He was in charge of John André while the latter was a prisoner. He developed a deep affection for André and found his execution deeply troubling.

After the war Tallmadge was a businessman in Litchfield, Connecticut. In 1800 he was elected as a Federalist to Congress and served until 1817. He died in Litchfield on 7 March 1835.

SEE ALSO Arnold's Treason; Fort George, Long Island, New York.


Hall, Charles S. Benjamin Tallmadge: Revolutionary Soldier and American Businessman. New York: Columbia University Press, 1943.

                              revised by Michael Bellesiles