Seductive Sedition: New Hampshire Loyalists’ Experiences and Memories of the American Revolutionary Wars

  • Gregory T. Knouff
Part of the War, Culture and Society, 1750–1850 book series (WCS)


On 12 May 1778, during the American Revolution, the New Hampshire Gazette reported the murder of Brookfield, Massachusetts resident, Joshua Spooner. William Brooks, James Buchanan and Ezra Ross were charged with Spooner’s murder. Spooner’s wife, Bathsheba, was charged as an accessory. All four were convicted and sentenced to death. Mrs Spooner engaged Ross, a 17-year-old Continental army veteran with whom she was having an affair, to kill her husband. Impatient with Ross’s progress she recruited Buchanan and Brooks, British soldiers from General John Burgoyne’s captured army, to participate in the plot in exchange for ‘the deceased’s watch, buckles, and a thousand dollars’. Brooks eventually beat Spooner to death and the three men hid his body in his well. They were apprehended with money and Spooner’s goods. Bathsheba was soon arrested for complicity.1


French Revolution Local Committee Domestic Government American Revolution British Subject 
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© Gregory T. Knouff 2016

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  • Gregory T. Knouff

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