(The Washington Post) It was the opening overture of the Revolutionary War. Boston had ditched its tea Thomas Jefferson was finishing up the Declaration of Independence and George Washington had brought the ragtag Continental Army to New York where a British invasion was expected at any moment. And if all went as New Yorks governor planned Washington would soon be dead. Thats according to thriller writer Brad Meltzer who with Josh Mensch has written his first nonfiction book The First Conspiracy" about a little-known plot to assassinate the commander in chief. We love in America to tell the story of the American Revolution where we just all held hands together dreamed of democracy and took on the British" Meltzer says. Its a great story. Its not the real story." There was no polling data then but historians estimate that in the summer of 1776 about one in five white colonists were loyal to the king. Most loyalists were in the middle colonies of New York and New Jersey and included New Yorks royal governor William Tryon. Tryon had been forced into a strange exile onboard a ship docked in the New York harbor where he waited for the British invasion and took regular visitors. One of those visitors was David Mathews the loyalist mayor of New York City. Together they worked on a way to help the British from behind enemy lines. The plan was that they were going to blow up certain bridges they were going to steal cannons and some said they were going to kill George Washington right there in an assassination. And others say they were going to kidnap him and hang him" Meltzer says.
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