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The year is 1776.  A memorable year in American history.  A year every American points to with pride, but what was it like to live during that year?  Indeed during all the years of the British occupation of Long Island and New York.  More to the point of this story, what was it like for a young thirteen year old farm boy to grow up on Long Island during that seven year occupation?  The Youngest Patriot is the story of just such a young boy.  It is the story of Elijah Churchill who meets Lieutenant Benjamin Tallmadge of the Continental Army who is on his way to Brooklyn Heights to join with his 2nd Connecticut Light Dragoons.  Elijah pleads with Tallmadge to take him with him so that he can join the army and fight for his country.  Tallmadge tells him he is too young.  Elijahs father forbids him to even try to enlist.  Defying them both he runs away from home and goes to Brooklyn Heights where Washingtons army is building fortifications against the impending British invasion.  Through a series of events, Elijah does indeed become a soldier and his life intertwines with that of Benjamin Tallmadge.

    The tale of these seven years as Elijah becomes a man, has as its backdrop the exciting American revolution; our fight for liberty and independence.  The account shows the beginnings of the Secret Service and the Central Intelligence Agency.  Tallmadge and Elijah become very much a part of the Culper spy ring set up by General Washington.  A secret message would run full circle, if you will, from Oyster Bay to New York City by courier, by horseback out to Setauket, and by whaleboat across the Long Island Sound to Connecticut.  The saga of Nathan Hale is told as seen through the eyes of those who knew him and it was the Culper spy ring that first uncovered the plot which exposed and brought disgrace to Benedict Arnold.  The narrative tells of George Washingtons frustration as he keeps hope for freedom alive as he repeatedly evades contact with the British until his initial victories at Trenton and Princeton.  This is the story of the most important American war as seen through the eyes of a young boy from Setauket as he grows to manhood.  His fears, anxieties, troubles, memories, and battles for the young republic culminate with Elijah receiving the Purple Heart designed and awarded by General Washington.

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