“This Guy Was Living an Action Movie”

The local Minuteman has a nice write-up of my book by way of the restoration of Smedley’s gravestone:

The value of the captured cargo was then shared with the government and therein lay the rub. While the Continental Congress shared its spoils 50/50 with the crew of a ship, Connecticut kept to a two-thirds/one third division, which meant that Smedley had trouble getting crew, Kuhl said. With his ship thus undermanned, it was more vulnerable and hit a shoal off New London.

As for that gravestone, Lee told those gathered in Judge Caruso’s chambers on January 12, that he expects repairs will cost about $525 and that there was a prospect of some small donations already, but he wouldn’t mind if more were forthcoming.

Huzzah to reporter Meg Learson Grosso for highlighting the issue of prize division. It’s one of the most important points I hope readers take away from Samuel Smedley, Connecticut Privateer.

Meanwhile, the judge signed off on the restoration. I’ve been skeptical of it being completed in time for a June 13 dedication ceremony, but now that wheels are moving I’m optimistic we can hit the deadline.

One misunderstanding I had: the inscription will not be recarved. Apparently the stone is too weathered and brittle. Disappointing news since the text is shallow and indistinct, although both expert Melanie Marks and D.A.R. rep Betty Oderwald told me the inscription is in good shape for its age, so maybe it will be easier to read once the stone is cleaned and the lichen brushed off.

Meg and I also made a short video in the cemetery on a cold windy day. Pop your Dramamine and have a look-see:

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