Frankfort Heritage Lecture Series - American Traitor: General James Wilkinson's Betrayal of the Republic and Escape from Justice
Join author Howard W. Cox as he discusses his book, American Traitor: General James Wilkinson's Betrayal of the Republic and Escape from Justice.
A fresh examination of the life and crimes of the highest-ranking federal official ever tried for treason and espionage, American Traitor examines the career of the notorious Gen. James Wilkinson, whose corruption and espionage exposed the United States to grave dangers during the early years of the republic. Wilkinson is largely forgotten today, which is unfortunate because his sordid story is a cautionary tale about unscrupulous actors who would take advantage of gaps in the law, oversight, and accountability for self-dealing.
Wilkinson's military career began during the Revolutionary War and continued through the War of 1812. As he rose to the rank of commanding general of the US Army, Wilkinson betrayed virtually everyone he worked with to advance his career and finances. He was a spy for Spain, plotted to have western territories split from the United States, and accepted kickbacks from contractors. His negligence and greed also caused the largest peacetime disaster in the history of the US Army. Howard W. Cox picks apart Wilkinson's misdeeds with the eye of an experienced investigator.
American Traitor offers the most in-depth analysis of Wilkinson's court-martial trials and how he evaded efforts to hold him accountable. This astounding history of villainy in the early republic will fascinate anyone with an interest in the period as well as readers of espionage history.
Howard W. Cox is a retired member of the Senior Intelligence Service of the Central Intelligence Agency. During his 40-year career as a federal government employee, Howard served as a cyber crimes prosecutor with the Department of Justice, and as an attorney and criminal investigator with the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and the US Postal Service. He also served as staff counsel to the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Prior to his civilian service, he was a trial attorney with the US Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. He is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and Seton Hall University.
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