A Vindication of My Conduct: The Court Martial Trial of Lieutenant Colonel George Etherington



The fascinating story of the surrender of St. Vincent’s Island, and the subsequent attempt by the colonial governor to make the military commander a scapegoat, is presented here from a fresh perspective based on new research and previously unpublished documentation. A Vindication of My Conduct outlines this intertwined story of plots and subplots involving not only the colonial governor, Valentine Morris, and Lt. Col. George Etherington of the famed 60th Royal American Regiment, but also the Colonial Assembly, the Carib Indians of the island, the plantation owners and merchants, the British government, and the 60th Royal American Regiment, which garrisoned the various posts on the island. It illustrates the folly that occurred between military and civilian factions that ultimately contributed to the lost British cause—much like that which occurred simultaneously in the American colonies. The main feature of this book is the original, controversial, and never before published 1781 trial transcript which reveals the true “behind the scenes” story, not the least of which entailed a land grant dispute and the intense personality conflict that existed between Etherington and Morris. The book contains several rarely seen original illustrations, documents, and prints, including Etherington’s recently discovered portrait, along with present-day photographs of the sites where these events actually took place. It is arranged in three parts: a chronological background of the events leading to the surrender; the original unedited trial transcript; and the authors’ in-depth analysis, annotation, and edit of the transcripts. This is of particular interest since other historians have written only brief, very similar general accounts, all of which basically reached the same erroneous conclusions, and which a review of the transcripts does not support. A fine addition to your Revolutionary War library!

“Todd Harburn and Rodger Durham have done a service by publishing the court martial of Lt. Col. George Etherington and revealing the complicated relationships and the varied cast of characters behind the events that unfolded on St. Vincent.”—Brian Leigh Dunnigan, Curator of Maps, William L. Clements Library

“A Vindication of My Conduct is an interesting and thought provoking look at a unique soldier, the 18th century British military judicial system, and a little known phase of the American Revolution.”—Tim J. Todish, Author of America’s FIRST First World War: The French and Indian War, 1754–1763, and the editor of The Annotated and Illustrated Journals of Major Robert Rogers

Dr. Todd E. Harburn and Rodger Durham

(2002, 2004), 2013, 5½x8½, paper, index, 230 pp.

ISBN: 9780788420924