Author Deborah Child led a discussion based on her book “Soldier, Engraver, Forger: Richard Brunton’s Life on the Fringe in America’s New Republic”, on May 19, from 12:00 pm-12: 45 pm, at the Connecticut State Library. This biography retraces Richard Brunton’s steps from the time of his arrival with the British Army in Boston in 1774, through the various battles he fought, until his death in Groton, MA in 1832. It’s an exciting journey that crosses six states and moves through all levels of society and circumstances in the earliest years of our Republic.
Once described as a man of great ingenuity and skill, Richard Brunton literally led a “life on the fringe.” After deserting the British Army during the middle of the American Revolution, he tried to establish himself as an engraver and dye-sinker first in Boston, Massachusetts, and later in Providence, Rhode Island. When these efforts failed, he took to the road working as a journeyman in his craft. Still unable to secure a livelihood, he often resorted to creating counterfeit paper money and coins.
Because of his criminal activity, he would later be incarcerated on at least two occasions in Connecticut, including a two year stint inside Newgate prison in Simsbury, Ct. Copies of his biography “Soldier, Engraver, Forger: Richard Brunton’s Life on the Fringe in America’s New Republic” (New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2015) –
About the Presenter: Deborah Child is an author, lecturer, and independent curator. A graduate of the Master of Arts Program at Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada, she is the author of “The Sketchbooks of John Samuel Blunt” (Portsmouth Athenaeum, 2007). She is also a regular contributor to Antiques and Fine Art. Her essays include: “A Portrait to Be Treasured Once Again: A Copley Pastel of a Boston Maiden,” “Thank Goodness for Granny Notes: Rufus Porter and His New England Sitters,” and “Samuel Jordan: Artist, Thief, Villain.”
Child’s talk is part of the State Library and Museum of Connecticut History’s Third Thursday Brown bag Lunchtime Speaker series. This series features a variety of speakers on various aspects of Connecticut history.