In the spring of 1778, General George Washington wrote to his friend Landon Carter about a rumored “disposition in the Northern Officers to see me superceded in my Command.” This was as candid a statement as the general ever made about the so-called “Conway Cabal” of patriot officers and politicians critical of his leadership. Most early historians of the Revolution took the threat to Washington seriously, but by the mid-twentieth century interpretations had reversed, with the plot—if one existed—posing no real danger to the commander-in-chief. Yet, as historian Mark Edward Lender reveals in his compelling Cabal! The Plot Against General Washington, clues found in original new research provide a more comprehensive understanding of the personalities and political maneuverings of those involved in the Cabal, and the real nature of the challenge to Washington.
Dr. Mark Edward Lender has written extensively on early American social and military history and is a recognized authority on the Revolutionary War. His scholarship has won awards from the Society for Military History and the U.S. Army Historical Foundation and a fellowship from the Smith National Library at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. He is the author and coauthor of numerous books, including Fatal Sunday: George Washington, the Monmouth Campaign, and the Politics of Battle; A Respectable Army: The Military Origins of the Republic, 1763–1789 (with James Kirby Martin); Drinking in America (with James Kirby Martin); and, most recently, Cabal!: The Plot Against General Washington.