One of Delaware’s most accomplished sons was George Read. Read was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and therefore one of Britain’s most hunted public enemies during the War of Independence.
Read had some close calls during that perilous time. On one occasion he and his family were crossing the Delaware River in a small boat. They had once again been forced to move to a new temporary home to avoid capture. But they found the river crowded with British ships. When his boat became grounded in shallow water, Read and his family were approached by an armed British barge. Things didn’t look good.
When the British officer asked Read his business, the patriot leader said—truthfully—that he was a country gentleman returning to his home. The presence of his wife, mother and young children in the boat convinced the Britisher, and he assisted the family in crossing the river. Some British sailors helped Read’s wife, mother, children and baggage up the opposite bank. It was not until months later that the British learned that they had allowed one of the most hunted patriots of the war slip right through their fingers.
You can read more about George Read in For You They Signed.