On August 27, , was fought the Battle of Long Island also known as the 'Battle of Brooklyn' , the first major engagement fought in the American Revolutionary War after independence was declared, and the largest of the entire conflict. While Washington's defeat on the battlefield cast early doubts on his ability as the commander, the tactical withdrawal of all his troops and supplies across the East River in a single night is now seen by historians as one of his most brilliant triumphs. The British generally enjoyed a dominant Loyalist sentiment from the residents in Kings County who did not evacuate, though the region was also the center of the fledgling—and largely successful— American intelligence network , headed by Washington himself. The British set up a system of notorious prison ships off the coast of Brooklyn in Wallabout Bay , where more American patriots died of intentional neglect than died in combat on all the battlefields of the American Revolutionary War, combined.
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Quakers were being persecuted in England at this time and North America provided an opportunity to exercise their religious freedom. This name later was shortened to "Trenton". On December 25—26, , Washington and his army, after crossing the icy Delaware River to Trenton, defeated the Hessian troops garrisoned there. In , with the population now too large for government by council, a new mayoral government was adopted, with by-laws that remain in operation to this day. They were arrested without warrants, denied lawyers, and sentenced to death based on what were described as coerced confessions.
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