Title: Frontier Spies
Author: Hazel C. Mathews
Mathews, Hazel C. (1971). Frontier Spies: The British Secret Service, Northern Department During The Revolutionary War. Fort Myers, FL: Ace Press
- Frontier and pioneer life–United States.
- American loyalists.
- United States–History–Revolution, 1775-1783–Secret service.
Date Updated: March 6, 2015
Reviewed by George C. Constantinides
The author published this study herself, having become intrigued by the activities of loyalist spies and by the Smyth brothers during the American Revolution. The fascination resulted from her research of the manuscripts of the British military governor of Quebec during that war, General Haldimand. She expanded her study to write of the organization and operations of the British Northern Department’s secret service. Many of the loyalists employed by it located in Canada at the end of the war. Mathews made good use of the Haldimand papers and of other sources to write what is a rare history about this portion of British intelligence on the North American continent during the period in question. Here we have the world of clandestine operations and organizations: couriers, dead drops, secret writing, cover, double agents, book ciphers, concealment devices. We learn of secret negotiations, attempts to capture and neutralize important opponents, lapses in security, provocation operations, lines of command and jurisdiction, and the creation of information-gathering networks. This is far and away a more satisfactory treatment of the Northern Department than Fryer’s Loyalist Spy. Harold McGill Jackson’s Justus Sherwood: Soldier, Loyalist and Negotiator [privately printed, not in the Library of Congress] was not for comparison.
 George C. Constantinides in Intelligence and Espionage: An Analytical Bibliography. Boulder, CO: Westview Press (1983), p. 324
 Fryer, Mary Beacock (1974). Loyalist Spy: The Experiences of Captain John Walden Meyers During The American Revolution. Brockville, Ont., Can: Besancourt
 However, a more recent book on Sherwood by Mary Beacock Fryer, Buckskin Pimpernel, is in the Library of Congress. Fryer, Mary Beacock (1981). Buckskin Pimpernel: The Exploits of Justus Sherwood, Loyalist Spy. Toronto : Dundurn Press