Anon. (The Battle of Brooklyn)


Dramatic Works

The Battle of Brooklyn (1776)

The Battle of Brooklyn  (1776)

Production & Reception History

unknown, but the text plays on the “real-life” enactment of the scenes: “as it was performed on Long-Island, on Tuesday the 27th day of August, 1776. By the representatives of the tyrants of America, assembled at Philadelphia”

Print & Publication History

“New-York: Printed for J. RIVINGTON, in the Year of the REBELLION. 1776.” 27 pp.

Genre & Structure

  • political farce in two acts (unnumbered scenes)
  • propaganda play (Loyalist)

Gender Relevance

features a scene between two women, Lady Gates (probably the wife of the American general Horatio L. Gates, to whom she once refers in her dialogue) and her servant Betty; hints at some kind of private (sexual) intercourse between the servant and Patriot generals Harrison and probably Washington; dramatizes gender in relation to prostitution;

Key Words & Themes

Battle of Long Island, Revolutionary War, General Washington

Additional Information

one of the so-called “propaganda plays” of the Revolutionary War (Loyalist); pokes fun at “rebel chiefs” such as George Washington and the unprofessional Patriot farmer colonels; title refers to the American defeat at the Battle of Long Island on August 27, 1776; most likely written after that date;


Early American Imprints, Series 1, no. 14660

Evans Early American Imprint Collection,

Secondary Sources

Shaffer, Jason. Performing Patriotism: National Identity in the Colonial and Revolutionary American Theater. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007. 141.

Richards, Jeffrey H. Drama, Theatre, and Identity in the American New Republic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. 37.

Richardson, Gary A. American Drama from the Colonial Period through World War I: A Critical History. New York: Twayne, 1993. 42-43.

(only brief references, no in-depth discussion available)