Essex was a busy small town in 1812. The town, then called Potopaug after an Indian tribe, was located six miles up the Connecticut River from the Long Island Sound. The town's main business was shipbuilding and many vessels were ready to fight against the British Navy and the embargo it forced upon the Americans
The British had heard about the ships waiting to be launched and were determined to prevent this from happening. Was there a spy who told the British?
Austin was a young lad who worked at the shipyard. One night he became the town hero, but he was captured by the British during his valiant struggle to thwart their attempts to destroy the twenty- eight ships. It was a dark night for the town's residents.