An Artist in Treason: The Extraordinary Life of General James Wilkinson
James Wilkinson (1757-1825) is one of the most obscure figures in American history. His life was spent as a Revolutionary War hero, American Army general, colleague of the infamous Benedict Arnold, servant of four American presidents, suspected murderer of Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis and Clark fame), greedy and thoroughly venal and corrupt public official, and, last but hardly least, a paid spy of Imperial Spain who was not in the slightest manner troubled with qualms about selling out his country. If Wilkinson were created as a fictional character, few would believe such a being could exist. But exist he did and Linklater’s dispassionate account provides a well-researched biography of Wilkinson and his times. Wilkinson’s double life is detailed against a backdrop of people struggling for self-definition and survival in a hostile environment. Wilkinson’s papers provide fascinating glimpses into this America and the iconic personalities who determined its future.