Showing posts with label Famous Spies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Famous Spies. Show all posts

12.04.2011


Agent 355

artist's drawing of Agent 355 of the Culper Spy Ring in Revolutionary War New York City

Female Spy in the American Revolution

A group of spies known as the Culper Spy Ring operated from 1778 to 1780 in an intricate network from British-occupied New York City to Setauket, Long Island, north to Connecticut, and then west to George Washington's headquarters at Newburgh, New York. Agent 355 was the code name of a female spy in the Culper Ring. Her real identity is unknown. The spy network was particularly effective in gathering valuable information from careless conversations between the British and their sympathizers.

In 1778, Benjamin Tallmadge, a young American officer who was General George Washington's new intelligence chief, organized an ingenious top-secret network of spies. Washington ordered that not even he himself should know who they were. For recruits, Tallmadge turned to old friends and acquaintances in his hometown of Setauket, Long Island.

7.11.2011


Anna Smith Strong

Member of the Culper Spy Ring

map showing the routes taken by the Culper Spy Ring to forward information to General George Washington
Image: Map Showing the Routes Taken by the Culper Spy Ring - Long Island, New York

The British occupied New York City in August 1776, and the city would remain a British stronghold for the duration of the Revolutionary War. The Culper Ring, also known as the Setauket Spy Ring, was a group of operatives whose purpose was General George Washington aware of the movements of the British in New York City and Long Island.

Some credit Nathan Hale's capture and execution with having launched the Culper Spy Ring. Nathan Hale, a young Patriot, volunteered for an intelligence-gathering mission to the city, but the British captured Hale carrying drawings of their fortifications in his shoe and hanged him on September 22, 1776. He is best remembered for his last words: "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country." Hale's death illustrated the grave dangers inherent in spying for the Patriots.

9.21.2010


Lydia Darragh

Revolution War spy for the Continental Army

Heroine of the Battle of Whitemarsh

Lydia Darragh was a Quaker woman who crossed enemy lines during the British occupation of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her mission was to pass information to General George Washington and the Continental Army, warning them of an impending British attack.

Lydia Barrington was born in 1729 in Dublin, Ireland. On November 2, 1753, she married the family tutor, William Darragh, the son of a clergyman. After a few years of marriage, they immigrated to the American colonies. Members of the Quaker faith, the couple settled in Philadelphia where there was a large Quaker community. William worked as a tutor, and Lydia was a midwife. She gave birth to and raised five children: Charles, Ann, John, William, and Susannah; four others died in infancy.

Although Quakers are pacifists and against war and most were neutral during the Revolutionary War, the Darraghs were secretly in favor of the colonists' cause, and their eldest son Charles was serving in the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment of the Continental Army.

5.04.2009


Margaret Kemble Gage

general's wife

Wife of British General Thomas Gage

Image: Margaret Kemble Gage
By John Singleton Copley
Margaret began to sit for Copley within three days of his arrival in New York City in 1771. She is depicted wearing an iridescent caftan over a lace trimmed chemise with a jeweled brooch and an embroidered belt. Pearls and a turban-like swath of drapery adorn her hair. Her sleeves are held up with ropes of pearls and her hair is wrapped in a length of green silk fashioned as a turban. Her languid and informal pose, shockingly different from the upright posture of Copley's Boston sitters, underscores the sensuality of the image.

Margaret Kemble was born into a well-known family in East Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1734. Her father, Peter Kemble, was a wealthy merchant and politician; her grandfather was Stephanus Van Cortlandt, the Mayor of New York. Margaret was related through her mother, Gertrude Bayard, to the Van Rensselaers, the de Lanceys, and other leading New York families. Her ethnic lineage included English, Greek, Dutch, and French ancestors, making her rather exotic for her day. She was considered a beautiful and intelligent woman.