The Culper Spy Ring

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The American Revolution would have been a vastly different war had it not been for the courage and patriotism of some of the most unrecognized and underappreciated figures in American history. The Culper Spy Ring epitomized espionage during the American Revolution by providing detailed insider information from behind enemy lines. Under the nose of the British, one of the most superlative members of the Culper Spy Ring was Anna Smith Strong, who was the vital communication link for Abraham Woodhull to provide information on British activities to Caleb Brewster, who then reported to General George Washington. Her actions solidified the Culper Spy Ring and the information discovered, while also ensuring the safety and integrity of the Culper Spy …show more content…
Long Island, New York had been under British control since August 27, 1776.2 Benjamin Tallmadge established the Culper Spy Ring and recruited his friends in order that they would work as his informants. Tallmadge was the main handler of the Culper Spy Ring.3 The agents of the Culper Spy Ring provided detailed insider information of the British and their activities. They were “incredibly well-connected and had regular access to privy information.”4 The Culper Spy Ring communicated through cyphers and coded letters, invisible ink created by James Jay,5 hidden letters, mask letters, intercepted letters, one letter shifts, couriers, black chamber operations, dead drops, and specific collection requirements.6 The Culper Spy Ring mainly consisted of Abraham Woodhull—a farmer on Long Island and a childhood friend of Benjamin Tallmadge—Robert Townsend—a merchant in New York—James Rivington—known as the King’s Printer who was publicly known as a loyalist and wrote for a loyalist newspaper in order to gain credibility and avoid suspicion—Caleb Brewster—a whaleboat captain and childhood friend of Abraham Woodhull and Benjamin Tallmadge—Austin Roe—a tavern owner and courier from Setauket who grew up near Caleb Brewster—James Armistead Lafayette—an African American pretending to be a …show more content…
Had she been caught, she could have lost everything that she held dear to her, including her children, husband, and her family estate. She operated openly in front of the British without them suspecting her at all. She was the communication link in order that intelligence on the British could be passed on. She enabled Woodhull and other spies the opportunity to pass on dispatches about British activities to General George Washington. Her actions allowed for key British troop movements, British plans of ambush, defensive plans regarding New York and areas around New York, and the treasonous activity occurring between Benedict Arnold and John Andre to be uncovered and taken care

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