Book Review Thursday: George Washington’s Secret Six

SecretSixIt took decades of research to find out the real story behind the six individuals – five men and one woman – who served as George Washington’s “Secret Six” spy ring.  Most of these individuals never sought any sort of recognition for their efforts and most likely the woman, known only as “355″ gave her life in service to her country.  To this day, no one knows her exact identity.  The other spies were:

Robert Townsend
Abraham Woodhull
Caleb Brewster
Austin Roe
James Rivington

The identity of the most pivotal member of the Culper Spy Ring, as it was called, wasn’t known until 1929 when Long Island historian Morton Pennypacker discovered somewhat by accident the identity of the spy known as “Culper Junior”.  A prominent New York family’s papers became available for Pennypacker to peruse and he soon stumbled across something quite amazing.  By comparing the signature of one of the Townsend family members (Robert), he recognized the signature pattern of one of the New York spies Washington used to win the Revolutionary War.

Brian Kilmeade, co-host of Fox & Friends, and Don Yeager tell a compelling story about how the spy ring came into existence – George Washington thought it his best chance to win the War and put New York City back in American hands.  At first the efforts were hit and miss but eventually the efforts which were largely coordinated by Robert Townsend, aka Culper Junior, were successful.  Their intelligence gathering even brought about the exposure and downfall of treasonous Benedict Arnold.

Through the use of a network of information-gathering, secretly-coded correspondence, “invisible” ink designed especially to avoid detection by the enemy and deception as part of their “cover”, these men and one woman risked their lives for a cause they deeply believed in.

If you are interested in early American history, and especially the unsung heroes of the American Revolutionary War, then I would highly recommend this book.

Rating:  ★★★★★

Have a GREAT day . . . someday it will be HISTORY!

© Sharon Hall (Digging History), 2014.


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