George Washington’s Culper Spy Ring

Culper Spy Ring map route
Culper Spy Ring map route

The Culper Ring was a spy ring organized by American Major (later Colonel) Benjamin Tallmadge under orders from General George Washington in the summer of 1778 during British occupation of New York City at the height of the American Revolutionary War. The “Culper” name was suggested by Washington who devised it from Culpeper County, Virginia. The two main members of the Ring, Abraham Woodhull and Robert Townsend, used “Samuel Culper, Sr.” and “Samuel Culper, Jr.” respectively, as aliases. Tallmadge was in direct contact with and control of the Ring but Washington often directed its operations. Tallmadge was referred to by the alias of “John Bolton.”

The Ring’s task was to send messages to General Washington about the activities of the British Army in New York City, the British headquarters and base of operations. The members of the Ring operated mostly in New York City, Long Island, and Connecticut. The Ring’s covert operations started in about late October 1778 and continued through the British evacuation of New York in 1783, but its heyday was between 1778 and 1781.

The Culper Ring provided valuable information to General Washington including that the British planned a surprise attack on the newly allied French forces under Lieutenant General Rochambeau at Newport, Rhode Island before the French could fully recover and set up defenses after their arduous sea journey to America; that the British planned to counterfeit American currency on the actual paper used for the Continental dollars, prompting the Continental Congressto retire the bills; that British Major General William Tryon’s raid in Connecticut in July 1779 was a diversion to induce Washington to divide his forces so British Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton could attack them piecemeal; and that a high ranking American officer, soon shown to be American Major General Benedict Arnold, had been plotting with British Major John Andre to surrender the garrison and to turn over the vitally important American fort at West Point, New York on the Hudson River to the British.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culper_Ring

A page from the Culper Ring's code book, with noteworthy people and place names listed side-by-side with numeric representations
A page from the Culper Ring’s code book, with noteworthy people and place names listed side-by-side with numeric representations

 

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21 thoughts on “George Washington’s Culper Spy Ring

  1. WH

    Wednesday, October 22, 2014

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    Dr Jill Bidedn delivers remarks at the Women in the World Texas on Military Families event
    San Antonio’s Charline McCombs Empire Theatre, San Antonio, Texas

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    Press Briefing by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    President Obama holds a meeting on Ebola with Ebola Response Coordinator Ron Klain and members of his team coordinating the government’s Ebola response
    Oval Office

    4:00 PM
    4:45 PM
    President Obama meets with senior advisors
    Oval Office

    5:00 PM
    5:30 PM
    Vice President Biden attends a rally for Sen. Dick Durbin, Gov. Pat Quinn and first-term Rep. Brad Schneider
    Sullivan Community Center, Chicago, Illinois

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    7:30 PM
    Vice President Biden attends an event for Senator Mark Udall
    Private Residence, Chicago, Illinois

    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  2. George Washington’s Culper Spy Ring

    The Culper Ring was a spy ring organized by American Major (later Colonel) Benjamin Tallmadge under orders from General George Washington in the summer of 1778 during British occupation of New York City at the height of the American Revolutionary War. The “Culper” name was suggested by Washington who devised it from Culpeper County, Virginia. The two main members of the Ring, Abraham Woodhull and Robert Townsend, used “Samuel Culper, Sr.” and “Samuel Culper, Jr.” respectively, as aliases. Tallmadge was in direct contact with and control of the Ring but Washington often directed its operations. Tallmadge was referred to by the alias of “John Bolton.”

    The Ring’s task was to send messages to General Washington about the activities of the British Army in New York City, the British headquarters and base of operations. The members of the Ring operated mostly in New York City, Long Island, and Connecticut. The Ring’s covert operations started in about late October 1778 and continued through the British evacuation of New York in 1783, but its heyday was between 1778 and 1781.

    The Culper Ring provided valuable information to General Washington including that the British planned a surprise attack on the newly allied French forces under Lieutenant General Rochambeau at Newport, Rhode Island before the French could fully recover and set up defenses after their arduous sea journey to America; that the British planned to counterfeit American currency on the actual paper used for the Continental dollars, prompting the Continental Congressto retire the bills; that British Major General William Tryon’s raid in Connecticut in July 1779 was a diversion to induce Washington to divide his forces so British Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton could attack them piecemeal; and that a high ranking American officer, soon shown to be American Major General Benedict Arnold, had been plotting with British Major John Andre to surrender the garrison and to turn over the vitally important American fort at West Point, New York on the Hudson River to the British.

    For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culper_Ring

    • Hello vitaminlover! Yes it is. I found out about it when I watched the AMC “Turn” tv series.

      • It is interesting to note that the British were occupying New York. History puts things in perspective.

  3. October 21, 2014

    Statement by the President on the Death of Benjamin Bradlee

    For Benjamin Bradlee, journalism was more than a profession – it was a public good vital to our democracy. A true newspaperman, he transformed the Washington Post into one of the country’s finest newspapers, and with him at the helm, a growing army of reporters published the Pentagon Papers, exposed Watergate, and told stories that needed to be told – stories that helped us understand our world and one another a little bit better. The standard he set – a standard for honest, objective, meticulous reporting – encouraged so many others to enter the profession. And that standard is why, last year, I was proud to honor Ben with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Today, we offer our thoughts and prayers to Ben’s family, and all who were fortunate to share in what truly was a good life.

  4. October 22, 2014

    Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by Dr. Jill Biden at Women in the World Texas on Military Families

    Hi, everyone! Thank you Tina Brown for that kind introduction.

    Before I begin, I want to remind everyone that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For many of us, this is a year-round cause, and this battle is personal. We have seen a colleague or friend endure painful treatments. And not a day goes by when I do not think about the women I know whose lives were taken too early.

    Not only are we in this fight for the friends and loved ones we have lost, but for our sisters, daughters, and granddaughters, so they will have the tools they need to overcome breast cancer. So, I am asking all of you here today to continue dedicating your time—and your heart—to combating this disease.

    As Second Lady, during my travels across the country and around the world, I have had the honor of meeting remarkable people who lift us up. Moms in their 30s, working full-time, going back to community college to complete their education so they can create a better life for their families. Incredible teachers who keep finding creative ways to inspire their students, until they have reached every last one of them. Military spouses going through deployment after deployment—moving countless times—stopping and starting their own careers without complaint.

    What I have learned along the way, is that no matter how difficult the situation, there are exceptional individuals who step up to the challenge; who go above and beyond to make an even bigger difference in their community. I see that type of extraordinary commitment in our service members, veterans, and their families, and I am always inspired by their strength, resilience, and pride.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/10/22/remarks-prepared-delivery-dr-jill-biden-women-world-texas-military-famil

  5. October 22, 2014

    Readout of the President’s Call to Prime Minister Harper of Canada

    President Obama spoke by phone with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to express the American people’s solidarity with Canada in the wake of attacks on Canadian Forces in Quebec on October 20 and in Ottawa on October 22. President Obama condemned these outrageous attacks, and reaffirmed the close friendship and alliance between our people. The President offered any assistance Canada needed in responding to these attacks. Prime Minister Harper thanked the President and the two leaders discussed the assault and agreed to continue coordination between our governments moving forward.

    • Ottawa shootings: Kevin Vickers, parliament’s sergeant-at-arms, hailed as hero

      10/22/14 3 hours ago Dylan Stableford By Dylan Stableford – Yahoo News

      The head of Ottawa’s parliamentary security is being hailed as a hero after he reportedly shot and killed a suspected male gunman who was trying to enter the caucus rooms.

      Kevin Vickers, Parliament Hill’s sergeant-at-arms and former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, shot and killed the suspect, Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino told the Toronto Sun.

      “All the details are not in, but the sergeant-at-arms, a former Mountie, is the one that engaged the gunman, or one of them at least, and stopped this,” Fantino said. “He did a great job and, from what I know, shot the gunman and he is now deceased.”

      Vickers, a 57-year-old New Brunswick native, was appointed sergeant-at-arms in the House of Commons in 2006. Before that, Vickers, a 29-year veteran of the RCMP, served as director of security operations for the House of Commons, providing security services for dignitaries, including Prince Andrew and members of the Canadian royal family.

      For more: http://news.yahoo.com/kevin-vickers-hero-ottawa-shooting-parliament-sergeant-at-arms-192446177.html

    • Secretary Kerry Travels to Canada

      Press Statement
      Jen Psaki
      Department Spokesperson
      Washington, DC

      October 27, 2014

      Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Ottawa, Canada, on October 28 for a series of bilateral meetings and to convey condolences to senior Canadian officials following last week’s attacks in Canada.

      He will also express America’s solidarity with the Canadian people, reaffirming the close friendship and alliance between our countries.

      The Secretary will emphasize steadfast U.S. support for our Canadian partners, continued close cooperation in our shared approach to countering violent extremism, and our commitment to stand beside our Canadian neighbors and friends.

  6. October 22, 2014

    Readout of the President’s Call with Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia

    President Obama spoke with Australian Prime Minister Abbott last night to discuss the situation in Iraq, the Ebola epidemic, and the upcoming G-20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia. The President thanked Prime Minister Abbott for Australia’s significant efforts in Iraq, where both countries are working to help Iraq strengthen its security forces and are conducting airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The two leaders also agreed that the international community must act boldly and quickly to arrest the Ebola epidemic. President Obama thanked Prime Minister Abbott for the financial contributions Australia has made to the Ebola response effort and they discussed additional commitments. The two leaders committed to closely coordinate on these and other national security priorities. They also looked forward to the G-20 Summit, which Prime Minister Abbott will host in Brisbane in November.

  7. 3:00 PM ET
    President Obama holds a meeting on Ebola with Ebola Response Coordinator Ron Klain and members of his team coordinating the government’s Ebola response
    Oval Office

  8. President Obama Extends Warmest Wishes for Diwali

    Published on Oct 22, 2014

    The President wishes a Happy Diwali to all those who celebrate the
    festival of lights. October 22, 2014.

  9. October 22, 2014

    Readout of the President’s Video Conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

    Today, the President spoke with President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan by video conference, along with his Chief Executive Officer Dr. Abdullah. The President again commended the President and Dr. Abdullah on their political agreement, reaffirmed U.S. commitment to support the unity government, and congratulated the two leaders for a productive first month for the new government. The Presidents discussed strengthening the Afghan National Security Forces to improve the security situation in Afghanistan, American and regional support for an Afghan-led peace process, and near-term Afghan budgetary reform and longer-term fiscal sustainability. The President also reiterated his offer for President Ghani and CEO Abdullah to visit the White House early in the new year.

  10. October 22, 2014

    Readout of the Vice President’s Meeting with German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel

    Vice President Joe Biden met with German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel today at the White House to discuss bilateral relations and common challenges such as ISIL, Ebola, and Russia’s continued efforts to destabilize eastern Ukraine. The Vice President and Vice Chancellor agreed on the strategic importance of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) for supporting economic opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic, and on the importance of sustaining growth in the Eurozone and the wider global economy. The Vice President thanked the Vice Chancellor for Germany’s leadership and strong support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression, for its support in the fight against ISIL, and for its contributions to fighting Ebola in West Africa.

  11. 5:30 PM ET
    Vice President Biden attends a rally for Sen. Dick Durbin, Gov. Pat Quinn and first-term Rep. Brad Schneider
    Sullivan Community Center, Chicago, Illinois

  12. 7:30 PM ET
    Vice President Biden attends an event for Senator Mark Udall
    Private Residence, Chicago, Illinois

  13. October 22, 2014

    Readout of President Obama’s Call with Texas Presbyterian Hospital Workers

    Today, President Obama convened a telephone call with healthcare workers at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas to thank them for their courage and perseverance in dealing with the first cases of Ebola to appear in the United States. The President conveyed his thoughts and prayers to their two colleagues who were infected with Ebola and wished them a speedy recovery. He emphasized the importance of integrating lessons learned from Dallas into response plans going forward, and reviewed the additional steps that have been taken to strengthen the Nation’s ability to respond quickly and effectively should new Ebola cases emerge. The President concluded by noting the difficult conditions under which doctors, nurses, lab technicians, and caregivers work on a daily basis in hospitals throughout the country, and praised Texas Presbyterian staff for staying focused on the vital mission of caring for others in times of need regardless of the difficult circumstances.

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