Victorian Death, Mourning, & Haunted Occult Cultural History

Women History Forgot Part Three

#3 Anna Strong

As the Revolutionary War heated up in the Colonies of America, everywhere patriots looked they were surrounded by Redcoats living in close quarters with an occupying force of British soldiers. George Washington’s successes were made possible by the valiant efforts of the Culper Spy Ring who risked their lives to transfer information vital to the patriot cause. One brave spy, a woman no less, was Anna Smith Strong, of Setauket, Long Island in New York. After her husband’s arrest Anna was left alone to care for their seven children. The clever Nancy risked imprisonment and losing her home and children, even her life for the American cause.

Strong walked her property along a major waterway, where she watched ships of soldiers arrive and depart, as well as her fellow spies guarding their safe passage across the waters around her home. Strong then used her laundry line to send the information to her the other Culper spies, right under the noses of the British, risking death or arrest at any moment for treason, yet Nancy never stopped. She placed colored petticoats and kerchiefs up on her line in a coded message, the colors and numbers of petticoats and kerchiefs denoting how many British soldiers had arrived and when they departed. Anna worked tirelessly and never wavered from her efforts as a Culper spy for General George Washington, despite the dangers of death for her treasonous actions against the Crown, we truly owe her space in the history books!

Drawing of Anna Strong