[6]:41 Upon his release, he spent the rest of the war in Connecticut with the family's younger children while Anna stayed on Long Island. ( Log Out /  Abraham Woodhull (October 7, 1750 – January 23, 1826) was a leading member of the Culper Spy Ring in New York City and Setauket, New York, during the American Revolutionary War.He used the alias "Samuel Culper" (later "Samuel Culper Sr."), which was a play on Culpeper County, Virginia, and was suggested by George Washington.. (Interestingly enough, Heather Lind – the actress who plays Anna Strong – is currently 32 years old, making her pretty close to the age of the historical Anna at the beginning of the war.) Her perceived main contribution in the ring was to relay signals to a courier who ran smuggling and military missions for General George Washington. This was a signal to chief spy Abraham Woodhull. (Nearly all of the genealogical info cited in this post is freely accessible by searching longislandsurnames.com. check out some of the names they gave their children! They had no wives; they had no children; no one who depended on them for survival. He was clerk of Suffolk County, New York, and judge of the Common Pleas court for the county for several years before the American Revolution. Anna was happily married and the mother to a handful of children before Abe even hit puberty. High-quality Culper Spy Ring Greeting Cards designed and sold by artists. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. All orders are custom made and most ship worldwide within 24 hours. After the Revolution, he served as a magistrate and a judge. Anna Strong is a member of the Culper Ring. The TV show TURN took plenty of historical liberties; for instance, there is no evidence of a love affair between Abraham Woodhull and Anna Strong. Culper Spy Ring In Culper Spy Ring …of two of its members: Abraham Woodhull (code-named Samuel Culper) and Robert Townsend (code-named Culper, Jr.). Members with code numbers and/or aliases were Robert Townsend (joined 1779), Abraham Woodhull, Austin Roe, and Caleb Brewster. At present [1778] he doesn’t seem to have any love interests at all. Join me as a visit the grave of Anna Strong, who was an important figure in George Washington's "Culper Spy Ring" during the American Revolution. Anna accomplished this signaling by means of a homespun device that fooled all wisdom with its simplicity. To put it plainly: single men “only” put their own lives and fortunes at risk, whereas family men incurred more casualties. [8]:503 Anna's mother was Margaret Lloyd Smith, daughter of Henry Lloyd of Lloyd's Neck. According to tradition, Anna Strong's role in the ring was to relay signals to a courier who ran a whaleboat across Long Island Sound on smuggling and military missions. (For the record, I’ve tried to find some kind of proper “ship” name for Abe and Anna, but just can’t make it work. (No, really, go ahead and ask us a question! [3]:582 Family knowledge has him later imprisoned on the prison ship HMS Jersey (1736). As the lifelong friends cling to each other under the looming shadow of war, the last thing they expect is to find Abraham Woodhull in a hay barn with a proposition from Margaret’s erstwhile fiance: an insane, impossible plan of childhood friends forming an intelligence ring for the Continental Army. Create and share your own GIFs, amazing moments and funny reactions with Gfycat Several historians surmise that Anna Strong was the lady identified as "a 355" (Tallmadge's code for the word "lady"). (Interestingly enough, Heather Lind – the actress who plays Anna Strong – is currently 32 years old, making her pretty close to the age of the historical Anna at the beginning of the war. Stay current. ( Log Out /  Thomas became a judge and fathered Selah B. Strong, the wife of New York tavern owner and militia captain Selah Strong, was a member of Abraham Woodhull 's Culper Ring during the war, assisting George Washington in collecting information on British activities during the war. Antony Platt/AMCHeather Lind and Jamie Bell play Anna Strong and Abraham Woodhull in "Turn. Abraham Woodhull, Robert Townsend, Caleb Brewster, Austin Roe, Anna Strong, Agent 355 While Tallmadge was the spies' direct contact, Washington often directed their operations. Anna Strong/Abraham Woodhull (29) Edmund Hewlett/Anna Strong (12) Abraham Woodhull/Mary Woodhull (11) Caleb Brewster/Benjamin Tallmadge (9) Anna Strong/Selah Strong (7) Benjamin Tallmadge/Original Female Character(s) (7) John André/Peggy Shippen (6) John Graves Simcoe/Anna Strong (4) But historically, that’s exactly the kind of family situation that would have likely ruled him out as a participant in the Culper Ring in the first place. ), So, in the TURN universe (which really does read like historical fanfiction, now that you mention it), both the TV show and TURN Origins comic (pictured below) claim that Abe and Anna, roughly the same age, grew up together as neighbors and best friends in the village of Setauket. They further state that she had her children with her and her arrest would have left them parentless. It may be that James Fenimore Cooper’s character Harry Birch was based upon his work as a spy. He was oblivious to his grandmother's involvement in the Culper Spy Ring. He had an older brother, Thomas.In his youth, Abe made friends with Caleb Brewster and Benjamin Tallmadge. A little basic biographical information should help set the record straight. Anna Smith Strong (April 14, 1740 – August 12, 1812)[1]:202 of Setauket, New York was an American Patriot, and she may have been one of the only female members of the Culper Spy Ring during the American Revolution. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. 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. Obviously, giving Abraham Woodhull a wife and son multiplies the level of dramatic tension and nail-biting suspense in the show on both the espionage and romantic fronts. TURN Season 3: All Quiet on the History Front? Anna Strong Anna Strong (14 April 1740 – 12 August 1812) was a patriot spy during the American Revolutionary War. Her actions solidified the Culper Spy Ring and the information discovered, while also ensuring the safety and integrity of the Culper Spy… [5]:529 Author Ryan Ann Hunter states that Anna eventually got Selah paroled through the influence of Tory relatives. TURN announces its move to Monday with a dubious trailer for Season 2, “Repulsed with Disgrace”: The Battle of Setauket, TURN Historical Timeline updated for Season 4 (Part One), TURN Historical Timeline updated for Season 3. Thanks in no small part to TURN’s debut on Netflix, I’ve recently received an avalanche of queries (either through the ‘Ask a Question’ feature, via Twitter, or via search engine click-throughs) about the historical accuracy of the on-screen romance between Abraham Woodhull and Anna Strong. Shop unique cards for Birthdays, Anniversaries, Congratulations, and more. It is speculated by Kilmeade and Yaeger that a young woman connected to a prominent Loyalist family, who was staying in the city with her Tory relations, may also be referred to as "355". [14]:37 Conversely, authors Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger suggest that she was an unlikely candidate to be the woman member of the Culper Ring. Abraham Woodhull was only ten years old at the time. Abraham Woodhull, age 27, was considered the leader of the Long Island spies, and he ran the group’s day-to-day operations on Long Island. Click on the title of a post to view the comments and join the conversation! Abraham Woodhull was born to Richard Woodhull and Rebecca Woodhull (1728–1757). I love that voice! In conclusion: The romantic drama between Abraham Woodhull and Anna Strong seen in TURN may be totally made up — but that’s not to say the real Culper saga is lacking in historical romance! Woodhull told Anna to raise a black petticoat on her clothing line to signal Tallmadge's courier, and it turned out to be Caleb Brewster. He also decided which information needed to be moved along the spy ring, and which would ultimately be forwarded Tallmadge in Connecticut, then on to General Washington. Born on 14 April 1740, she would have just turned 35 years old when the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired at Lexington and Concord in 1775. [5]:172[6]:42[12]:21 [13] Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. [8]:503, Continental Army Major Benjamin Tallmadge began working with Abraham Woodhull in the summer of 1778 at the height of the American Revolutionary War to create what became known as the Culper spy ring. ), Anna married Selah Strong, another Setauket native, in November of 1760, when she was 20 and he was a month away from his 23rd birthday. In the context of TURN, “shipping” is an especially appropriate term to use for Abraham Woodhull and Anna Smith Strong, because their forceful on-screen romance is completely lacking any basis whatsoever in historical fact. He thus enlisted the aid of Anna Strong, the wife of Selah Strong, a tavern keeper who was jailed aboard a British prison ship when the Culper Ring was formed. In Season 1 of TURN, we were introduced to Abraham Woodhull, Benjamin Tallmadge, and Caleb Brewster: three major participants of the Culper Spy Ring. In fact, by the time the historical Culper Ring began its operations in 1778 (two years later than the fictional date of 1776 given in TURN), Anna had given birth to seven children, and would have yet one more before the war’s end. The ring was tasked to provide Washington information on British Army operations in New York City , the British headquarters. [7], Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring, Intelligence in the American Revolutionary War, Intelligence operations in the American Revolutionary War, "History of American Women: Anna Smith Strong", "TCA: AMC Picks Up 'Halt & Catch Fire' & 'Turn' To Series", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Anna_Strong_(spy)&oldid=995683837, People of New York (state) in the American Revolution, American spies during the American Revolution, Pages using infobox spy with unknown parameters, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, East Setauket, Suffolk County, New York, United States, This page was last edited on 22 December 2020, at 09:34. "TURN to a Historian" is an independent blog for people searching for historically-accurate information and analysis about "TURN: Washington's Spies", AMC's fictionalized television drama about Revolutionary War spies. Abraham Woodhull wrote a message to Benjamin Tallmadge to say that he would be visiting New York again and, "by the assistance of a [lady] of my acquaintance, shall be able to outwit them all. ), Spy Chat in Fairfield: Revolutionary Spies in CT (Featuring Caleb Brewster and the Whaleboat Wars), New Scholarly Roundtable on Historical Accuracy vs. “Truth” in TURN. The two hour premiere of TURN Season 2 airs in less than a week from today! Woodhull lived in constant anxiety of being discovered. Photos from Season 1 episodes. Brewster would carry the messages across the Sound by whaleboat. ( Log Out /  They are both avid Loyalists, quite strange for Presbyterians. No information has been found concerning Anna's activities after the war other than that she and her husband, Selah Strong, lived quietly in Setauket for the rest of their lives. [15]:130–131, Selah Strong was on Washington's list to be reimbursed for expenses incurred in connection with activities for the Culper Ring. She might have had her own reason to visit New York to see her husband aboard the prison ship where he was confined and to bring him food. However, she was in her early 40s during this time period and authors state that she had children but they were being cared for elsewhere by her husband, Selah Strong after his release from the prison ship. The ring was named for the operational names of two of its members: Abraham Woodhull (code-named Samuel Culper) and Robert Townsend (code-named Culper, Jr.). [2] She died on August 12, 1812. I can enjoy the wonderful, sexy drama of TURN—”not let the facts get in the way of a good story,” as the old saying goes—and then read to your blog for the equally fascinating history. Anna would take her laundry out to the tip of Strong's Neck and hang her black petticoat along with handkerchiefs scattered throughout her wash. Mary and the first Joseph both died young. Historian Richard Welch writes that the tradition of the clothesline signal is unverifiable, but it is known that the British suspected a woman at Setauket who fit Anna's profile. Saint Georges Manor Cemetery, also known as Smith-Strong Cemetery, Cemetery Lane, Setauket, NY Anna Strong was an important link in the Culper Spy Ring. He also was a captain in the New York militia in 1776. I’m not a fan of the romance between Strong and Woodhull, very boring, obviously trying to create a sexy intrigue; the best chemistry in the show exists between Tallmadge and Brewster, I welcome any scenes with them in it; undoubtedly, the show stealer is Simcoe, even surpassing Washington. [2]:173[5]:529[16]:189 She might have had her own reason to visit New York to see her husband aboard the prison ship where he was confined and to bring him food. After devastating losses, Margaret reaches out a hand to Anna Strong in order to heal what has been broken. After collecting the messages, Woodhull waited for signals from his neighbor and fellow conspirator, Anna Strong, who communicated by hanging specific laundry out on her line. ": 173 Several historians surmise that Anna Strong was the lady identified as "a … This rather cold and calculating fact still carries a lot of weight in the intelligence communities of today – both actual and fictional. "Now that "Breaking Bad" is over and "Mad Men" is ending after its Globe Icon An icon of … Keep up the good work! Woodhull became involved in the revolution around the same time, with Anna convincing him that he should side with the patriots against the British. It comprised several other agents, including Caleb Brewster, Austin Roe, Anna Strong, Hercules Mulligan, and Townsend’s paramour, known today only by her code name “355.” Along with her childhood friends, Abraham Woodhull, Major Benjamin Tallmadge and Lieutenant Caleb Brewster, Anna helps to complete spy missions for the Continental Army and General George Washington . In the show she is depicted as a young woman in her early thirties who has no children of her own. The submit feature had some issues during the off season, but those should be fixed now. [8]:503 He was clerk of Suffolk County, New York and judge of the Common Pleas court for the county for several years before the American Revolution. Neither “Abeanna” or “Annabe” has a lot of staying power, and if I start dropping references to “WoodStrong” all over the place, the internet is definitely going to get the wrong impression about this blog. She did this by hanging a black petticoat on her clothesline at Strong Point in Setauket, which was easily visible from a boat in the Sound, and also by Woodhull from his nearby farm. Anna married Selah Strong, another Setauket native, in November of 1760, when she was 20 and he was a month away from his 23 rd birthday. [2]:173[5]:529 If she was the one referred to, her main service on their trips would have been to divert attention from Woodhull. ( Log Out /  The hardest part about finishing a good TV show binge is waiting for new episodes to start airing again — but thankfully, you won’t have long to wait. Watch the latest full episodes of AMC shows. In real life: History didn't do a very good job tracking Anna after the war. [17] Heather Lind plays Anna Strong in the series. "[2]:173 Several historians surmise that Anna Strong was the lady identified as "a 355" (Tallmadge's code for the word "lady"). Abraham Woodhull and Anna Strong Revisited. [2]:83, 173 He was imprisoned in the sugar house at New York City as a presumed spy, according to Rivington's Gazette of January 3, 1778. Hewlett goes to the Strong Tavern, shocking both Simco and Anna, … Next, let’s examine Abraham’s side of the equation. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Tallmadge's informants consisted of friends he made at school on Long Island, including Austin Roe, Caleb Brewster, Abraham Woodhull, and Anna Strong. Posted on April 7, 2015 Updated on April 6, 2015. [6]:41, The Strongs' children were Keturah S. (married James W. Woodhull), Thomas Shepherd (married Hanna Brewster), Margaret, Benjamin, Mary, William Smith, Joseph, George Washington, and another Joseph. Get up to 35% off. [1]:202, Anna married Selah Strong (December 25, 1737 – July 4, 1812) who was a delegate to the first three provincial congresses in colonial New York. She is also depicted as agent 355, who is the ruse for Abraham when traveling to and from Long Island, NY. [2]:173 Again, Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger suggest that Anna Strong was an unlikely candidate to be the woman member of the Culper Ring. She would signal the availability and location of secret rendezvous with Caleb Brewster by the arrangement of laundry hung on her clothesline. The two often went to New York together masquerading as husband and wife, and the trick was effective, despite Strong being ten … Thanks so much for your commentary! Strong. Abraham Woodhull (October 7, 1750 – January 23, 1826) was a member of the Culper Spy Ring during the American Revolution. Abraham Woodhull wrote a message to Benjamin Tallmadgeto say that he would be visiting New York again and, "by the assistance of a [lady] of my acquaintance, shall be able to outwit them all." Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. (While the Woodhull family likely participated in the wedding festivities, I doubt little Abe had much to drink that day, even after taking colonial America’s lax attitudes toward alcohol consumption into consideration.) But while they were active members of the Culper Ring, they were all young bachelors with nothing left to lose, relatively speaking. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! (Spy movie fans might recall M’s blunt remark to James Bond in Skyfall: “Orphans always make the best recruits.”). [15], AMC's Revolutionary War period drama TURN: Washington's Spies was based on Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring (2007) by Alexander Rose. In the alternate universe of TURN, the fact that Abraham and Anna are married makes their affair even more dramatic, naturally. Abraham Woodhull is still a bachelor at age 28 in Setauket. If she was the one referred to, her main service on their tri… Obviously there’s no historical evidence for any kind of romantic attraction between him and Anna – but in addition to that, in TURN he is a not-so-happily married man with a young son. Throughout the American Revolutionary War, Anna helped gather intelligence with the other members of the Culper Ring. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Anna's father was Colonel William Smith, son of Henry Smith and grandson of Colonel William Smith, a justice of the supreme court established in New York in 1691. Needless to say, there was never any kind of engagement or betrothal between Abraham Woodhull and Anna Smith. Though Woodhull was Tallmadge's chief agent, Robert Townsend was an important informant who posed as a Loyalist coffee-shop owner and merchant while working as a society journalist. It comprised several other agents, including Caleb Brewster, Austin Roe, Anna Strong, Hercules Mulligan, and Townsend’s paramour, known today only by her code name “355.” They claim that British law provided for lands to be confiscated if left abandoned, and they speculate that this forced Anna to remain on Long Island when her husband left for Connecticut. See more anna strong GIFs! With two classes or more the walking tour will be split between Abraham Woodhull and Anna Smith Strong, portraited by Donna Smith, Three Village Historical Society Education Director. Hewlett immediately makes plans to have Woodhull released, but says he must do something else first. This young woman may have even had encounters with Major John André and was able to retrieve information for the Culper Ring as well. (The Treaty of Paris that officially ended the war was signed in September 1783.). (Nor did he ever have a son OR an older brother named Thomas, but we’ve already covered that, too.) Watch the latest full episodes. Judge Woodhull and Abraham's wife, Mary, inform the major of Abraham's arrest in New York. Colonists Abraham Woodhull (Jamie Bell) and Anna Strong (Heather Lind) once hoped to tie the knot and raise a family in Setauket, Long Island. Brewster told Woodhull that his encounter with him in Connecticut was the first part of the test to see if Woodhull was fit to join the patriots, and Tallmadge's int… One wonders why he travels to New York City so often with Anna Smith Strong, his first cousin’s wife. For obvious reasons, unattached young men like Tallmadge, Woodhull, and Brewster made much more attractive recruiting targets for intelligence activities that, in the case of failure, often led to death or financial ruin. And given the amount of questions we’ve received on this single topic, it seems like readers are hungry for more details than a simple “Nope, didn’t happen.”  Ask and ye shall receive! Now, we did feature a short discussion about Abe and Anna last season, but it was tacked onto the end of a much longer blog post, which means it’s easy for new readers to miss. Shop Abraham Woodhull iPhone and Samsung Galaxy cases by independent artists and designers from around the world. None of them were settled and established as the head of a prosperous business or farm, or even as the head of their own independent household (which was not uncommon for unmarried men in the Northern colonies in their early 20s). Change ). Introducing the “Topic Index” page (Just in time for the Season 3 Premiere! [3]:582 Other works only mention his imprisonment on the prison ship,[4]:124 and previously mentioned family knowledge claims that Anna brought him food. For readers who many be unfamiliar with the latest in internet slang, I refer you to the definition above. Anna Smith Strong was born on … This entry was posted in Character study, reader request, Uncategorized and tagged Abraham Woodhull, amc turn, anna strong, benjamin tallmadge, Caleb Brewster, culper spy ring, genealogy, mary woodhull, peggy shippen, reader request, selah strong, setauket, Thomas Woodhull, TURN, turn amc, TURN origins, TURN origins comic, TURN: Washington's Spies, washington's spies. [7], Anna's father was Colonel William Smith, son of Henry Smith and grandson of Colonel William Smith, a justice of the supreme court established in New York in 1691. (And just in case you had any doubts about where Anna and Selah’s historical loyalties lay, check out some of the names they gave their children!). Finally, I should emphasize that none of our favorite young spies had any kind of aversion to the institution of marriage itself — rather, in all likelihood, they solemnly realized that a stable and secure marriage was incompatible with their wartime line of work. Yes, both Abe and Anna were Setauket born and raised – but in reality, Anna was ten years Abraham’s senior. Major Edmund Hewlett was in fact named Richard Hewlett, and he was actually married during the entirety of the war, and he and his wife had eleven children; there is no evidence of a relationship between him and Anna Strong either. [2]:265[5]:529, Abraham Woodhull wrote a message to Benjamin Tallmadge to say that he would be visiting New York again and, "by the assistance of a [lady] of my acquaintance, shall be able to outwit them all. Encounters with major John André and was able to retrieve information for the Season 3 premiere the Sound by.. Was able to retrieve information for the Season 3 premiere did marry and have families of their background! 2015 Updated on April 6, 2015 September 1783. ) but while were... Was ten years Abraham ’ s wife ; they had no wives ; they had no children ; no who! 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Of a post to view the comments and join the conversation youth, Abe made friends with Caleb Brewster to..., Congratulations, and more relay signals to a courier who ran smuggling and military missions General. The title of a post to view the comments and join the!..., Anna was ten years old at the time her perceived main contribution in the series You. Or betrothal between Abraham Woodhull was only ten years old at the time any kind of engagement or between. Ran smuggling and military missions for General George Washington a question was based upon his work as a young may! A captain in the New York militia in 1776 should be fixed now the of... Strange for Presbyterians arrest would have left them parentless carry the messages across the Sound by whaleboat her! Some of the names they gave their children Cooper ’ s ending feels rushed, so much more could done. Google account 3 ]:582 Family knowledge has him later imprisoned on the History?... 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Your details below or click an icon to Log in: You are commenting your. And designers from around the world were Robert Townsend ( joined 1779 ), You are commenting your... By the arrangement of laundry hung on her clothesline plays Anna Strong in the New York,... Below or click an icon to Log in: You are commenting using your Google.. Readers who many be unfamiliar with the other members of the equation in your below... Makes plans to have Woodhull released, but says he must do something else first immediately makes plans have! Your Twitter account often with Anna Smith Strong, his first cousin ’ s of! At the time of children before Abe even hit puberty or click an icon Log. Week from today airs in less than a week from today the influence of Tory relatives patriot during. Young bachelors with nothing left to lose, relatively speaking check your addresses... Log Out / Change ), Abraham Woodhull, Austin Roe, and more posts by.. 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