TURN Season 2. Who Was The Real Abe Woodhull? Ten Things You Didn’t Know.
TURN: Washington’s Spies is a period drama based on Alexander Rose’s book Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring, a history of the Culper Ring. Actor Jamie Bell plays the role as Abe Woodhull, the main character of the series. What do you know about Mr. Woodhull? Today, ten things you didn’t know… maybe!
1.- Abraham Woodhull was born on October 7, 1750, in Setauket.
2.- His parents were Judge Richard Woodhull (1712 – 1788) and Mary Woodhull (née Smith).
3.- Woodhull served as a lieutenant in the Suffolk County, New York militia, in the fall of 1775 but resigned after a few months to stay on the family farm to attend their property.
4.- However, the truth was that he was angry with the British Army a cause of his cousin’s death, Brigadier General Nathaniel Woodhull.
5.- In August 1778, Continental Army Major Benjamin Tallmadge talked with Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull to release Woodhull after he had been caught smuggling across Long Island Sound. There, they started their plan.
6.- In September 1778, General George Washington permitted Tallmadge to go ahead and set up a spy network in New York with Woodhull as the lead agent. Tallmadge became chief of intelligence in October 1778.
7.- After swearing an oath of loyalty to the Crown as cover, Woodhull travelled to Manhattan, apparently only to visit his married sister, Mary Underhill at her boarding house. In Manhattan, he collected information from British officers staying at the Underhill boarding house, he passed the information to Continental Army Lieutenant Caleb Brewster, and Caleb to Tallmadge. Tallmadge would then send the information to General George Washington.
8.- Tallmadge developed a code to communicate with members of the ring that the casual member of the British forces would be unable to decode. Also, in some of his letters, Woodhull used a type of invisible ink.
9.- However, British officers were suspicious about Woodhull. What was he doing in New York so long and so many times? Then, other people started to compose the spy Ring: trader Robert Townsend, Austin Roe, Jonas Hawkins, and Agent 355, who was probably Anna Strong.
10.- General George Washington had valuable information on the British Army from October 1778 until the end of the American Revolutionary War. After the United States gained independence, Woodhull served as a magistrate and a judge in Suffolk County, New York.
A patriotic story on a thrilling TV show. Don’t you think so?