History of Espionage

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    The American Revolution

  • Knowlton's Rangers

    Knowlton's Rangers
    In August of 1776, George Washington selected an elite group of people to carry out reconnaissance missions. This group of spies was known as Knowlton's Spies, since they were under the command of America's First Spy, Thomas Knowlton.
  • Nathan Hale

    Nathan Hale
    Nathan Hale was a spy, part of Knowlton's Rangers, who was caught and hanged by the British. He was unable to get much informantion before being captured. He is probably best remembered by his final words: "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country".
  • John André

    John André
    John André was a British spy that was captured and hung by the Americans. During his trial, he tried to accuse his capturers for robbing him, but it was ignored once they discovered that he was a spy.
  • James Armistead

    James Armistead
    James Armistead was the first African American double agent. He was a slave owned by William Armistead. He first spied on General Benedict Arnold. While pretending to be a British Spy, he gained the trust of Arnold and General Cornwallis. The British spoke openly about their plans and stratigies in front of him.
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    The American Civil War

  • The Confederate Secret Service

    The Confederate Secret Service
    During the Civil War a number of secret operations sprang up, some at the direction of the government, some with its tacit approval, and some that were under only the most tenuous control, or even under no control whatsoever. Many of these operations involved acts that were considered, by the Union, to go beyond the normal conduct of "civilized" warfare. From the Confederacy's point of view, these were desperate measures necessary to compensate for the fact that, in terms of conventional warfare
  • Belle Boyd

    Belle Boyd
    Belle Boyd was a Confederate Spy during the American Civil War. She hid in cloests and other places to listen and gather information to give back to the British. On July 26, 1862, she gave herself up to the Union and was placed in the Old Capital Prision in Washington four days later.
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    World War I

  • Sidney Reilly

    Sidney Reilly
    Lieutenant Sidney George Reilly, famously known as the Ace of Spies, was a Jewish Russian-born adventurer and secret agent employed by Scotland Yard, the British Secret Service Bureau and later the Secret Intelligence Service. He is alleged to have spied for at least four nations. His notoriety during the 1920s was created in part by his friend, British diplomat and journalist Sir Robert Bruce Lockhart, who publicized their thwarted operation to overthrow the Bolshevik regime in 1918.
  • Fritz Joubert Duquesne

    Fritz Joubert Duquesne
    A German Spy. When he was arrested in New York at the end of the war, he pretended to be paralized. On 25 May 1919, after nearly two years of feigning paralysis, he disguised himself as a woman and escaped by cutting the bars of his cell and climbing over the barrier walls to freedom.
  • Mata Hari

    Mata Hari
    A female German spy. She was caught and executed by the French. Her German code name was H-21.
  • Howard Burnham

    Howard Burnham
    Howard Burnham was a spy for the French. He was almost caught many times, mostly in Spanish countries, but managed to either escape or get freed.