BULL STREET - The art of the Con

Ann Bates

A Revolutionary War spy who although an American spied extensively for the British. The advantage that a woman had at that time was they were allowed to come and go where they pleased because military authorities of the time didn’t think that women could understand the complexities of military strategy and therefore could not comprehend the significance of anything that they saw. This particular thinking gave Ann Bates, a former Philadelphia school teacher the ability of wandering throughout American lines and counted the weapons and the men without even being disturbed. Moreover, Ann knew exactly what she was looking at because of the fact that her husband was a gun repairman in Sir Henry Clinton’s Redcoat Armey. When she thought that he spying had been observed she would retire to an out of the way place and change into the clothes of a male peddler in which disguise she could stay behind enemy lines until her wares had been eliminated. Her information was accurate and her missions were dangerous. On one occasion she was arrested, imprisoned but eventually released because no one thought that she could possibly be a spy. She caused substantial damage to the Revolutionary cause and was well rewarded by the British for her efforts.

 

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