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Motives to the Culper Ring Formation

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Culper Ring was a wife of a patriotic judge in the Long Island, Anna Strong, whose role was majorly based on coordinating Ring’s personnel regarding the areas required for the movement. For instance, Strong commonly relied on her laundry to offer certain signals regarding location and times required for spies’ meeting. The laundry technique was so straight but not one could realize any meaning of mere clothes on a clothesline unless he or she belonged to the Cupler Ring.

One of the ways Strong used the laundry trick was hanging a black petticoat on the line as an indication that Brewster was at that moment within the town, and therefore, ready to receive information for ferrying to General Washington. Considering the fact that the petticoat was an indication of Brewster presence, his meeting place required clear identification for faster accessibility for the information to get to the General within the shortest time possible. In this case, therefore, Strong used to hang a one or several handkerchiefs, going up to six, in the clothesline in order to offer direction to the spies on the exact place where Brewster could be found. Another unidentified member used in the operations of Cupler Ring was commonly known as 355. Although her basic operational roles were highly classified, she is thought of being an information conveyor from that was garnered from Benedict Arnold and Major John Andre, whereby it was later confirmed that she was arrested and later died after giving birth.

Townsend is another critical character in the successful operations of Culper Ring. As presented by Adscape International LLC, Townsend was running dry goods store who had secured a job in one of the local American newspaper as a reporter. Townsend had great opportunity to access the British soldiers and their functions without causing any alarm. Working with the Culper Ring, Roe often dropped by to the store as a customer making some purchasing, and then he would offer direct order from Bolton. Once he received the request, Townsend would go to an adjoining building to read and respond to it through writing. The next purchasing by Roe was a sign of coming back for the information, whereby Townsend would attach the response to the goods sold, and then travel a distance of about 100 miles away to a place where he would leave the message in a drop-dead box for Woodhull. Woodhull would make critical evaluation to the information, making some additional information if possible, and then monitor Strong’s laundry signal to monitor the actual whereabouts for Brewster. When Brewster received the information, he would use the ferryboat to cross to Fairfield, Connecticut, to meet Tallmadge who would be readily waiting for the message delivery. Finally, Tallmadge would complete the message conveyance process by delivering it to the General Washington. Adscape International LLC states that Culper Ring spies could have operated under great pressure from General Washington, the most pressure was the fight against being caught by the British forces.

Culper Ring Achievements

In spite of some strained relation among the members of Culper Ring form continuous pressure from General Washington, the Spy Ring is considered the successful network compared to both the British and American networks during the start of war in 1778 to its end in 1783. One of the major achievements for the Culper Ring is considered the one in 1780, when the message conveyed was able to uncover the British plans made for ambushing French army who had just arrived to the Rhode Island. The uncovered plans strengthened the Franco-American alliance whereby their attacking and destruction would have occurred surprisingly. Moreover, the secretive and highly intellectual operations of Culper Ring were also credited for the uncovering of treasonous correspondence taking place between John Andre, the chief intelligence officer operating under the General Henry Clinton, and Benedict Arnold. The information aided process towards capturing and hanging of Major Andre, under General Washington’s orders.


As explored through this text, Culper Ring remains one of the most effective spies networking that has ever occurred in the American history. The courageous leadership of General Washington that saw him offering spy duties in a crew which he did not even know all the personnel was an outstanding shown of cooperative act to the people who relied only on patriotism to stand against the powerful British forces taking possession of New York City.


A&E Television Networks, LLC. The Culper Spy Ring. 2014. <> (accessed on 8 November 2014).

Adscape International LLC. The Culper Spy Ring. 2014. <> (accessed on 8 November 2014).

Rose, Alexander. Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring. New York: Bantam Dell, 2007.

Veronese, Keith. The Truth About the Culper Ring, the First U.S. Spy Family — and the Real Agent 355. December 2012. <> (accessed on 8 November 2014).


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