"Oh look! It's just another lady doing her laundry."
In plain sight of British soldiers, Anna Strong was able to successfully signal Abraham Woodhull by hanging her laundry out to dry. Her ingenious messaging system was never broken throughout the entire Revolutionary War.
If information was ready to be picked up, Anna would hang a black petticoat on her laundry line. Abraham Woodhull who lived next door to Anna would see the black petticoat and know that a message was ready to be picked up.
Urgent News! The British are planning to ...
Anna used handkerchiefs to signal Abraham about where the messages could be picked up. There were six coves or places in the Long Island Bay that Caleb Brewster could have left a message. The number of handkerchiefs that Anna hung on her laundry line would show which cove or location to pick up the message.
For example, if Anna saw Caleb drop a message off in cove number 4 in Long Island Bay, she would hang a black petticoat and 4 white handkerchiefs on her laundry line to signal Abraham Woodhull.
The Culper Spy Ring played an important role in the Revolutionary War. In 1780, the Culper Spy Ring was able to get information to General Washington that the British were going to launch an attack on Rhode Island. With this information, Washington was able to order his army into a defensive position which cancelled the attack.
After the war, Anna was reunited with her husband, and they moved into their family manor home, Years later, Anna had the honor of meeting General Washington. George Washington was now President of the new nation she had risked her life to help create.