Elizabeth Van Lew was a Richmond, Virginia abolitionist, and a philanthropist. She had two siblings. Elizabeth lived at 2301 E. Grace Street, Richmond, Virginia. She was buried at Shockoe Hill Cemetary; 37.551816,-77.432016. She lived with her widowed mother in a three-story mansion in the Confederate Capital.
Elizabeth Van Lew was a spy. She hated the way people treated slaves. She became an important spy for the Union. She was 43 when she became a Union Spy. Elizabeth kept a secret diary. She kept quiet and provided food and medicine to prisoners in the war to help with their escape. She started helping the Union after the battle of Manassas in July 1861. She volunteered to become a nurse at Libby Prison to hep diseased, hungered and despair people.