Agent 355

Posted: July 15, 2008 in American Revolution, Espionage, Missing In Action, Whom You Least Suspect

No name. No family. No picture. All because, quite frankly, we haven’t a damn clue who this chick is. Which is a shame, really, that Agent 355 should go down in history as a nameless number when she paid the ultimately spy-dame price for her country during the American Revolution.

So here is what we do know:

She was part of the famous Culper Spy Ring and was based in New York where she had contact with Major John Andre and Benedict Arnold. “355” was numerical code for the word “Lady”. She was most likely part of a well-regarded Loyalist family that afforded her this access to those at the top (as Andre was known to be a bit of ladies’ man).

After the arrest of Andre and disappearing act of Arnold, Agent 355 herself was taken into custody by the British, possibly for having fingered Arnold as a traitor (a little retribution by the said same Arnold?). She was pregnant at the time and all we know of the father is that he was “Dear Robert”. It is speculated that this may be Robert Townsend of the Culper Spy Ring. She was imprisoned on the HMS Jersey where she refused to give up her cohorts. She stayed aboard the prison boat eventually giving birth to a son under some truly heinous conditions and dying as a result.

There are some theories bouncing around regarding Agent 355’s true identity and others that say she never existed. The fact that she is specifically referenced in coded intelligence documentation written by the scrupulous Abraham Woodhull regarding Agent 355’s invaluable activities suggests to this Agent that the skirt not only existed but was of great aid to her country.

Perhaps this smack about Agent 355’s “non-existence” is to cover the abject shame of the men-folk for having left this spy-dame without the precious gift of identity for the last 228 years?

  1. […] The only other female member of the famous Culper Spy Ring in New York (alongside the mysterious Agent 355). Nancy was responsible for sending signals out to other members of the ring when a certain […]

  2. […] Jenny is an interesting little mystery. Not as interesting nor as tragic as the drama surrounding Agent 355, but a nice little mystery all its […]

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