It Happened in Setauket, General Washington's Culper Spy Ring

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How did the Culper Spy Ring operation come about?
To answer this question we must start at the beginning.
Here is the Setauket Spy Ring Story - by historian Beverly Tyler.

Featured Items


Culper Spy Ring Resources

American Heritage
“George Washington, Spymaster” by Thomas Fleming

BBC - The Secrets of the mysterious Culper Spy Ring

Clements Library ,University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Spy Letters of the American Revolution 
Most pertinent are “Stories of Spies and Gangs” and “Secret Methods and Techniques.

History Close at Hand
Historian Beverly Tyler’s Listings of historical walking tours, including Walk Through History with Farmer & Spy Abraham Woodhull and articles on the early history of Setauket and Brookhaven Town.

Hollywood & History in AMC's TURN [The Setauket Spy Ring], Some Readings & Contexts
Fact and fiction in Turn, including source materials and true/false quizzes for selected episodes.

Mount Vernon
Spying and espionage in the Revolutionary War and George Washington’s role as one of our nation’s first spymasters.

Mount Vernon
Article about the Culper Spy Ring.

Mount Vernon
The Culper Code Book (digitized).

The Second Continental Light Dragoons
Sheldon's Horse is a congressionally recognized modern continuation of the original 2nd Continental Light Dragoons.

The Sheldon’s Horse Timeline Project
The American Revolution in Connecticut  : George Washington's Cavalry, the 2nd Continental Light Dragoons.

Special Collections, Melville Library, Stony Brook University
George Washington and the Culper Spy Ring.

The Three Village Historical Society in Setauket, NY
Information about the exhibit, Spies : How a Group of Long Island Patriots Helped George Washington Win the Revolution, historical tours and more…  or

Tri-Spy Tours
Margo Arceri will guide cyclists, walkers and kayakers through the actual trails where the British and Patriots once roamed during the Revolutionary War on Long Island. Those participating will follow in the actual footsteps of the Culper Spy Ring, and along the way historical places of interest will be pointed out and discussed.

TURN to a Historian
A historian’s blog, for those seeking historically accurate information and analysis of Turn.

The Ward Melville Heritage Organization
Visit the historic Brewster House, 1665, home of the Joseph Brewster (1735-1818) first-cousin to Caleb Brewster who is thought by some to be the bravest of all the spies. On-site programs for all-ages offered including “Become a Spy” and “The Spy Next Door”.

Adkins, Edwin. Setauket: The First Three Hundred Years, 1655-1955. Setauket, New York: Three Village Historical Society, 1980.

Bleyer, Bill. George Washington's Long Island Spy Ring: A History and Tour Guide.Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2021.

Fernow, Berthold. New York In The Revolution. Albany, New York: Weed, Parsons and Company, 1887.

Ford, Corey. A Peculiar Service. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1965.

Hall, Charles Swain. Benjamin Tallmadge: Revolutionary Soldier And American Businessman. New York: AMS Press, Inc., 1966.

Kilmeade, Brian. George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved The American Revolution. New York: Penguin Group USA, 2013.

Klein, Howard. Three Village Guidebook: The Setaukets, Poquott, Old Field & Stony Brook. East Setauket, New York: Three Village Historical Society, 1986.

Lengle, Edward. "Spymaster in Chief" in Military History. June-July 2009, pp 26-35.

Marhoefer, Barbara. Eye Witness, 1776. New York: Long Island Lighting Company, 1976.

Mather, Frederic Gregory. The Refugees Of 1776 From Long Island To Connecticut. Albany, New York: J.B. Lyon Company, 1913.

Nagy, John A. George Washington's Secret Spy War: the making of America's first spymaster. New York, New York: St. Martin's Press, 2016.

Onderdonk, Henry Jr. Revolutionary Incidents Of Suffolk And Kings Counties [...]. Port Washington, New York: (1849), 1970.

Pennypacker, Morton. General Washington's Spies On Long Island And In New York. Brooklyn, New York: Long Island Historical Society, 1939.

Philbrick, Nathaniel. Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution. New York: Viking, 2016.

Reynolds, John. Long Island Behind the British Lines During The Revolution. Setauket, New York: The Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, 1960.

Roberts, James A. New York In The Revolution As Colony And State. Albany, New York: Weeds-Parsons, 1901.

Rose, Alexander. Washington's Spies: The Story Of America's First Spy Ring. New York: Bantam, 2006.

Tallmadge, Benjamin. Memoir Of Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge. New York: Gilliss, 1904.

Tyler, Beverly C. The Setauket Spy Ring Story. Setauket, New York: The Author, 2014.

Welch, Richard F. General Washington's Commando: Benjamin Tallmadge In The Revolutionary War. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2014.

Alberti, Enigma. Anna Strong and the Revolutionary War Culper Spy Ring. New York, NY: Workman Publishing, 2019.

Castrovilla, Selene. Upon Secrecy. Honesdale, PA: Calkins Creek, 2009.

Currie, Catherine. Anna Smith Strong And The Setauket Spy Ring. Precise Printing, 1992.

Fullam, Kathleen. The Setauket Spy. Privately published, c1973.

Haynes, Betsy. Spies On The Devil's Belt. New York: Scholastic, 1974.

Kirkpatrick, Katherine. Redcoats And Petticoats. New York: Holiday House, 1999.

These databases are available to Emma Clark Libary patrons (library card number required to log in)

AVAILABLE FOR IN-LIBRARY USE ONLY. Research your family history using one of the premier tools for genealogical research.

Biography Reference Bank
A reference tool for researching famous people.

Daily Life Through History
Gives a detailed portrayal of life for ordinary people in different cultures and countries throughout history. (To see what daily life was like during the American Revolution, select Topics -> Exploring New Lives -> 17th & 18th Centuries -> Revolutionary America).

Heritage Quest
Trace your ancestors with this helpful database of genealogical resources.

History Reference Center
Comprehensive, full-text, history reference database designed for secondary schools and undergraduate research. Features full text for 2,000 reference books, encyclopedias and non-fiction books.

"Setauket During the Revolution: What You Didn't Know But Aren't Afraid to Ask"
A panel discussion held on March 15, 2015
at the Emma S. Clark Memorial Library, Setauket, New York.


Culper Spy Ring Bibliography (printer-friendly) created by the librarians at Emma S. Clark Memorial Library

This site created and hosted by:
Emma S. Clark Memorial Library
120 Main Street
Setauket, NY 11733
t: (631) 941-4080

With special thanks to Beverly Tyler, local historian and author for his generous permission to use many of his materials included on this site.

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