Not all colonial women were daughters of the revolution; many were actually recruited into British loyalist spy networks.  General Henry Clinton of His Majesty’s military, like General Washington, relied heavily on his espionage networks for information. 

Ann Bates

  • Loyalist recruited for intelligence gathering in the New York area in 1778. 
  • Because of her marriage to a cannon repairman, was extremely knowledgeable about military weaponry; reports included vital information concerning equipment and strategic planning. 
  • Highly successful in infiltrating Washington’s headquarters in White Plains, New York, twice. 
  • Reconnaissance work led American and French armies to withdraw from Newport on August 31, 1778.


Miss Jenny

  • Member of General Henry Clinton’s spy network.
  • Cover story was insufficient; American and French officials did not completely trust her.
  • Based on her reporting—and other information supplied by Clinton’s spy network—General Clinton held his position in New York.
  • Resulted in a critical lack of support for General Cornwallis’s troops situated in Yorktown, leading to the end of the Revolution.
  • Read one of her letters and learn more about her at the Clements Library.  


Undated Ann Bates Letter
ann bates letter

Photo Credit:
William L. Clements Library
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That a woman whom Craig / has trusted often ? came to town / last night ? She is well acquainted / with many of the R. A. ? 2 particular / known to Chabmers ? one who / C.B. transacted a great deal of  / business with ? it is proposed to / send her out under the Idea / of selling little Matters in the / R.C. she will converse with / Chambers: I will return whenever / she may have learned any thing / that shall be desired to be known.
Page 1 of the "Deposition of Miss Jenny."
Read the full letter HERE
miss jenny letter
Photo Credit: William L. Clements Library
Click on image for larger view








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