Way Back When … 1778
George Washington’s Revolutionary War tactics included employing spies as weapons. Their ammunition of stolen secrets influenced key events in the war and helped Washington outwit the militarily superior British forces. The Culper Spy Ring, which was the subject of the AMC series “Turn,” operated between New York City, Long Island, and Fairfield from 1778 to 1780. It was a spy network made up of ordinary people who took extraordinary risks to help the colonists win the Revolutionary War.
The Fairfield Museum is opening an exhibition “Culper Spy Ring: The Spies of George Washington,” on Friday, May 18. The exhibit features panels from a graphic novel with artwork by Kirk Manley, produced by the Fairfield Museum with support from CT Humanities. The graphic novel is available exclusively at the Museum Shop, 370 Beach Road, open daily 10am-4pm.
Spies played an essential role throughout the Revolutionary War, from the battle of Bunker Hill to Trenton, Saratoga, and the final battle at Yorktown. George Washington knew the importance of intelligence and counter-intelligence, especially when facing a powerful enemy. He would learn how many troops were in various locations, what preparations they were making, and how long their supplies would last. One of the spies, Abraham Woodhull would leave his reports in a hidden spot on his farm, where Caleb Brewster retrieved them. Brewster would then meet with Major Benjamin Tallmadge in Fairfield and Tallmadge would carry his reports to Washington’s headquarters in Westchester County.
The exhibition will open with a “Family Spy Party,” Friday, May 18, 5:30-7:30pm. Guests will enjoy obstacle courses, games, a bounce house, Shake Shack custard and more. Tickets are available online at Fairfieldhistory.org/events/spy-party/ or by calling (203) 259-1598.
The Fairfield Museum & History Center and Museum Shop at 370 Beach Road is open seven days a week, 10am-4pm. Members of the museum and children under 5 are admitted free. For more information, call 203-259-1598 or visit Fairfieldhistory.org. The Fairfield Museum relies on funding from individuals, corporations, and foundations. The museum is especially grateful for support from the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts, the State of Connecticut, Town of Fairfield and Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.