The York Civil War Round Table will feature living historian Suzanne Doucette portraying in first person “Elizabeth Van Lew, Civil War spy” at its monthly meeting on Wednesday, January 18, 2012.
Elizabeth Van Lew was a well-born resident of Richmond, Virginia, who built and operated an extensive spy ring for the United States during the American Civil War. Under the nose of the Confederate government, Van Lew gathered intelligence, hampered the Southern war effort, and helped scores of Union soldiers escape from Richmond prisons. A Northern sympathizer in the Confederate capital, Van Lew led what one historian called “the most productive espionage operation of the Civil War.”
Sue Doucette will portray Elizabeth Van Lew in first person and tell about her life and how events led up to her organizing a spy network for the Federal government in Richmond during the Civil War. She will relate Van Lew’s methods of gathering Confederate military information and smuggling dispatches to the Union army and her many ways of doing so safely. Also covered is her involvement in the Dahlgren affair, her placement of Mary Elizabeth Bowser in the White House of the Confederacy as a spy, and her home as a “safe house.”
Suzanne Doucette has been a Civil War living historian with her husband Cal since 2000. They reside in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Sue has presented to schools, Civil War Round Tables, the National Park Service, the David Wills House Museum, the Rupp House Museum, and various other venues. Sue belongs to the Civil War Preservation Trust, Gettysburg Civil War Round Table, and the Friends of the National Park at Gettysburg. She volunteers at the National Park Service, the Gettysburg Foundation, the David Wills House Museum, and the Rupp House Museum.
The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 18, 2012, in the auditorium of the York County Heritage Trust at 250 E. Market St., in downtown York, Pennsylvania.
For questions, please contact Lila Fourhman-Shaull at YCHT 717-848-1587, ext. 223.
There is no charge for admission, and the public is welcome!
Bring a friend!