Monday, October 2, 2017
Lydia Darrah, an Unlikely Spy
By Paisley Kirkpatrick "She was dead for 38 years before the world learned of Lydia Darragh, the heroic woman who saved George Washington's revolutionary army over 200 years ago. The archives of the University of California at Berkeley, California, show only a few published references to the incident that besieged Philadelphia during the bitter winter of 1777. There is enough information in the stacks on the American Revolution to reconstruct the startling affair that gave the nation one of its earliest and unlikeliest spies -- a delicate, righteous Quaker lady. Philadelphia was in enemy hands the night of December 2nd. Washington and his ragged, starving men were shivering at Valley Forge when the Irish-born woman was called before the British officer who had requisitioned her house. Sternly, the unnamed adjutant general confronted the 48-year-old woman, who was known in the community as a skillful, tender nurse and midwife. However, she had another reputation.