Ann Bates – Spies


Ann Bates (fl. 1778), was a loyalist American who spied for the British during the American War of Independence.

A Philadelphia schoolteacher, she was married to a man assigned to a British Army unit as an artillery repairman. Her husband joined the British troops evacuating Philadelphia and marching to New York City in 1778. Claiming to be a patriot, she carried a token (description still unknown) that would identify her as a British spy to an American officer who was spying for the British. By the time she reached America, walked into the headquarters of Gen. George Washington. “I had the Opportunity of going through their whole Army Remarking at the same time the strength & Situation of each Brigade, & the Number of Cannon with their Situation and Weight of Ball each Cannon was Charged with,” she later wrote lines and stayed at safe houses as they made their way back to British-held territory.