The Culper Ring was a spy ring that operated during the height of the American Revolutionary War. It was meant to supply General Washington with intelligence about the activities of the British, after they retreated to New York City in 1778.
The spy ring was organized by Major Benjamin Tallmadge under the orders of General Washington. The secrecy was so strict that even Washington didn’t know the real identity of the spies. It was named after the aliases of two prominent members Culper, Sr. and Culper, Jr.
The operatives used different techniques to relay their messages from coded messages in newspapers to writings with invisible ink between lines of normal letters to a code with laundry hung up on a line to dry. They also actively involved women, who at this time weren’t believed to be openly involved in politics and therefore never got suspected of being spies.
The existence of the spy ring was only discovered in the 1930s, when the identity of Culper, Jr. was revealed due to the discovery of letters of Robert Townsend in the Townsend family home. As not all secrets surrounding the Culper Ring have been solved, it still sparks the imagination of conspiracy theorists.