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On Espionage, Secret Codes, and Black Women on a Mission—Mary Elizabeth Bowser


Mary Bowser

Mary Bowser (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Mary had considerable intelligence, as well as some acting skills. In order to get access to top-secret information, Mary became “Ellen Bond,” a dim-witted, also slightly crazy, but able servant. Elizabeth had a friend take Mary along to help at functions held by Varina Davis, the wife of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Mary proved herself well and was eventually taken on full-time, working in the Confederate White House until just before the end of the war. Of course, they assumed she was a slave.”  (SOURCE: Women in History, “Mary Elizabeth Bowser Biography,” Lakewood Public Library, Lakewood, Ohio. http://www.lkwdpl.org/wihohio/index.html. )