"Washington didn't really outfight the British, he simply outspied us."
Join us September 17-23 for a week-long celebration of America's Revolutionary War spies! Learn the secrets of America's first spy ring, hear stories of famed spies such as Benjamin Tallmadge and Nathan Hale, and discover the truth about some of the War's unsung heroes who were instrumental in the efforts of Revolutionary espionage. Check out our full schedule of specialized guided walking tours, spy-themed activities, and more.
Revolutionary Spies Guided Tours
Sunday, 17th: 1:00 & 2:00pm
Monday, 18th – Friday, 22nd: 2:00pm
Saturday, 23rd: 1:00 & 2:00pm
Explore the Museum in this docent-led, 45 minute tour about Revolutionary spies such as Nathan Hale, Benjamin Tallmadge, and Lydia Darrah. Learn about the tools of the trade as a spymaster, the creation of America’s very first spy ring, and catch a glimpse of the last known letter from Nathan Hale which hasn’t been on display in over decade.
Free with regular admission to the Museum.
Sympathetic Spies: George Washington’s Eyes and Ears in Lower Manhattan
Sunday, September 17 - 11:00am- 12:30pm
The British Revolutionary War Spymaster Major George Beckwith claimed that, “Washington didn’t really outfight the British, he simply out-spied us.” The General’s master spies operated out of Lower Manhattan and this walking tour will make its way between the Battery and Wall Street, retracing their steps.
Join Archive on Parade founder Lucie Levine on this guided walking tour to discover who first peddled fake news, meet the tailor who saved George Washington’s life not once but twice, and find out what Eagles, Turtles, and Vultures have to do with turncoats and saboteurs.
$20 Museum Members / $25 Public
*Tickets must be purchased in advance. You will receive a confirmation email with the starting location of the tour within 24 business hours.
Lucie Levine aims to take New York’s fascinating history out of the archives and into the streets. She’s a native New Yorker, and licensed New York City tour guide, with a passion for the city’s social, political and cultural history. Lucie has collaborated with local partners including the New York Public Library, the 92nd Street Y, the Brooklyn Brainery, The Society for the Advancement of Social Studies and Nerd Nite to offer exciting tours, lectures and community events all over town.
Nathan Hale Day Commemoration
Friday, September 22 - 12:00-1:00pm
Nathan Hale was commissioned by George Washington to infiltrate the British ranks to gather intelligence. He was discovered on September 22, 1776 and hanged for treason, without trial, the next morning.
Join the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York at City Hall Park as they commemorate martyred spy Nathan Hale at the foot of the Nathan Hale statue which stands at City Hall Park. The ceremony features the SRNY color Guard, a mayoral proclamation, wreath laying and more.
This is a free event.
Spy Week Family Day
Saturday, September 23
Join us for an afternoon of spy-themed activities at the Museum! Meet Claudia Friddell, author of Totally True Adventures: George Washington’s Spies, as she recreates participation based spy tactics from the Revolution. Would you be able masterfully cipher Benjamin Tallmadge’s code book? Could you successfully complete a stealth message to arrange for a spy ring meeting? Come participate in these activities and find out if you could have been a member of the Culper Spy Ring!
Schedule of Events:
1:00 & 2:00pm - Revolutionary Spies Tour
1:00-4:00pm – Meet and greet/book signing with author Claudia Friddell, who will also lead a series of spy-themed children’s activities.
*Copies of Friddell’s book will be available for purchase.
These activities are free with regular admission to the Museum, or with a Museum Day Live! ticket.
Museum Day Live!
Saturday, September 23
Fraunces Tavern Museum will open its doors free of charge on Saturday September 23, 2017, as part of Smithsonian magazine’s thirteenth annual Museum Day Live!, an initiative in which participating museums across the United States emulate the spirit of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington DC-based facilities, which offer free admission every day, and open their doors for free to those who download a Museum Day Live! ticket.
Smithsonian recognizes the extraordinary power of museums, and other cultural institutions, to provide visitors with insight and inspiration. The event represents a nationwide commitment to boundless curiosity and the pursuit of knowledge wherever you are. Over 200,000 people downloaded tickets for last year’s event, and this year’s event is expected to attract more museum-goers than ever before.
*Registration for Museum Day Live! will open on August 25.