Director of Media Relations
MOUNT VERNON, VA – Mount Vernon, home of America’s first ‘spymaster-in-chief’, George Washington, offers new 18th-century spy programs inspired by AMC’s new Revolutionary War spy television show “Turn” beginning April 5. Delve into the 18th century world of double agents, invisible ink, and coded messages during “Spy Training at Mount Vernon”, but beware – you never know who might be a British spy! Learn about Revolutionary War concealment codes and work to decode a message from your fellow patriots. A select number of guests will have the chance to write a message in Washington’s preferred concealment method, invisible ink! Accept your first “Spy Training at Mount Vernon” mission on Saturdays and Sundays only at 3 p.m. through June 1. Capacity is limited for the “Spy Training at Mount Vernon.”
In “Mount Vernon Spymaster Adventure”, visitors ages 10 and above use a self-guided map to navigate the estate using clues to solve the identity of Agent 355. It is September 11, 1781, and Major Benjamin Tallmadge, an aide to Washington and the head of the Culper Spy Ring in New York City, must send a coded message to one of his spies. Writing under the name John Bolton, Major Tallmadge needs your help to code a letter to Agent 355. Discover the identity of Agent 355 and take home a prize (while supplies last). The self-guided “Mount Vernon Spymaster Adventure” map is available at Mount Vernon’s Ford Orientation Center.
General Washington took his role as spymaster in chief quite seriously, laying the groundwork for today’s complex intelligence community and recognizing that civilian observation, mobilization and insight was just as important as military might. Without this foresight, the outcome of the Revolutionary War might have been quite different. The war for independence from Great Britain was not just one of battles and firearms, it was one of intelligence. As one defeated British intelligence officer is often quoted as saying, “Washington did not really outfight the British. He simply out-spied us.”
From April 5 through June 1, both programs “Spy Training at Mount Vernon” and “Mount Vernon Spymaster Adventure” map are included in admission. To learn more about these programs, the Culper gang, and how Washington used espionage to defeat the British, please visit MountVernon.org/Spy.