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"Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder."

Letter to Major-General Robert Howe | Tuesday, August 17, 1779

Editorial Notes

It might be somewhat surprising, after all the stories we learned in elementary school about George Washington’s honesty, to find out that one of the tools he frequently  employed during the American Revolution was espionage.  In this letter, he discusses a double agent named Elijah Hunter, reminding General Howe that the British “have it more in their power to reward certain services than we have in the way which is most tempting” and cautioning him to “be very guarded, with those who are professedly acting as double characters.”

George Washington to Major-General Robert Howe | Tuesday, August 17, 1779

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