Where to Learn More

Klement, Frank L. Dark Lanterns: Secret Political Societies, Conspiracies, and Treason Trials in the Civil War. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1984.

Klement, Frank L. The Limits of Dissent: Clement L. Vallandigham and the Civil War. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1970. Reprint, New York: Fordham University Press, 1998.

Klement, Frank L. Lincoln's Critics: The Copperheads of the North. Ship-pensburg, PA: White Mane Books, 1999.

Elizabeth Van Lew

Born October 12, 1818 Richmond, Virginia Died September 25, 1900 Richmond, Virginia

Union spy known as "Crazy Bet" Escaped detection by pretending to be a harmless eccentric

Elizabeth Van Lew

Born October 12, 1818 Richmond, Virginia Died September 25, 1900 Richmond, Virginia

Union spy known as "Crazy Bet" Escaped detection by pretending to be a harmless eccentric

Elizabeth Van Lew

Elizabeth Van Lew was a wealthy and refined (cultured) lady of Richmond, Virginia—the city that became the Confederate capital during the Civil War. Her neighbors called her "Crazy Bet" and laughed at her strange behavior. But she only pretended to be eccentric (odd or peculiar). In fact, she was a cunning and highly effective spy for the Union. She sent valuable information to the North through the entire course of the war, and she also helped numerous Union soldiers escape from Southern prisons.

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