Miss Jenny: British Spy

by Janelle Pavao

Miss Jenny was one of the few women spies of the revolutionary war. She was a French spy for the British, whose true identity was never discovered.

On her way to report to the British base in New York she was taken hostage by the French General <a href="marquis-de-lafayette.html">Marquis De Lafayette</a>. There she was beaten and raped while they tried to wrench her story out.

Original letter about Miss Jenny by Baron Ottendorf, British mercenaryA letter about Miss Jenny, by Baron Ottendorf, and part of the Clinton Collection.

She claimed that she was looking for her father who had left for war five years before. During her abuse she stuck to her story and would not back down.

When they could not extract the truth, she was sent to General George Washington. Upon arrival at his camp she was questioned mercilessly. Through all of this she did not change her story or let out any secrets.

Thoroughly frustrated, Washington sent her back to the French. Back at the French camp she was released, but only after they humiliated her by cutting off her hair, which was a big deal in that time.

When she arrived back in New York and reported all that she saw, she was rewarded and was let go.

This was her last mission. Miss Jenny was never seen or heard from ever again. She simply disappeared.

Ann Bates was a loyalist spy who worked for Sir Henry Clinton during the Revolutionary War.

Ann Bates

Most believe that the Molly Pitcher title is a composite character of all of the women who fought and showed incredible bravery in the Continental Army.

Molly Pitcher

Return to Revolutionary war Spies


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