Patriots, Loyalists, and Traitors
Why were the patriots rebelling against the British?
Why did some Americans remain loyal to the British?
Why did some Americans choose to spy for the British? Do you think
their motivations honorable or dishonorable?
Why did American and British military leaders engage in clandestine activities?
What sorts of information did spies provide to military leaders?
What advantages did spying provide military leaders?
What might be some disadvantages to relying on spies for important information?
Why did the British think it important to capture enemy correspondence?
Did spying change the course of the Revolutionary War? How?
What sorts of information did spy letters contain?
How did spy letters exchange hands? Why was it so dangerous to deliver
a spy letter?
What methods might spies have used to get their information from one place
Why were some spy letters made so difficult to decipher?
Was it easy to recognize a spy letter if it was captured? Why or
Which do you think was a more effective way to relay secret information:
with spy letters written in invisible ink, with spy letters hidden in the
quill of a letter, with spy letters that seemed innocent until a grill
revealed the secret message within, or with spy letters that were disguised
in a secret cipher and translated with a key?
When might one method of hiding the content of a spy letter have an advantage
over another method?
What were some advantages or disadvantages of being a female spy?
Why do you think so few written sources exist about female spies?
Why did Benedict Arnold betray his country? Which explanation do
you think explains his motivations more accurately: a) He was bitter
about being an unrecognized hero. b) He was outraged that the Philadelphians
accused him of being corrupt. c) Facing a court martial and suspicion,
he thought he thought the British could protect him. d) He was greedy
for the money the British would offer him. e) He thought that
the American cause was futile and that he should help the inevitable winner
of the war. f) None of the above
Do you think it was fair that George Washington had John André hanged?
In the incidents surrounding the Battle of Saratoga, what mistakes did
the British make? How might such a disaster been averted?
What role did spy letters have in the outcome of the Battle of Saratoga?
Why might two important Americans, Benjamin Church and Benjamin Thompson,
have been spies for the British? Why were they important to the British?
What methods did the Culper Gang employ in their spy ring? How did
they manage to sneak secret information to the Americans under the nose
of Sir Henry Clinton?
What significant information did George Washington’s letter to his dentist
provide the British?
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