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LaVO: From the real James Bond to the Doan Gang, here are the spies of Bucks County

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17.02.2020

From Morrisville’s spymaster to the real James Bond.



A few months ago, Georgetown University asked me to review a new historical guide due out early next year. “Spy Sites of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley” reveals 200 tales from Colonial times to the 20th century. It’s an intriguing, well-illustrated compendium.

Here’s a sample:

Morrisville’s spymaster: Legion Avenue.

Robert Morris was a Philadelphia banker who lived in Morrisville. To a large extent he financed the American Revolution. Lesser known is his role as a spymaster early in the rebellion.

He used his business contacts and finances to spy on British troops and smuggle arms to rebels.

After George Washington’s famous crossing of the Delaware, the general appealed to Morris for emergency cash to keep his spy network afloat. Hard currency was sparse. Morris did what he could. In early January, he sent two bags filled with 410 Spanish dollars, two English Crowns, 10 shillings sixpence, and a French half crown. It was just enough. Washington was grateful, recalling it was “too remarkable ever to be forgotten by me.”

Plumstead’s gang of spies: 4914 Point Pleasant Pike.

Five Quaker brothers and a cousin from Central Bucks were robbers, horse thieves and spies for the British in a reign of terror that lasted a decade during the American Revolution. As Army Gen. Howe’s “Eagle........

© The Intelligencer