Join historian and author Claire Bellerjeau for a one-hour program as she discusses the discovery of a new founding figure named Elizabeth, or Liss. Liss was enslaved by the Townsend family of Oyster Bay, New York, whose most famous member was Robert Townsend aka “Culper, Jr.”, George Washington’s lead spy in Manhattan during the Revolutionary War. As Robert and Liss’s story unfolds, prominent figures cross their path, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and Benedict Arnold; as well as participants in the Culper Spy Ring, the Boston Massacre and the Benedict Arnold treason plot. Liss’s escape with the British, re-enslavement in Manhattan and her complex struggle for freedom gives new insight into the country’s founding era, through the eyes of an enslaved black woman seeking liberty in a country fighting for its own.
Fee: $10; $8 seniors. Members free. Space limited.