First Family of Virginia. Southern Belle. Abolitionist. A very adept spy. She took her convictions in her hands and put her life on the line.
Elizabeth Van Lew, a true American hero, was an abolitionist living in Richmond, Virginia during the Civil War. Crazy Bet, as she was known, ran a spy ring for the North out of her home. She and her free yet unfree compatriot, Mary Bowser, helped numerous slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad and made escape possible for many captured Union soldiers held at Libby Prison. They also gathered and forwarded much information on Confederate troop movements to Lincoln, Grant and Butler, among others. Both women successfully survived the war. Elizabeth lived until 1900. The last word from Mary was in 1867.
This is an original one-woman play written by Paullette MacDougal, directed by Gaia Farnam and acted by Rae Petersen. It was enetered into FronteraFest 2011, Short Fringe, in Austin, Texas, and was chosen for Best of the Fest.