To fight and win their independence, the fledgling United States needed shrewd military leadership, dedicated troops…and a well-organized intelligence service. The Continental Congress had established a commission to search out and apprehend British sympathizers, but General George Washington, who relied extensively on military intelligence, enlisted Mr. Nathaniel Sackett, a New Yorker who had proven himself a valuable spy catcher, as his “intelligence director.” In this original letter, Washington engages Sackett to create a spy network, pass along disinformation to British intelligence, and harass the enemy. This original letter, written on February 4, 1777 by George Washington, commissions Nathaniel Sackett to spy for his country. Washington agreed to pay him $50 per month plus $500 to set up his spy network.
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