Lead: During the American Civil War, socialite Elizabeth Van Lew ran a Union spy ring in the capital of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Elizabeth Van Lew was a southern girl, born in Richmond, in 1818, the daughter of a wealthy family with connections and kin in the north. Van Lew was educated in Philadelphia and returned home a vigorous and keen abolitionist. During the 1850s she convinced her family to free their slaves and at the outbreak of hostilities remained loyal loyal to the Union. She committed herself to do whatever she could to support the Federal cause.