Elizabeth Van Lew


Belle Boyd

Elizabeth Van Lew and Belle Boyd were both born in Virginia, both died in 1900, and both were spies during the American Civil War…for opposing sides of the conflict!


Time Travel With The History Chicks 


Elizabeth R. Varon, birth to death biography
Middle-Grade biography by Heidi Schoof
Compilation biography that reads like a novel by Karen Abbott
Historical Fiction by Rosemary Agonito
Richard Snow
Charles River Editors
Historical Fiction Claire J Griffin (I didn’t read it, but appreciated the information on her website so it’s a half recommendation)
My deepest apologies, I thought I read this online, but I had purchased the ebook. Autobiography by Belle,  Intro by Drew Gilpin Faust and Forward by Sharon Kennedy-Nolle


A collection of Civil War-era newspaper articles about activities of women who aided soldiers in all manner of ways, during the war: Women Soldiers, Spies, and Vivandieres: Articles from Civil War Newspapers by Vicki Betts

You can visit and even worship at Historic St. John’s Church in Richmond (or just poke around online)

Don’t visit Bellvue School (unless you have a kid that can or does go there) but their website has the history of the Van Lew property and some women that lived there.

Belle Boyd’s childhood home is still standing and is now the home of the Berkely County Historical Society in Martinsburg, West Virginia. If you go, report back on the ability for a horse to go through any of the exterior doors. Thanks!

Author Claire J. Griffin’s website, she wrote a historical fiction, A Rebellious Woman, based on Belle’s life and undertook a lot of research beforehand. She has a nice collection of documents on her site.

Encyclopedia of Virginia  has a write-up about Belle and LOTS of state history!

Moving Pictures!

Here’s an interesting conversation about four women of the Van Lew house.

If you would like to see if there is availability to join us on our Boston and Newport tour in October OR you would like to join in the fun of our Boston Local’s Meet-up on October 21st, visit Like Minds Travel!

Break music: Secret Place, by Merry Ellen Kirk; End song: Queen of the Underground by Michael Joy used with permission by ilicensemusic