Fox and Friend’s host Brian Kilmeade joined Glenn on radio this morning to talk about his new book, George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution. Glenn explained that Brian approached him with this fascinating and relatively unknown story several years ago while he was still working at Fox.
“I want to tell you the story about how one person can make a difference. One person can correct history. One person can truly uncover thing that's been lost for a long, long time,” Glenn said. “About five years ago, when Brian Kilmeade asked if we could have lunch… He starts telling me this story about this spy ring under George Washington, and he starts weaving a story I never heard before,” Glenn said. “I said, ‘Brian, that's fantastic.’ He said, ‘I heard this about 15 years ago. I couldn't believe this story, and I couldn't believe I didn't know it. I happen to live in this area, so I started doing some detective work. The guys are buried right around me. It all happened right here.’ We would have lost the war had it not been for George Washington's spy ring. I said, ‘You should write a book.’ And he has. It is tremendous.”
The book revolves around a group called the Culper Spy Ring that aided Washington in the aftermath of an ill-fought battle in New York City in August 1776. Washington realized he wouldn’t be able to beat the British with military might, so he recruited a sophisticated and secretive intelligence network to infiltrate New York. Brian explained that as a Long Islander, he found himself particularly fascinated by the story of the “secret six” who have received little credit for the work they did to ensure the colonies won the Revolutionary War.
“I believe like you believe, fundamentally, Americans are good and have qualities,” Brian said. “I believe this story backs up my belief because one's a farmer, one's a tavern owner, one is a dry goods owner, a woman who is a socialite, and they sit there behind enemy lines every day for four years, knowing at any moment, they will suffer the fate of Nathan Hale if they are uncovered.”
“But they believe in America more than anything else and somehow they pull this thing off… And we didn't know who they were until 1930, and are still uncovering what they did because that's how they wanted it,” he continued. “Washington knew it… And we built this book around Washington's own letters from the spies to Washington. So we're not looking for any opinion. We are building the story about what happened.”
So why wouldn’t these heroes want their identities known and stories told?
“Back then, even if you were spying on the right side, it wasn't considered like today. There was a duplicity about it. It didn't fit well with many people,” Brian explained. “Number two: They were a people who did not want credit, much like people we see serve in the military today. They're like give the other guy credit. I don't want the praise. I don't want your money… They believed in the cause. That's what gives me chills… They believed in the cause. They believed in the country. They believed in our potential.”
“And that's why I thought my little contribution was to give these people a little bit of the limelight that they didn't get in their lives. I have visited their gravesites and one is in the back of a barn, and there are hoses all over the place, and it's overgrown. It's the original tombstone from 1823 when they died,” he continued. “And I think it's important. Those are the types of people that make up America. We could focus on the Founding Fathers, but there are extraordinary people we never met.”
“Brian, I wish you the best of luck. It's called George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution. Some of these things are still taught by the CIA,” Glenn concluded. “This is history that you didn't know about. History that was lost. History that shows you that you have a role, no matter how small you think you are, you have a huge role.”
Watch the entire interview below: