Karen Abbott

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New York, NY  ·  NYT bestselling author of LIAR, TEMPTRESS, SOLDIER, SPY. Purveyor of odd history. Working on a new book about Jazz Age shenanigans. Call me Abbott.
Karen Abbott
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Two 150-year-old dolls, named Nina & Lucy Ann, were x-rayed to discover if they were used by Confederate soldiers to smuggle morphine and quinine past Union blockades during the U.S. Civil War. Wounded and malaria-stricken soldiers were in need of medical supplies.

Two dolls, named Nina & Lucy Ann, were x-rayed to discover if they were used by Confederate soldiers to smuggle morphine and quinine past Union blockades during the U. Wounded and malaria-stricken soldiers were in need of medical supplies.

George Smiley's got nothing on the abolitionist spinster, widowed seductress, cross-dressing soldier and murderous teenager featured in this true tale of espionage.

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War, Karen Abbott on C-Span Book TV)

"Most certainly men should be protected from the saliva of such a creature." Report in Nothern press about rebel women spitting on Yankee soldiers.

"Most certainly men should be protected from the saliva of such a creature." Report in Nothern press about rebel women spitting on Yankee soldiers.

Headline in Northern newspaper.

Headline in Northern newspaper.

A Southern cartoon suggesting ways Union officials might punish female rebel spies.

Confederate cartoon offering suggestions on how Union officials might deal with rebel female spies, Oct.

Southern-sympathizing women hid quinine in the porcelain heads of their daughters' dolls and smuggled the medicine to rebel soldiers.

Southern-sympathizing women hid quinine in the porcelain heads of their daughters' dolls and smuggled the medicine to rebel soldiers.

Union spy Elizabeth Van Lew's cipher code.

A member of the Richmond elite, one woman defied convention and the Confederacy and fed secrets to the Union during the Civil War ~Elizabeth van Lew

Union soldier and spy Emma Edmonds, disguised (right) as Private Frank Thompson.

Sarah Emma Edmonds (December 1841 — September was a [Canadian]-born woman who is known for serving with the Union Army during the American Civil War.

Confederate spy Rose Greenhow and her daughter, Little Rose, in the yard at Old Capitol Prison in Washington, DC, 1862.

Confederate spy Rose Greenhow and her daughter, Little Rose, in the yard at Old Capitol Prison in Washington, DC,

Dispatches from rebel spy Rose Greenhow, and a scrap of the little black silk purse in which she hid them.

Rose Greenhow’s silk purse and part of her encrpyted message to Confederate General Beauregard. (From “Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy”)