Elizabeth Van Lew

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Elizabeth Van Lew was born in Richmond, Virginia back in 1818 to John and Eliza.  She was sent to a Quaker school in Philadelphia.  Her father was a slave owner and when he died Elizabeth and her mother freed them.  During the depression of 1837-44 she used her entire inheritance to purchase and free some of their former slaves’ relatives.

When the American Civil War started she and her mother started taking care of wounded soldiers.  Not only did she care for the Confederate deserters she also cared for the Union soldiers. She died in 1900, she was 81.

What you may not know about Elizabeth is that she convinced Varina Davis to hire Mary Bowser (a union spy) to work at the White House of the Confederacy.  Her spy ring was unknown until after the war.  She was allowed to bring in food, clothing and writing paper. during her visits recently captured Union soldiers would pass on Confederate troop movements which she gave to the Union commanders.  For her contributions she was given $15,000.00 and appointed the Postmaster General of Richmond.

NW Arkansas, come for a visit, stay for a lifetime.

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NW Arkansas the home of WalMart, JB Hunt Trucking and Tyson Foods.


Come for a visit stay for a lifetime.  


URL http://www.sellnwa.com 

Comments (18)

Barbara Tattersall
Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan (Keene,NH) - Keene, NH

Wow. That was one intrepid, committed and driven woman!

May 25, 2021 03:27 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning James - I think I had read about this but did not connect the name.

May 25, 2021 03:48 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, James... now that was one brave woman who stood up for her principles regardless of danger.

May 25, 2021 04:40 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

As an abolitionist and a suffragist, you would think her name would be more recognizied.

Make yourself an awesome day.

May 25, 2021 04:43 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Willing to help out one's enemies in the same manner as anyone else is such an admirable trait.

May 25, 2021 05:40 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - that's an incredible story.  Definitely worthy of a book or something bigger.  It is another story unknown to me.  Many things and over decades and much longer, we learn more.  And more.  It never stops. . .  

May 25, 2021 05:40 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. A once againwho knew. Glad you posted this one about a fearless woman filed with dedciation. Enjoy your day.

May 25, 2021 06:32 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


What an inspiring story, and I am wondering what would $15,000 translate to in today's dollars?  A

May 25, 2021 07:40 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

It's great that she donated her time and resourses to free human captives (slaves). NO one should be inslaved. My hat is not of to her for the treason she committed.

May 25, 2021 08:30 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, James, for sharing this story.

Have a great day.

May 25, 2021 09:10 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

I love this story, James - what a corageous woman. I was also surprised to see a woman living into her 80's back in 1900. She definitely must have been living right!

May 25, 2021 09:34 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi James:

What a fascinating story - Elizabeth was certainly courageous and committed to her beliefs. $15,000 sounds like a lot of money in those days!


May 25, 2021 10:22 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

Who says skullduggery doesn't pay. That is quite the story, thanks for sharing James Dray 

May 25, 2021 11:36 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

James I always enjoy  your historical morsel post but this one is amazing truly courageous of her and oh boy that is a lot of money in those days, Endre

May 25, 2021 12:00 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Hi James- she was very courageous and brave. She put her beliefs into action. 

May 25, 2021 03:51 PM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Wow, quite the story James. And 15,000 was a lot back then

May 25, 2021 07:33 PM
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

James, a beautiful story of a loving, kind and giving soul -- Angel.  Intelligent, too.

May 26, 2021 08:36 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

What interesting information about Elizabeth Van Lew of whom I have never heard before. She risked her life in the service of her country.

Oct 15, 2021 06:03 AM