In this section we’ve included photos, drawings and maps that may not have been included in the book due to publishing constraints. We hope this additional information will enhance and add to the readers enjoyment.
The Townsend home in Oyster Bay, Long Island. Sally Townsend’s bedroom the nearest on the second floor the middle window on the side of the house and the left front window. Her brother Robert’s bedroom was right below hers on the first floor, which during the war was occupied by Major Joseph Green, and later by Lieutenant Colonel John Graves Simcoe. When Major John André visited the house, he shared the room with Simcoe. The home is now part of the Raynham Hall museum. The home was not called Raynham Hall until about 1851. During the Revolutionary War, the Townsends referred to their home as “The Homestead.”
Sally Townsend of Oyster Bay (1760-1842)
There are no surviving images of Sally Townsend. Our sketch of Sally as we imagine she looked in her late teens during the Revolutionary War is based on descriptions of her made by friends and acquaintances. By all accounts, she was a very attractive young lady. She was described as petite, vivacious, intelligent, and remarkably beautiful, but her large, captivating hazel eyes were particularly mentioned in diaries of several British and German officers. In fact, they were referenced twice in a 1779 Valentine poem given to her by British officer Lt. Col. John Graves Simcoe: “Thou knows what powerful magic lies, Within the round of Sarah’s eyes.” And, “‘Fond Youth,’ the God of Love replies, ‘Your answer take from Sarah’s eyes.'” Elizabeth Titus, a friend of Sally, said that the young women of Oyster Bay were very popular with the British and Hessian officers, and while each of the young women had at least one suitor, Sally Townsend with her large flashing eyes, was beloved by everyone. During the long British occupation of Long Island, which lasted from the Autumn of 1776 through the summer of 1783, Sally coyly flirted with young British and German officers. Though they were beguiled by Sally’s beautiful, hazel, innocent-looking eyes, her admirers never guess the secret behind them; Sally was a spy for General Washington.
Silhouettes in the Townsend Home
There are two silhouettes on the wall in Sally Townsend’s bedroom in the Townsend Home in Oyster Bay; now known as the Rayham Hall Museum. The female silhouette was once thought to be of Sally Townsend cut by Major John André during one of his visits. However, it is difficult to determine its provenance, and while it indeed may be a silhouette of Sally, it may also be of one of here sisters, Audrey or Phoebe. The male silhouette was once thought to be of Robert Townsend, also cut by Major André, but while André was acquainted with Robert in New York, it is unlikely they were ever in Oyster Bay at the same time. It is more likely that the male silhouette is of Sally’s older brother Solomon, but since André never met Solomon, the silhouette must have been cut by another artist.