Not a day goes by when I don’t curse Turn for robbing me of my favorite Culper, so in honor of season four, I have out my copies of Washington’s Spies (Alexander Rose) and George Washington’s Secret Six (Brain Kilmeade and Don Yaeger), as well as my array of online genealogies. Let’s do this, shall we?
Austin Roe was born to John and Joanna Miller Roe on March 2, 1749. He was the youngest of nine siblings. In 1773, Roe married Catherine Jones, and throughout their marriage they had eight children, of which we know little. This means that out of the main members of the Ring during the war, he was the only married man, if you exclude Washington. This also makes him the only member of the Ring with children at the time–once again leaving out Washington and his stepchildren–with his oldest recorded as being born in 1775. Austin was the owner of a little establishment going by the name of Roe’s Tavern in Setauket. Having grown up in the area, it is very likely that Roe was a childhood friend to other members of the Ring like Tallmadge, Brewster, and Woodhull.
When the Culper Ring began, Roe gladly joined his friends in the cause, becoming a courier alongside Brewster and another, younger man named Jonas Hawkins whose paranoid personality got him kicked out of the ring early on. It’s a stunning thing when you realize that with a business as well as a growing family, such dangerous work could have surely offered many more cons than pros. But he joined the team, and was granted the code number 724. Roe became the link between Townsend and Woodhull (except for brief window that Jonas Hawkins served or when Abraham made the trips himself). Austin rode over 1000 miles throughout the whole Revolution, earning him he very fitting title of
The Paul Revere of Long Island. Riding in and out of enemy territory weighed down with incriminating letters that could put a noose around his neck must have been quite the nerve-wracking job for poor Austin, but with a clever disguise of a merchant he was never discovered. He would meet Townsend, most likely on “business terms,” receive the letters from Culper Jr., then return home to Setauket where he would find a means of passing the letters off to Woodhull. Woodhull would then add Culper Sr.’s own findings to the mix and then the information would be passed along to Tallmadge through Brewster, where Benjamin would present the information to 711 himself–George Washington. Roe’s work was crucial to the Ring, however his personal life soon caused trouble for his fellow spies.
Around late 1779 to early 1780, both Townsend and Woodhull had quite a few complaints with Roe’s functioning as a courier. It seemed as if he was having trouble being on time, and if the Ring was not functioning like clockwork, it could easily cause many problems. This fear, of course, was worsened by the two jumpy spies. Roe was given a bit of time off, leaving correspondence up to Robert and Abraham. Why did Roe’s work suddenly decrease in quality though? A lot of digging through family trees, however, seems to explain to me why Austin slowed down. In October of 1779, tragedy struck the Roe family. Their third child, a two year old named Joanna, died. I cannot find anything saying how she died, but her death does seem to offer explanation to Austin’s struggle to keep up with spy work. To add to his stress, less than two weeks after little Joanna’s death, Catherine seems to have given birth to a son.It’s likely that grief is what caused Austin’s work in the Ring to falter, even to the point where Washington considered discharging him (a choice Townsend would have happily agreed with). However, thanks to some convincing on Tallmadge’s part, Roe was allowed to remain. After a well deserved break, Roe was back within the Ring, though it seems he was much more reluctant to risk the trips and his work as a courier became only part time.
After the war, Roe was reimbursed for his duties and he returned his full attention to his family and tavern. Unlike the other Culpers, who seemed content to let their pasts faded into obscurity, Austin was delighted to entertain guests with tales of his adventures in espionage–kindly leaving out the names of his fellow spies. In 1790, Roe’s Tavern was due for its most famous visitor. On his tour of Long Island, George Washington himself stayed the night, and legend says that Austin was so excited to meet him that he fell from his horse and broke his leg. After the war, he joined the army as well, serving under none other than fellow courier, Jonas Hawkins. Captain Austin Roe passed away ten years after his wife, on November 28, 1830, at age 81.
Sadly, like the other members of the Ring, the memory of this hero has all but been buried, with poor Austin even being denied a true role in the AMC series Turn sorry kids but Rogers will never be my Roe. But he is definitely my favorite member of the Ring, so I figured I would share because honestly I love Austin Roe.
“I realize I’m crying a little, too. I remember. Sometimes pain is so unmanageable that the idea of spending another day with it seems impossible. Other times pain acts as a compass to help you through the messier tunnels of growing up. But pain can only help you find happiness if you remember it.” ― Adam Silvera, More Happy Than Not
Hello, my beautiful ugly folks! I’M BAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!!
after having a great time at my cousin’s amazing and emotional wedding + an amazing 5-days trip in London, I’ve come back to you, my wonderful followers, in order to make up some stuff. the next chapter is tomorrow, but before it, let’s give me a moment to give you the review of the previous one…
OMG!!!! The more often Oda shows Sai and Baby 5 together, the stronger shipping it is!!!
LOL! LOL! LOL!!!!!!!
uhm…. wasn’t Rebecca a princess before…???
SANJIIIII!!!!!!!!! CHOPPYYYY!!!!NAMIIIIII!!! MOMO!!!!! BROOOOOOK!!!!!! YOU’RE BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!!!! AND YOU’RE ALL RIGHT!!!!
[I didn’t miss Caesar at all ‘cause I hate him really much after killing stabbing Monet’s heart]
where are you? it doesn’t look like Big Mom’s ship…. there are no candies or sweets… who’s that guy riding a freaking crocodile?
this is I’ve been waiting for for a long time! Epic and dork Sanji at the same time! Gosh!
huh???? Kikyo? Is that you?
huh? Samurai’s not here?? wtf???? I’m so confused right now….
huh??? wht girl????? that foxy girl???
FUCK! IS IT ME OR I’M SO TOTALLY CONFUSED LIKE WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON THERE????
ANOTHER SIDE IN THE SAME FUCKING CHAPTER??? WHAT THE HECK???
WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU, ODA? IT’S BEEN A LOOOOONG TIME SINCE YOU’VE DONE IT!
I just simply have to get myself together since all these things are at the same time…… is it….?