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    March 06, 2019
    The Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery’s history dinner theater will continue at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 15, when it will present “Civil War Espionage,” the story of Mary Elizabeth Bowser and Elizabeth Van Lew, in the Fred M. Rogers Center on the campus of Saint Vincent College.
    Bowser was born as a slave to owner John Van Lew, a wealthy hardware merchant, in Richmond, Virginia. Upon Van Lew’s death, his wife, Eliza, and daughter, Elizabeth, freed all of his slaves, and when the Civil War began, Elizabeth Van Lew asked Bowser to help her in an elaborate spying system she had established in the Confederate capital.
    Despite Elizabeth being a staunch abolitionist with a fierce loyalty to the Union, she was a prominent member of the Richmond community thanks to her father’s wealth and status. However, her actions —namely aiding imprisoned Union soldiers with food and medicine — earned her the enmity of the Richmond community. She would then use this to her advantage, taking on a slightly crazy, muttering and slovenly persona that earned her the nickname “Crazy Bet,” in order to cover up her serious efforts to help the Union.
    Tickets can be purchased for $65 for adults, $35 for students and $25 for children. Group rates are available for parties of 10 or more. Tickets include a menu choice of seasoned seared salmon or sliced roast beef tenderloin with Cabernet wine reduction.
    Contact Lauren Churilla at 724-805-2188 or visit the McCarl Gallery website, www.mccarlgallery.org, for more information and to purchase tickets. Tickets can be purchased by phone or online (https://eventregistration.stvincent.edu/HDT1819), with registration closing Monday, March 11.