Abraham Woodhull

Abraham Woodhull in-universe 7

Abraham Woodhull in-universe 6

Abraham Woodhull in-universe 3

Turn Season 1 cast promotional photo 3

Abraham Woodhull in-universe 4

Basic Information
Name: Abraham Woodhull
Status: Alive
Nationality: United States of America flag 13 stars American
Residence(s): Setauket, New York,
United States of America
Alias(es): Culper code number:
Samuel Culpeper
Samuel Culper, Sr.
Affiliation: Continental Army
Culper Ring
Family Information
Father: Richard Woodhull (d. 1778)
Mother: Rebecca Woodhull (d. 1757)
Sibling(s): Brother:
Thomas Woodhull (d. 1773)
Marital status: Married
Spouse(s): Wife:
Mary Woodhull
Significant other(s): Ex-fiancée:
Anna Strong
Children: with Mary Woodhull:
Thomas "Sprout" Woodhull
Played by: Jamie Bell
Seasons: 1, 2, 3, 4
First appearance: Turn: Origins
Appears in: 1 series, 4 seasons, 33 episodes, 1 comic
"We do not need their laws, their taxes, or their protection. And I will not stop my mission for Washington until the last king's man has set sail back to England."
Abraham Woodhull to Mary Woodhull.[src]

Abraham "Abe" Woodhull, known also by his spy alias of Samuel Culpeper and Samuel Culper, his chosen version of the alias, is a New York farmer that went on to become a spy for the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Joining together with childhood friends Caleb Brewster and Benjamin Tallmadge, the three formed what would later become the Culper Ring.

The organization received the aid and assistance of various others, including Abe's former lover, Anna Strong. The organization would report to Commander-in-Chief, George Washington.


Early lifeEdit

Abraham Woodhull was born to Richard Woodhull and Rebecca Woodhull (1728–1757). He had an older brother, Thomas.

Young Caleb, Abe and Ben

A young Caleb, Abe and Ben.

In his youth, Abe made friends with Caleb Brewster and Benjamin Tallmadge. The three would look out for each other and do many things together, including escorting Abe to secretly gain a kiss from Anna Strong. Abe and Anna would later become engaged.

In 1773, at King's College, Abe placed a Phrygian cap on the Liberty Pole, starting a riot. Thomas was killed while attempting to put down the riot. His body was buried in a graveyard in Setauket. Abe would blame himself for Thomas' death for years to come.

After Thomas' death, Abe broke off his engagement with Anna to fulfill Thomas' engagement to his fiancée, Mary. The two eventually had a son, whom they named in his honor.

Culper Ring serviceEdit

In the autumn of 1776, Abe had speculated to his wife, Mary, that the American Revolutionary War would be over by Christmas.

One day, while tending to his cabbage field, Abe discoverd maggots destroying his crop. He visited Strong Tavern to pay off part of his debt to Selah Strong, Anna's husband. During the visit, Anna invited Abe and his family to dinner but Abe declined.

Abraham Woodhull being aimed at by John Graves Simcoe

Abe being aimed at by Simcoe.

While the three were talking, John Robeson, a Tory oyster farmer, happily read an account in the Royal Gazette of a retreat by General George Washington to a room full of Redcoats. Selah ordered Robeson to leave and they struggled briefly. During the struggle, beer was spilled on Captain Charles Joyce, who angrily tackled Selah. Abe attempted to intervene but was stopped by Lieutenant John Graves Simcoe, who put a pistol to the back of Abe's head. Joyce then threw Abe to the floor and kicked him in the head.

After the fight, Major Edmund Hewlett orders Joyce to return to England for a court martial on the tavern incident. Judge Richard Woodhull, Abe's father, visited Hewlett to explain his son's role in the bar brawl and revealed that Abe was once engaged to Anna Strong and quoted Shakespeare to illustrate his son's "romantic heart." Hewlett was impressed and the two men bonded over their mutual love of the humanities.

That night, off Major Hewlett's orders, Simcoe released Abe. Selah, however, remained in custody. Later, back at the Woodhull farm, Richard warned Abe to stay away from people like the Strongs and Tallmadges.

Abraham Woodhull visiting Selah Strong in the stockade

Abe visiting Selah in the stockade.

Ignoring his father's warning, Abe later visited Selah in the stockade and advised him to bribe his way off the Jersey prison ship once he's there. Selah told Abe that he could repay his debt by looking after Anna, but Abe insisted that he'll repay in cash.

That night, Abe salvaged some healthy cabbages from his field. He later rowed his boat, loaded with cabbages, across Long Island Sound. When he reached the Connecticut shoreline, he warily looked for a black market trader. To his surprise, he was met by Caleb, who had been away for years on a whaleboat in Greenland. They caught up and then settled on a price for Abe's cabbage.

While rowing back across Long Island Sound, Abe was intercepted by a pirate sloop trolling the waters. That night, Ben visited Abe in jail. A surprised Abe hugged his childhood friend, then pleaded for his help. Ben demanded the name of Abe's illegal trade contact, but Abe stayed mum. Ben then asked Abe to spy for the Continental Army. Abe realized the pirate sloop was a clever ruse to recruit him, but doesn't say no. Ben soon let him go.

Back on Long Island, Abe pulled his boat on shore and immediately buried his money. Pretending he was mugged, he cut himself and approached the road. Seeing Robeson and called for help. A suspicious Robeson ran away. Abe hobbled into town with a fake limp and noticed everyone's eyes on him. Robeson reappeared and brought Simcoe and the Redcoats to Abe.

Simcoe then brought Abe to the church, where Richard and Hewlett await. Joyce had been killed after Abe harvested his cabbage. When Hewlett demanded to know where Abe had been since Joyce's death, Abe admitted that he was "with the enemy" and explained that he was mugged by pirates while trading on the black market. Hewlett sent Abe home but asked to meet that evening to discuss his captors' identities.

Outside the church, Simcoe warned Abe that he was still a suspect in Joyce's murder. Later, at Strong Manor, Abe hid in the barn and signaled to Anna. He gave Anna the cabbage money to repay his debt, then told her about Caleb and Ben. He then told her that Ben tried to recruit him as a spy. When he informed her that he had no intention to join them, Anna was upset with him and asked him why not. She then left without taking his money.

That night, Abe dressed for his dinner with Hewlett. While preparing, Mary told him that whatever he was doing, he shouldn't do. During the dinner with his father and Hewlett, Richard proposed that rather than imprisoning Abe, they have him swear a public oath to the crown. Hewlett embraced the idea, then asked Abe for the names of his enemy captors. Abe provided several names. Richard grew suspicious of the names but remained silent. Hewlett then mentioned that Simcoe would be raiding a Connecticut safe house.

After dinner, Abe snuck into Hewlett's room and found a dispatch from John André. Using a Cardan grille he found with the letter, he decipherd a message: "Rebel safe house. Connecticut. Meeg's Harbor. Show no quarter." Abe sprinted over to Strong Tavern and pulled Anna aside in the cellar, away from prying eyes. He asked her to hang a black petticoat from her laundry line as a signal to Ben that he has intel for the Continental Army. Abe then told her that his plan will get rid of Simcoe, who had continued to harass Anna. Abe then scrambles to hide as Simcoe entered the room. Anna distracted Simcoe by flirting with him and they left the room together.

The next day, Anna hung a black petticoat on her peg line. Abe arrived at a designated meeting spot and was surprised to discover that Caleb was Ben's courier. Caleb explained that Abe passed their test when he refused to turn him over to Ben. Abe then insisted that his spying was a one-time deal.

Abraham Woodhull swears allegiance

Abe swears allegiance to King George III.

Later, on the Setauket village green, Abe placed his hand on a bible held by his father and publicly swore his allegiance to King George III. Meanwhile, Simcoe lead a squad of Redcoats to the Connecticut safe house. They charged inside, only to find it empty. A moment later, the Continental Army ambushed them.

Afterwards, a wounded Simcoe was kicks unconscious by Caleb and captured. Caleb expressed guilt to Ben over letting Simcoe live, given that Abe's sole request was for them to kill Simcoe. Ben then told Caleb that they would after questioning him, intent on uncovering the mole in their ranks.

After the crowd who witnessed Abe's oath broke up, Richard told Abe that he knew he had lied about the names of his Continental Army captors and told him that he was done protecting him. As Abe watched his father walk off to meet Hewlett, Abe's son, Thomas, took his first steps before he steadied himself by grabbing Abe's leg.

Two months after the Battle of Setauket, Abe began fully assisting in the cause, using the root cellar of his ruined home as his spycraft hideaway.

Characters metEdit



Caleb BrewsterEdit

Anna StrongEdit

Benjamin TallmadgeEdit

Robert TownsendEdit


Mary WoodhullEdit

Rebecca WoodhullEdit

Richard WooodhullEdit

Thomas "Sprout" Woodhull"Edit

Thomas WoodhullEdit


Edmund HewlettEdit

John Graves SimcoeEdit

Behind the ScenesEdit

"The stakes are going to get very, very high for him."
Abraham Woodhull, as described by Jamie Bell.

Abraham Woodhull was portrayed by Jamie Bell in Seasons 1, 2 and 3 of Turn: Washington's Spies.




Season 1Edit

"Abe is the true face of the Revolutionary war -- a man who is at war with himself, torn between his ideals and his desires. A young farmer with a wife he was arranged to marry and a one-year-old son he will sacrifice anything for, Abe is the everyman who wanted to keep his head down and plow his field. Instead, he gets pulled deeper into the conflict against his will. Caught between loyalty to his Tory judge father and respect for childhood friends who fight for the Patriot cause, Abe will risk everything to fight for what he believes in and to protect what he loves."
Official description

Season 2Edit

"Abe is one of the true faces of the Revolutionary War -- a man at war with himself and torn between his ideals and his desires. In season one, he risked everything to fight for what he believed in by joining with his friends to form the Culper Ring. His attempts to keep the war far away from his own doorstep proved impossible when his wife Mary discovered his secret and Abe was forced to take the life of the Redcoat soldier quartered in his home. To cover up the murder, he conspired with Mary to burn down the farmhouse he spent years building, a symbol of the last shred of his independence from his father."
Official description

Season 3Edit

"Abe is George Washington's most important spy, the centerpiece of the Culper Ring. Codenamed "Samuel Culper" by none other than Washington himself, Abe operates behind enemy lines on Long Island, gathering intelligence from the British headquarters in New York City. In Season One, Abe transformed from a humble cabbage farmer reluctant to get involved in the war to a dedicated patriot who murdered a kindly Redcoat to preserve his cover. Season Two saw Abe harden into an experienced double agent, one who expanded his activities but needed more lies to cover them.Though his loyalist father learned he was a spy and tried to block him, Abe was able to cultivate a source in New York. The season ended with a cliffhanger, as Abe was captured by the mercenary Robert Rogers. Rogers intends to use him as bait to gain revenge on John André, the head of British intelligence. Abe's new challenge will be keeping both himself and the Culper Ring alive while navigating a host of enemies, several of whom want to see him hanged."
Official description

Season 4Edit

"Abe is George Washington's most important spy, the centerpiece of the Culper Ring. Codenamed "Samuel Culper" by none other than Washington himself, Abe operates behind enemy lines on Long Island, gathering intelligence from the British headquarters in New York City. In Season 1, Abe transformed from a cabbage farmer, reluctant to get involved in the war, into a dedicated Patriot spy forced to kill a kindly Redcoat to preserve his cover. Season 2 saw Abe harden into an experienced double agent. Though his Loyalist father learned he was a spy, Abe was able to cultivate a source in New York, but was captured by the mercenary Robert Rogers. Season 3 found Rogers threatening to expose him as Culper. Abe cast off Rogers, only to fall into the crosshairs of his old nemesis, Captain Simcoe, conducting a witch-hunt to root out traitors in Setauket. Abe tried to rally the town against Simcoe but was, instead, strung up to be hanged -- until his father cleverly orchestrated his rescue by Colonel Cooke. Now in Season 4, Abe is at the top of his game, orchestrating a raid to deprive the British of necessary supplies. Every action has a consequence, however, and one fateful act leaves Abe reeling. In the end, Abe must choose between fighting for his country or for himself on a final mission that changes the course of the war."
Official description

Links and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

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