From the Richmond Times, 9/17/1902, p. 6, c. 1
MISS VAN LEW GAVE THIS MAN SECRETS
Richmond Pastor Finds a Former Spy in Boston – A Strange Career.
Dr. W. R. L. Smith, pastor of the Second Baptist Church, of this city, was recently in Boston, and met a man who made trips into Richmond during the war and secured for the Northern armies valuable information from Miss Lizzie Van Lew, the woman spy.
Dr. Smith was seen at his residence last night by a Times writer. He gives practically this account of his meeting with the spy and co-worker of Miss Van Lew:
“I went to see the Tabernacle Church, in Boston. This church occupies a strange field. Fifty years ago it was in the midst of wealth and culture. Mansion with orchard and gardens stood roundabout. Now it is far down-town. Some noble men and women of means and intelligence say that the work must never be abandoned. The old families are nearly all gone out to other sections. One hundred and fifty bar-rooms do business in a radius of half a mile of the church.
“Mr. Robinson, the sexton, astonished and delighted me with the announcement that he was once a Sunday-school scholar in the Second Baptist Church of Richmond. His father was a deacon in the church, and H. K. Ellyson was a name most familiar. His has been a strange career. In 1859 he ran away to sea and played the prodigal. At the beginning of the war of 1861 he was in the North, and entered the Northern army. His acquaintance with Richmond made him desirable as a spy, and into that dangerous service he went. Four times he ventured into the city met Miss Van Lew, and secured valuable information. I was glad to see him, and the fact that he had been in the Sunday-school of my church made me gentle towards his ancient disloyalty.
“The talk I had with him did not last more than ten minutes, and he did not tell me the nature of the information Miss Van Lew gave him.”