After Confederate president Jefferson Davis slave William Jackson escaped in 1861, he provided the Union with valuable information hed overheard about supply routes and strategy. Harriet Tubman, Robert Smalls and countless others also delivered secret intelligence. Union soldiers called their reports black dispatches.
Ken Dagler, author of a book titled Black Dispatches (whos also written extensively on the issue for the CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence) tells CNN that slaves reliance on oral tradition gave them practice memorizing details.
For the life of me, I couldnt find Daglers book online to link to. But I did find this article on the CIA Web site by a P.K. Rose of the CIA Directorate of Operations, and a Library of Congress listing for a book Black Dispatches also by P.K. Rose.
Waaaaaaait a minute. Dagler works for the CIA … so does P.K. Rose … are you catching my drift?