From the New York Times, 10/28/1900


Secret Room in Which She Hid Federal Prisoners.
Special to The New York Times.

RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 27. – A Boston delegate to the recent convention of the American Bankers’ Association caused to be discovered, it now turns out, a secret chamber in the house here of Miss Lizzie Van Lew. It was in this secret chamber that Miss Van Lew concealed the Federal prisoners whom she aided to escape from Libby Prison. This Boston banker visited the Van Lew mansion during his prolonged stay here. This gentleman, after going through the grounds requested earnestly to be taken into the house. He went carefully through each room, asking to be taken still further, until, reaching the top story, he turned to his guide and said:

“Here I passed fourteen days during the war.”

He then pointed to a panel in the wall about 18 inches wide, just sufficient for a man’s body to squeeze through, and continued:

“Beyond is a chamber which will conceal at least fifty men in an emergency.”

This apartment is situated under the eaves of the broad portico which extends all the way along the southern portion of the house. The body of Col. Dahlgren, it now turns out, also rested in Miss Van Lew’s house for a time.

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