Harvey Birch, a peddler, generally believed to be a British spy, in this novel of the American Revolution. He is, however, an American patriot spying against the British.
Mr. Harper, the assumed name of disguised General George Washington.
Mr. Wharton, a British sympathizer who extends his hospitality to Mr. Harper during a storm.
Frances Wharton, his daughter, an ideal American woman who is in love with Major Peyton Dunwoodie.
Sarah Wharton, another daughter, whose plans of marriage to Colonel Wellmere are interrupted by news that Wellmere already has a wife who has just crossed from England expecting to join him.
Henry Wharton, the son of Mr. Wharton. A captain in the British army, he is wrongly sentenced to hang as a British spy but escapes through the good offices of Harvey Birch and with the help of Mr. Harper, who thus rewards Mr. Wharton’s hospitality.
Major Peyton Dunwoodie
Major Peyton Dunwoodie, an ideal American officer. He wins the hand of Frances Wharton.
Colonel Wellmere, a British officer who professes to be in love with Sarah Wharton, though he has a wife in England.
Captain Lawton, an American officer finally killed in combat with the British but previously engaged in a gentlemanly pursuit of the supposed British spy Birch.
Isabella Singleton, the sister of an American officer who is recuperating at the Wharton home. Frances believes that Isabella’s love for Major Dunwoodie is returned until Isabella, accidentally and fatally wounded, assures her of the contrary.
Miss Jeanette Peyton
Miss Jeanette Peyton, the aunt of Sarah and Frances Wharton, also a member of the Wharton household.
Caesar Thompson, the Whartons’ black servant.
Captain Wharton Dunwoodie
Captain Wharton Dunwoodie, the son of Major Dunwoodie and Frances. He is an officer in the War of 1812. After a battle, he finds on the body of Harvey Birch a letter that reveals the old man’s long years of self-sacrificing patriotism.