From the Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/11/1911, p. 10, c. 6
FAMOUS WAR SPY LEAPS TO DEATH
Pryce Lewis Once Sentenced to Be Hanged While in Old Henrico Jail.
Nineteen months in Libby Prison, and later a long term in the old Henrico county jail, under sentence of death, were two incidents in the life of Pryce Lewis, eighty-three years old, who leaped to his death last Wednesday from the top of the Pulitzer Building, in New York. Famous as a war spy in the employ of the Federal government, he was a brilliant figure in a number of plots and counter-plots enacted in the immediate neighborhood of Richmond.
His life story reads like a chapter from a romance by the elder Dumas. Disguised as an English nobleman, and toured the border States of the South and gathered information which is said to have given the Union army its first success after the battle of Bull Run. An Englishman by birth, he fitted well into the role of “Lord Tracy,” the name under which the distinguished gentleman, in silk hat and clothes of the latest English cut, traveled.
Captured in Richmond.
It was shortly after his “Lord Tracy” tour, and while in the employ of the United States Secret Service, that Lewis fell into the hands of the Confederate constabulary in Richmond. Condemned to death as a spy, he lay for nineteen months in the dungeons of Castle Thunder and Libby Prison. During this first incarceration, it is related, he twice heard the hammering on the scaffold where he was to hang the next morning.
In some manner he obtained his release, and Richmond saw him no more for a period of two years. During this interval he was busily employed in Washington and other Eastern cities in the employ of the Pinkertons, who were then in charge of the Secret Service.
Confined in Henrico Jail.
His second arrest in this city occurred when he arrived on another secret mission for the Pinkertons. He pretended to be a Confederate spy, but his disguise was read by the wife of Senator Morton, of Florida, whom he had once arrested in Washington. She informed the authorities of his true character, and he was promptly lodged in the old Henrico jail.
He was tried by court-martial and sentenced to be hanged. A long diplomatic wrangle followed, and Lewis finally appealed to the British consul, who obtained his release at the last moment.