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ANDRE TAKEN AS A SPY.
While dressing himself, André endeavored to ransom himself from his captors; rising from one offer to another. He would give any sum of money if they would let him go. He would give his horse, saddle, bridle, and one hundred guineas, and would send them to any place that might be fixed upon.
Williams asked him if he would not give more.
He replied, that he would give any reward they might name either in goods or money, and would remain with two of their party while one went to New York to get it.
Here Paulding broke in and declared with an oath, that if he would give ten thousand guineas, he should not stir one step.*
The unfortunate André now submitted to his fate, and the captors set off with their prisoner for North Castle, the nearest American post, distant ten or twelve miles. They proceeded across a hilly and woody region, part of the way by the road, part across fields. One strode in front, occasionally holding the horse by the bridle, the others walked on either side. André rode on in silence, declining to answer further questions until he should come before a military officer. About noon, they halted at a farm house where the inhabitants were taking their mid-day repast. The worthy housewife, moved by André's prepossessing appearance and dejected air, kindly invited him to partake. He declined, alleging that he had no appetite. Glancing at his gold-laced crimson coat, the good dame apologized for her rustic fare. "Oh, madam," exclaimed poor André with a melancholy shake of the head, "it is all very good-but, indeed, I cannot eat!"
This was related to us by a venerable matron, who was pres
*Testimony of David Williams.
ent on the occasion, a young girl at the time, but who in her old days could not recall the scene and the appearance of André without tears.
The captors with their prisoner being arrived at North Castle, Lieutenant-colonel Jameson, who was in command there, recognized the handwriting of Arnold in the papers found upon André, and, perceiving that they were of a dangerous nature, sent them off by express to General Washington, at Hartford.
André, still adhering to his assumed name, begged that the commander at West Point might be informed that John Anderson, though bearing his passport, was detained.
Jameson appears completely to have lost his head on the cccasion. He wrote to Arnold, stating the circumstances of the arrest, and that the papers found upon the prisoner had been despatched by express to the commander-in-chief, and at the same time, he sent the prisoner himself, under a strong guard, to accompany the letter.*
Shortly afterwards, Major Tallmadge, next in command to Jameson, but of a much clearer head, arrived at North Castle, having been absent on duty to White Plains. When the circumstances of the case were related to him, he at once suspected treachery on the part of Arnold. At his earnest entreaties, an express was sent after the officer who had André in charge, ordering him to bring the latter back to North Castle; but by singular perversity or obtuseness in judgment, Jameson neglected to countermand the letter which he had written to Arnold.
When André was brought back, and was pacing up and down the room, Tallmadge saw at once by his air and movements, and
* Sparks' Arnold. We would note generally, that we are indebted to Mr. Sparks' work for many particulars given by us of this tale of treason.
ANDRE'S LETTER TO WASHINGTON.
the mode of turning on his heel, that he was a military man. By his advice, and under his escort, the prisoner was conducted to Colonel Sheldon's post at Lower Salem, as more secure than North Castle.
Here André, being told that the papers found upon his person had been forwarded to Washington, addressed to him immediately the following lines:
"I beg your Excellency will be persuaded that no alteration in the temper of my mind or apprehensions for my safety, induces me to take the step of addressing you; but that it is to secure myself from the imputation of having assumed a mean character for treacherous purposes or self-interest. * It is to vindi
cate my fame that I speak, and not to solicit security.
"The person in your possession is Major John André, adjutant-general of the British army.
"The influence of one commander in the army of his adversary is an advantage taken in war. A correspondence for this purpose I held; as confidential (in the present instance) with his Excellency, Sir Henry Clinton. To favor it, I agreed to meet upon ground not within the posts of either army, a person who was to give me intelligence. I came up in the Vulture man-ofwar for this effect, and was fetched from the shore to the beach. Being there, I was told that the approach of day would prevent my return, and that I must be concealed until the next night. I was in my regimentals, and had fairly risked my person.
'Against my stipulation, my intention, and without my knowledge beforehand, I was conducted within one of your posts. Thus was I betrayed into the vile condition of an enemy within your posts.
"Having avowed myself a British officer, I have nothing to
reveal but what relates to myself, which is true, on the honor of an officer and a gentleman.
"The request I have made to your Excellency, and I am conscious that I address myself well, is, that in any rigor policy may dictate, a decency of conduct towards me may mark, that, though unfortunate, I am branded with nothing dishonorable; as no motive could be mine, but the service of my king, and as I was involuntarily an impostor."
This letter he submitted to the perusal of Major Tallmadge, who was surprised and agitated at finding the rank and importance of the prisoner he had in charge. The letter being despatched, and André's pride relieved on a sensitive point, he resumed his serenity, apparently unconscious of the awful responsibility of his situation. Having a talent for caricature, he even amused himself in the course of the day by making a ludicrous sketch of himself and his rustic escort under march, and presenting it to an officer in the room with him. "This," said he gayly, "will give you an idea of the style in which I have had the honor to be conducted to my present abode."
André's propensity for caricature had recently been indulged in a mock heroic poem in three cantos, celebrating an attack upon a British picket by Wayne, with the driving into the American camp of a drove of cattle by Lee's dragoons. It is written with great humor, and is full of grotesque imagery. “Mad Anthony” especially is in broad caricature, and represented to have lost his horse upon the great occasion."
His horse that carried all his prog,
His military speeches,
His corn-stalk whiskey for his grog
Blue stockings and brown breeches.
The cantos were published at different times in Rivington's Gazette. It so
REMINISCENCE OF ANDRE.
happened that the last canto appeared on the very day of André's capture, and ended with the following stanza, which might be considered ominous :—
And now I've closed my epic strain,
I tremble as I show it,
Lest this same warrio-drovor, Wayne,