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holding out promises of large bounties and liberal subsistence, with compensation for all the implements and accoutrements of war they might bring with them.
Speaking of this address, "I am at a loss,” said Washington, "which to admire most, the confidence of Arnold in publishing it, or the folly of the enemy in supposing that a production signed by so infamous a character will have any weight with the people of these States, or any influence upon our officers abroad.” He was right. Both the address and the proclamation were regarded by Americans with the contempt they merited. None rallied to the standard of the renegade but a few deserters and refugees, who were already within the British lines, and prepared for any desperate or despicable service.*
* The following passages of a letter written by Sir Thomas Romilly in London, Dec. 12, 1780, to the Rev. John Roget, are worthy of citation:
"What do you think of Arnold's conduct? you may well suppose he does not want advocates here. I cannot join with them. If he thought the Americans not justified in continuing the war, after the offer of such favorable terms as the commissioners held out to them, why did he keep his command for wo years afterwards?
** * * *
“The arguments used by Clinton and Arnold in their letters to Washington, to prove that André could not be considered as a spy, are, first, that he had with him, when he was taken, a protection of Arnold, who was at that time acting under a commission of the Congress, and, therefore, competent to give protections. Certainly he was, to all strangers to his negotiations with Clinton, but not to André, who knew him to be at that time a traitor to the Congress-nay, more, whose protection was granted for no other purpose but to promote and give effect to his treachery. In the second place, they say that at the time he was taken he was upon neutral ground; but they do not deny that he had been within the American lines in disguise. The letters written by André himself, show a firm, cool intrepidity, worthy a more glorious end.
"The fate of this unfortunate young man, and the manly style of his letters, have raised more compassion here than the loss of thousands in battle, and have ex
WASHINGTON'S OPINION OF ARNOLD.
Colonel John Laurens, former aide-de-camp to Washington, in speaking of André's fate, observed, "Arnold must undergo a punishment comparatively more severe, in the permanent, increasing torment of a mental hell." Washington doubted it. "He wants feeling," said he. "From some traits of his character which have lately come to my knowledge, he seems to have been so hackneyed in villainy, and so lost to all sense of honor and shame, that, while his faculties will enable him to continue his sordid pursuits, there will be no time for remorse." And in a letter to Governor Reed, Washington writes, "Arnold's conduct is so villanously perfidious, that there are no terms that can describe the baseness of his heart. That overruling Providence which has so often and so remarkably interposed in our favor, never manifested itself more conspicuously than in the timely discovery of his horrid intention to surrender the post and garrison of West Point into the hands of the enemy.
The confidence and folly which have marked the subsequent conduct of this man, are of a piece with his villainy, and all three are perfect in their kind."
Mrs. Arnold, on arriving at her father's house in Philadelphia, had decided on a separation from her husband, to whom she could not endure the thoughts of returning after his dishonor. This course, however, was not allowed her. The executive council, wrongfully suspecting her of having aided in the correspond
cited a warmer indignation against the Americans, than any former act of the Congress. When the passions of men are so deeply affected, you will not ex-. pect to find them keep within the bounds of reason. Panegyrics of the gallant André are unbounded; they call him the English Mutius, and talk of erecting monuments to his memory. Certainly, no man in his situation could have behaved with more determined courage; but his situation was by no means such as to admit of these exaggerated praises."
ence between her husband and André, knowing its treasonable tendency, ordered her to leave the State within fourteen days, and not to return during the continuance of the war. "We tried every means," writes one of her connections, "to prevail on the council to permit her to stay among us, and not to compel her to go to that infernal villain, her husband.* Mr. Shippen (her father) had promised the council, and Mrs. Arnold had signed a writing to the same purpose, engaging not to write to General Arnold any letters whatever, and to receive no letters without showing them to the council, if she was permitted to stay." It was all in vain, and, strongly against her will, she rejoined her husband in New York. His fear for her personal safety from the fury of the people proved groundless. That scrupulous respect for the female sex, so prevalent throughout the United States, was her safeguard. While the whole country resounded with execrations of her husband's guilt; while his effigy was dragged through the streets of town and village, burnt at the stake, or swung on the gibbet, she passed on secure from injury or insult. The exe. crations of the populace were silenced at her approach. Arriving at nightfall at a village where they were preparing for one of these burnings in effigy, the pyre remained unkindled, the people dispersed quietly to their homes, and the wife of the traitor was suffered to sleep in peace.
She returned home but once, about five years after her exile, and was treated with such coldness and neglect that she declared she never could come again. In England her charms and virtues, it is said, procured her sympathy and friendship, and helped to sustain the social position of her husband, who, however, was
* Letters and Papers relating to the Provincial Hist. of Pennsylvania, P. lxiv.
DEATH OF MRS. ARNOLD.
generally slighted, and sometimes insulted."* She died in London, in the winter of 1796. In recent years it has been maintained that Mrs. Arnold was actually cognizant and participant of her husband's crime; but, after carefully examining all the proofs adduced, we remain of opinion that she was innocent.
We have been induced to enter thus largely into the circumstances of this story, from the undiminished interest taken in it by the readers of American history. Indeed, a romance has been thrown around the memory of the unfortunate André, which increases with the progress of years; while the name of Arnold will stand sadly conspicuous to the end of time, as the only American officer of note, throughout all the trials and vicissitudes of the Revolution, who proved traitor to the glorious cause of his country.
The following fragment of a letter from Arnold's mother to him in early life, was recently put into our hands. Well would it have been for him had he adhered to its pious, though humble counsels.
Norwich April 12 1754.
"dear childe. I received yours of 1 instant and was glad to hear that you was well pray my dear let your first consern be to make your pease with god as itt is of all conserns of ye greatest importence. Keep a stedy watch over your thoughts, words and actions. be dutifull to superiors obliging to equalls and affibel to inferiors.
your father put
from your afectionate Hannah Arnold.
P. S. I have sent you fifty shillings youse itt prudently as you are acountabell to God and your father. Your father and aunt joyns with me in love and servis to Mr Cogswell and ladey and yourself home.
Your sister is from
* Letters and Papers of Prov. Hist. Pennsylvania, lxvi.
GREENE TAKES COMMAND AT WEST POINT INSIDIOUS ATTEMPTS TO SHAKE THE CONFIDENCE OF WASHINGTON IN HIS OFFICERS-PLAN TO ENTRAP ARNOLD-CHARACTER OF SERGEANT CHAMPE-COURT OF INQUIRY INTO THE CONDUCT OF GATES-GREENE APPOINTED TO THE SOUTHERN DEPARTMENT-WASHINGTON'S INSTRUCTIONS TO HIM-INCURSIONS FROM CANADA— MOHAWK VALLEY RAVAGED-STATE OF THE ARMY-REFORMS ADOPTED— ENLISTMENT FOR THE WAR-HALF PAY.
AS THE enemy would now possess the means, through Arnold, of informing themselves thoroughly about West Point, Washington hastened to have the works completed and strongly garrisoned. Major-general Greene was ordered to march with the Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, and Stark's brigades, and take temporary command (ultimately to be transferred to General Heath), and the Pennsylvania troops, which had been thrown into the fortress at the time of Arnold's desertion, were relieved. Washington himself took post with his main army, at Prakeness, near Passaic Falls in New Jersey.
Insidious attempts had been made by anonymous papers, and other means, as we have already hinted, to shake the confidence of the commander-in-chief in his officers, and especially to implicate General St. Clair in the late conspiracy. Washington was exceedingly disturbed in mind for a time, and engaged Major Henry Lee, who was stationed with his dragoons on the lines, to