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after which he took out a handkerchief and tied it over his eyes. Being told by the officer in command that his arms must be bound, he drew out a second handkerchief with which they were pinioned. Colonel Scammel now told him that he had an opportunity to speak, if he desired it. His only reply was, "I pray you to bear witness that I meet my fate like a brave man.' The waggon moved from under him, and left him suspended. He died almost without a struggle.+ He remained suspended for about half an hour, during which time a deathlike stillness prevailed over the surrounding multitude. His remains were interred within a few yards of the place of his execution; whence they were transferred to England in 1821, by the British consul, then resident in New York, and were buried in Westminster Abbey, near a mural monument which had been erected to his memory.
Never has any man, suffering under like circumstances, awakened a more universal sympathy even among those of the country against which he had practised. His story is one of the touching themes of the Revolution, and his name is still spoken of with kindness in the local traditions of the neighborhood where he was captured.
Washington, in a letter to the President of Congress, passed a high eulogium on the captors of André, and recommended them for a handsome gratuity; for having, in all probability, prevented one of the severest strokes that could have been meditated by the enemy. Congress accordingly expressed, in a formal vote, a high
Thatcher's Military Journal, p. 275.
REWARD OF THE CAPTORS.
sense of their virtuous and patriotic conduct; awarded to each of them a farm, a pension for life of two hundred dollars, and a silver medal, bearing on one side an escutcheon on which was engraved the word FIDELITY, and on the other side the motto, Vincit amor Patriæ. These medals were delivered to them by General Washington at head-quarters, with impressive
Isaac Van Wart, one of the captors, had been present at the execution of André, and was deeply affected by it. He was not fond of recalling the subject, and, in after life, could rarely speak of André without tears.
Joshua H. Smith, who aided in bringing André and Arnold together, was tried by a court-martial, on a charge of participating in the treason, but was acquitted, no proof appearing of his having had any knowledge of Arnold's plot, though it was thought he must have been conscious of something wrong in an interview so mysteriously conducted.
Arnold was now made brigadier-general in the British service, and put on an official level with honorable men who scorned to associate with the traitor. What golden reward he was to have received had his treason been successful, is not known; but six thousand three hundred and fifteen pounds sterling were paid to him, as a compensation for losses which he pretended to have suffered in going over to the enemies of his country.
The vilest culprit, however, shrinks from sustaining the obloquy of his crimes. Shortly after his arrival in New York, Arnold published an address to the Inhabitants of America, in which he endeavored to vindicate his conduct. He alleged that he had originally taken up
arms merely to aid in obtaining a redress of grievances. He had considered the Declaration of Independence precipitate, and the reasons for it obviated, by the subsequent proffers of the British government; and he inveighed against Congress for rejecting those offers, without submitting them to the people.
Finally, the treaty with France, a proud, ancient and crafty foe, the enemy of the Protestant faith and of real liberty, had completed, he said, the measure of his indignation, and determined him to abandon a cause sustained by iniquity and controlled by usurpers.
Beside this address, he issued a proclamation inviting the officers and soldiers of the American army, who had the real interest of their country at heart, and who were determined to be no longer the tools and dupes of Congress and of France, to rally under the royal standard, and fight for true American liberty; 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
ARNOLD DESTITUTE OF FEELING.
within the British lines, and prepared for any desperate or despicable service.*
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
* 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 two 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 excited 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 expect 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."
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."
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 y° greatest importence. Keep a stedy watch over your thoughts, words and actions. be dutifull to superiors obliging to equalls and affibel to inferiors.
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 Your sister is from home.
your father put