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ET. 48.]



a miniature of Miss Sneyd painted by himself in 1769. In a letter to a friend, soon after his capture, he writes, "I have been taken prisoner by the Americans, and stripped of every thing except the picture of Honora which I concealed in my mouth. Preserving that, I yet think myself fortunate."

His temper, however, appears to have been naturally light and festive; and if he still

ported to treat merely of commercial opera- | bore about with him a memento of his boyish tions, but the real matter in negotiation was passion, the "dear talisman," as he called it, the betrayal of West Point and the Highlands to Sir Henry Clinton. This stupendous piece of treachery was to be consummated at the time when Washington, with the main body of his army, would be drawn down towards King's Bridge, and the French troops landed on Long Island, in the projected co-operation against New York. At such time, a flotilla under Rodney, having on board a large land force, was to ascend the Hudson to the High-cherished this "tender remembrance," it was lands, which would be surrendered by Arnold almost without opposition, under pretext of insufficient force to make resistance. The immediate result of this surrender, it was anticipated, would be the defeat of the combined attempt upon New York; and its ultimate effect might be the dismemberment of the Union, and the dislocation of the whole American scheme of warfare.

but as one of those documents of early poetry and romance, which serve to keep the heart warm and tender among the gay and cold realities of life. What served to favor the idea was a little song which he had composed when in Philadelphia, commencing with the lines,

Return enraptured hours

When Delia's heart was mine;

and which was supposed to breathe the remembrance of his early and ill-requited passion.* His varied and graceful talents, and his en

We have before had occasion to mention Major André, but the part which he took in this dark transaction, and the degree of roman-gaging manners, rendered him generally poputic interest subsequently thrown around his memory, call for a more specific notice of him. He was born in London 1751, but his parents were of Geneva in Switzerland, where he was educated. Being intended for mercantile life, he entered a London counting-house, but had scarce attained his eighteenth year when he formed a romantic attachment to a beautiful girl, Miss Honora Sneyd, by whom his passion was returned, and they became engaged. This sadly unfitted him for the sober routine of the counting-house. "All my mercantile calculations," writes he in one of his boyish letters, go to the tune of dear Honora."

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The father of the young lady interfered, and the premature match was broken off. André abandoned the counting-house and entered the army. His first commission was dated March 4, 1771; but he subsequently visited Germany, and returned to England in 1773, still haunted by his early passion. His lady love, in the mean time, had been wooed by other admirers, and in the present year became the second wife of Richard Lovell Edgeworth, a young widower of twenty-six.*

André came to America in 1774, as lieutenant of the Royal English Fusileers; and was among the officers captured at Saint Johns, early in the war, by Montgomery. He still

* Father, by his first marriage, of the celebrated Maria Edgeworth.

lar; while his devoted and somewhat subservient loyalty recommended him to the favor of his commander, and obtained him, without any distinguished military services, the appointment of adjutant-general with the rank of major. He was a prime promoter of elegant amusement in camp and garrison; manager, actor, and scene painter in those amateur theatricals in which the British officers delighted. He was one of the principal devisers of the Mischianza in Philadelphia, in which semi-effeminate pageant he had figured as one of the knights champions of beauty; Miss Shippen, afterwards Mrs. Arnold, being the lady whose peerless charms he undertook to vindicate. He held, moreover, a facile, and at times, satirical pen, and occasionally amused himself with caricaturing in rhyme the appearance and exploits of the "rebel officers."

André had already employed that pen in a furtive manner, after the evacuation of Philadelphia by the British; having carried on a correspondence with the leaders of a body of loyalists near the waters of the Chesapeake, who were conspiring to restore the royal government. In the present instance he had engaged, nothing loth, in a service of intrigue and manoeuvre which, however sanctioned by military usage, should hardly have invited the zeal

* Composed at the request of Miss Rebecca Redman. ↑ Simcoe's Military Journal, pp. 153, 154.





property in the Highlands, seemed to have been used as a blind in these proceedings.

Arnold had passed the preceding night at what was called the White House, the residence of Mr. Joshua Hett Smith, situated on the west side of the Hudson in Haverstraw Bay, about two miles below Stony Point. He set off thence in his barge for the place of rendezvous; but, not being protected by a flag, was fired upon and pursued by the British guardboats stationed near Dobbs' Ferry. He took refuge at an American post on the western shore, whence he returned in the night to his quarters in the Robinson House. Lest his expedition should occasion some surmise, he pretended, in a note to Washington, that he had been down the Hudson to arrange signals in case of any movement of the enemy upon the river.

of a high-minded man. We say manœuvre, | latter for the restoration of his confiscated because he appears to have availed himself of his former intimacy with Mrs. Arnold, to make her an unconscious means of facilitating a correspondence with her husband. Some have inculpated her in the guilt of the transaction, but we think unjustly. It has been alleged that a correspondence had been going on between her and André previous to her marriage, and was kept up after it; but as far as we can learn, only one letter passed between them, written by André in August 16th, 1779, in which he solicits her remembrance, assures her that respect for her and the fair circle in which he had become acquainted with her, remains unimpaired by distance or political broils, reminds her that the Mischianza had made him a complete milliner, and offers her his services to furnish her with supplies in that department. "I shall be glad," adds he sportively, "to enter into the whole detail of cap wire, needles, gauze, &c., and to the best of my abilities render you, in these trifles, services from which I hope you would infer a zeal to be further employed." The apparent object of this letter was to open a convenient medium of communication, which Arnold might use without exciting her suspicion.

Various circumstances connected with this nefarious negotiation, argue lightness of mind and something of debasing alloy on the part of André. The correspondence carried on for months in the jargon of traffic, savored less of the camp than the counting-house; the protracted tampering with a brave but necessitous man for the sacrifice of his fame and the betrayal of his trust, strikes us as being beneath the range of a truly chivalrous nature.

Correspondence had now done its part in the business; for the completion of the plan and the adjustment of the traitor's recompense, a personal meeting was necessary between Arnold and André. The former proposed that it should take place at his own quarters at the Robinson House, where André should come in disguise, as a bearer of intelligence, and under the feigned name of John Anderson. André positively objected to entering the American lines; it was arranged, therefore, that the meeting should take place on neutral ground, near the American outposts, at Dobbs' Ferry, on the 11th of September, at twelve o'clock. André attended at the appointed place and time, accompanied by Colonel Beverley Robinson, who was acquainted with the plot. An application of the

New arrangements were made for an interview, but it was postponed until Washington should depart for Hartford to hold the proposed conference with Count Rochambeau and the other French officers. In the mean time, the British sloop-of-war, Vulture, anchored a few miles below Teller's Point, to be at hand in aid of the negotiation. On board was Colonel Robinson, who, pretending to believe that General Putnam still commanded in the Highlands, addressed a note to him requesting an interview on the subject of his confiscated property. This letter he sent by a flag, enclos ed in one addressed to Arnold; soliciting of him the same boon should General Putnam be absent.

On the 18th Sept., Washington with his suite crossed the Hudson to Verplanck's Point, in Arnold's barge, on his way to Hartford. Ar nold accompanied him as far as Peekskill, and on the way, laid before him with affected frankness, the letter of Colonel Robinson, and asked his advice. Washington disapproved of any such interview, observing, that the civil authori ties alone had cognizance of these questions of confiscated property.

Arnold now openly sent a flag on board of the Vulture, as if bearing a reply to the letter he had communicated to the commander-inchief. By this occasion he informed Colonel Robinson, that a person with a boat and flag would be alongside of the Vulture, on the night of the 20th; and that any matter he might wish to communicate, would be laid before General Washington on the following Sat

ET. 48.]



urday, when he might be expected back from | midnight, at the foot of a shadowy mountain Newport.

On the faith of the information thus covertly conveyed, André proceeded up the Hudson on the 20th, and went on board of the Vulture, where he found Colonel Robinson, and expected to meet Arnold. The latter, however, had made other arrangements, probably with a view to his personal security. About half-past eleven, of a still and starlight night (the 21st), a boat was descried from on board, gliding silently along, rowed by two men with muffled oars. She was hailed by an officer on watch, and called to account. A man, seated in the stern, gave out that they were from King's Ferry, bound to Dobbs' Ferry. He was ordered alongside, and soon made his way on board. He proved to be Mr. Joshua Hett Smith, already mentioned, whom Arnold had prevailed upon to go on board of the Vulture, and bring a person on shore who was coming from New York with important intelligence. He had given him passes to protect him and those with him, in case he should be stopped, either in going or returning, by the American water guard, which patrolled the river in whale-boats. He had made him the bearer of a letter addressed to Colonel Beverley Robinson, which was to the following purport: "This will be delivered to you by Mr. Smith, who will conduct you to a place of safety. Neither Mr. Smith nor any other persons shall be made acquainted with your proposals; if they (which I doubt not) are of such a nature, that I can officially take notice of them, I shall do it with pleasure. I take it for granted Colonel Robinson will not propose any thing, that is not for the interest of the United States as well as of himself." All this use of Colonel Robinson's name was intended as a blind, should the letter be intercepted.

called the Long Clove; a solitary place, the haunt of the owl and the whippoorwill, and well fitted for a treasonable conference.

Arnold was in waiting, but standing aloof among the thickets. He had come hither on horseback from Smith's house, about three or four miles distant, attended by one of Smith's servants, likewise mounted. The midnight negotiation between André and Arnold was carried on in darkness among the trees. Smith remained in the boat, and the servant drew off to a distance with the horses. One hour after another passed away, when Smith approached the place of conference, and gave warning that it was near daybreak, and if they lingered much longer the boat would be discovered.

The nefarious bargain was not yet completed, and Arnold feared the sight of a boat going to the Vulture might cause suspicion. He prevailed, therefore, upon André to remain on shore until the following night. The boat was accordingly sent to a creek higher up the river, and André, mounting the servant's horse, set off with Arnold for Smith's house. The road passed through the village of Haverstraw. As they rode along in the dark, the voice of a sentinel demanding the countersign startled André with the fearful conviction that he was within the American lines, but it was too late to recede. It was daybreak when they arrived at Smith's house.

They had scarcely entered when the booming of cannon was heard from down the river. It gave André uneasiness, and with reason. Colonel Livingston, who commanded above at Verplanck's Point, learning that the Vulture lay within shot of Teller's Point, which divides Haverstraw Bay from the Tappan Sea, had sent a party with cannon to that point in the night, and they were now firing upon the sloop of war. André watched the cannonade with an anxious eye from an upper window in Smith's house. At one time he thought the Vulture, was on fire. He was relieved from painful solicitude when he saw the vessel weigh anchor and drop down the river out of reach of cannon shot.

Robinson introduced André to Smith by the name of John Anderson, who was to go on shore in his place (he being unwell), to have an interview with General Arnold. André wore a blue great coat which covered his uniform, and Smith always declared that at the time he was totally ignorant of his name and military character. Robinson considered this whole After breakfast, the plot for the betrayal of nocturnal proceeding full of peril, and would West Point and its dependent posts was adjusthave dissuaded André, but the latter was zeal-ed, and the sum agreed upon that Arnold was ous in executing his mission, and, embarking in the boat with Smith, was silently rowed to the western side of the river, about six miles below Stony Point. Here they landed a little after

to receive, should it be successful. André was furnished with plans of the works, and expianatory papers, which, at Arnold's request, he placed between his stockings and his feet;





All matters being thus arranged, Arnold prepared to return in his own barge to his headquarters at the Robinson House. As the Vulture had shifted her ground, he suggested to André a return to New York by land, as most safe and expeditious; the latter, however, insisted upon being put on board of the sloop of war, on the ensuing night. Arnold consented; but, before his departure, to provide against the possible necessity of a return by land, he gave André the following pass, dated from the


promising, in case of accident, to destroy | attended by a negro servant of the latter, crossed from King's Ferry to Verplanck's Point. After proceeding about eight miles on the road toward White Plains, they were stopped between eight and nine o'clock, near Crompond, by a patrolling party. The captain of it was uncommonly inquisitive and suspicious. The passport with Arnold's signature satisfied him. He warned them, however, against the danger of proceeding further in the night. Cow Boys from the British lines were scouring the country, and had recently marauded the neighborhood. Smith's fears were again excit ed, and André was obliged to yield to them. A bed was furnished them in a neighboring house, where André passed an anxious and restless night, under the very eye, as it were, of an American patrol.

Robinson House:

"Permit Mr. John Anderson to pass the guards at the White Plains, or below, if he chooses; he being on public business by my direction. B. ARNOLD, M. Genl."

Smith also, who was to accompany him, was furnished with passports to proceed either by water or by land.

Arnold departed about ten o'clock. André passed a lonely day, casting many a wistful look toward the Vulture. Once on board of that ship he would be safe; he would have fulfilled his mission; the capture of West Point would be certain, and his triumph would be complete. As evening approached he grew impatient, and spoke to Smith about departure. To his surprise, he found the latter had made no preparation for it; he had discharged his boatmen, who had gone home: in short, he refused to take him on board of the Vulture. The cannonade of the morning had probably made him fear for his personal safety, should he attempt to go on board, the Vulture having resumed her exposed position. He offered, however, to cross the river with André at King's Ferry, put him in the way of returning to New York by land, and accompany him for some distance on horseback.

André was in an agony at finding himself, notwithstanding all his stipulations, forced within the American lines; but there seemed to be no alternative, and he prepared for the hazardous journey.

He wore, as we have noted, a military coat under a long blue surtout; he was now persuaded to lay it aside, and put on a citizen's coat of Smith's; thus adding disguise to the other humiliating and hazardous circumstances of the case.

It was about sunset when André and Smith,

At daybreak he awoke Smith, and hurried their departure, and his mind was lightened of a load of care, when he found himself out of the reach of the patrol and its inquisitive commander.

They were now approaching that noted part of the country, heretofore mentioned as the Neutral Ground, extending north and south about thirty miles, between the British and American lines. A beautiful region of forestclad hills, fertile valleys, and abundant streams, but now almost desolated by the scourings of Skinners and Cow Boys; the former professing allegiance to the American cause, the latter to the British, but both arrant marauders.

One who had resided at the time in this region, gives a sad picture of its state. Houses plundered and dismantled; enclosures broken down; cattle carried away; fields lying waste; the roads grass-grown; the country mournful, solitary, silent-reminding one of the desolation presented in the song of Deborah. "In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked in by-paths. inhabitants of the villages ceased; they ceased in Israel."*


About two and a half miles from Pine's Bridge, on the Croton River, André and his companion partook of a scanty meal at a farmhouse which had recently been harried by the Cow Boys. Here they parted, Smith to return home, André to pursue his journey alone to New York. His spirits, however, were cheerful; for, having got beyond the patrols, he con

See Dwight's Travels, vol. iii.

ET. 48.]



sidered the most perilous part of his route ac- themselves on the road which runs parallel to complished. the Hudson. Two of them were seated on the grass playing at cards to pass away the time, while one mounted guard.

The one in refugee garb who brought André

About six miles beyond Pine's Bridge he came to a place where the road forked, the left branch leading toward White Plains in the interior of the country, the right inclining tow-to a stand, was John Paulding, a stout-hearted ard the Hudson. He had originally intended to take the left hand road, the other being said to be infested by Cow Boys. These, however, were not to be apprehended by him, as they belonged to the lower party or British; it led, too, more directly to New York; so he turned down it, and took his course along the river road.

He had not proceeded far, when coming to a place where a small stream crossed the road and ran into a woody dell, a man stepped out from the trees, levelled a musket and brought him to a stand, while two other men similarly armed, showed themselves prepared to second their comrade.

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The man who had first stepped out wore a refugee uniform. At sight of it, André's heart leapt, and he felt himself secure. Losing all caution, he exclaimed eagerly: "Gentlemen, I hope you belong to our party?"-"What party? was asked." The lower party," said André.-"We do," was the reply. All reserve was now at an end. André declared himself to be a British officer; that he had been up the country on particular business, and must not be detained a single moment. He drew out his watch as he spoke. It was a gold one, and served to prove to them that he was what he represented himself, gold watches being seldom worn in those days, excepting by persons of consequence.

To his consternation, the supposed refugee now avowed himself and his companions to be Americans, and told André he was their pris


It was even so. The sacking and burning of Young's House, and the carrying of its rustic defenders into captivity, had roused the spirit of the Neutral Ground. The yeomanry of that harassed country had turned out in parties to intercept freebooters from the British lines, who had recently been on the maraud, and might be returning to the city with their spoils. One of these parties, composed of seven men of the neighborhood, had divided itself. Four took post on a hill above Sleepy Hollow, to watch the road which crossed the country; the other three, John Paulding, Isaac Van Wart, and David Williams by name, stationed

youngster, who, like most of the young men of this outraged neighborhood, had been repeatedly in arms to repel or resent aggressions, and now belonged to the militia. He had twice been captured and confined in the loathsome military prisons, where patriots suffered in New York, first in the North Dutch Church, and last in the noted Sugar House. Both times he had made his escape; the last time, only four days previous to the event of which we are treating. The ragged refugee coat, which had deceived André, and been the cause of his betraying himself, had been given to Paulding by one of his captors, in exchange for a good yeoman garment of which they stripped him.* This slight circumstance may.have produced the whole discovery of the treason.

André was astounded at finding into what hands he had fallen; and how he had betrayed himself by his heedless avowal. Promptly, however, recovering his self-possession, he endeavored to pass off his previous account of himself as a mere subterfuge. "A man must do any thing," said he laughingly, "to get along." He now declared himself to be a Continental officer, going down to Dobbs' Ferry to get information from below; so saying, he drew forth and showed the pass of General Arnold.

This, in the first instance, would have been sufficient; but his unwary tongue had ruined him. The suspicions of his captors were completely roused. Seizing the bridle of his horse, they ordered him to dismount. He warned them that he was on urgent business for the general, and that they would get themselves into trouble should they detain him. care not for that," was the reply, as they led him among the thickets, on the border of the brook.


Paulding asked whether he had any letters about him. He answered, no. They proceeded to search him. A minute description is given of his dress. He wore a round hat, a blue surtout, a crimson close-bodied coat, somewhat faded: the button-holes worked with

Stated on the authority of Commodore Hiram Pauld.

ing, a son of the captor, who heard it repeatedly from the lips of his father.

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