Slike strani
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

bosom, and lamented its fate, occasioned by the | the refinement of good society and á finished imprudence of its father, in a manner that education, made him a most delightful companwould have pierced insensibility itself. All the ion. It often drew tears from my eyes, to find sweatness of beauty, all the loveliness of inno-him so agreeable in conversation on different cence, all the tenderness of a wife, and all the fondness of a mother, showed themselves in her appearance, and conduct."

During the brief time she remained at the Robinson House, she was treated with the utmost deference and delicacy, but soon set off, under a passport of Washington, for her father's house in Philadelphia.


On the 26th of September, the day after the treason of Arnold had been revealed to Washington, André arrived at the Robinson House, having been brought on in the night, under escort and in charge of Major Tallmadge. Washington made many inquiries of the major, but declined to have the prisoner brought into his presence, apparently entertaining a strong idea of his moral obliquity, from the nature of the scheme in which he had been engaged, and the circumstances under which he had been arrested.

The same evening he transmitted him to West Point, and shortly afterwards, Joshua H. Smith, who had likewise been arrested. Still, not considering them secure even there, he determined on the following day to send them on to the camp. In a letter to Greene he writes: "They will be under an escort of horse, and I wish you to have separate houses in camp ready for their reception, in which they may be kept perfectly secure; and also strong, trusty guards, trebly officered, that a part may be constantly in the room with them. They have not been permitted to be together, and must be kept apart. I would wish the room for Mr. André to be a decent one, and that he may be treated with civility; but that he may be so guarded as to preclude a possibility of his escaping, which he will certainly attempt to effect, if it shall seem practicable in the most distant degree."

Major Tallmadge continued to have the charge of André. Not regarding him from the anxious point with the commander-in-chief, and having had opportunities of acquiring a personal knowledge of him, he had become fascinated by his engaging qualities. "The ease and affability of his manners," writes he, "polished by

subjects, when I reflected on his future fate, and that too, as I feared, so near at hand.”

Early on the morning of the 28th, the prisoners were embarked in a barge, to be conveyed from West Point to King's Ferry. Tallmadge placed André by his side on the after seat of the barge. Being both young, of equal rank, and prepossessing manners, a frank and cordial intercourse had grown up between them. By a cartel, mutually agreed upon, each might put to the other any question not involving a third person. They were passing below the rocky heights of West Point, and in full view of the fortress, when Tallmadge asked André whether he would have taken an active part in the attack on it, should Arnold's plan have succeeded. André promptly answered in the affirmative; pointed out a table of land on the west shore, where he would have landed at the head of a select corps, described the route he would have taken up the mountain to a height in the rear of Fort Putnam, overlooking the whole parade of West Point-" and this he did," writes Tallmadge, "with much greater exactness than I could have done. This eminence he would have reached without difficulty, as Arnold would have disposed of the garrison .in such manner as to be capable of little or no opposition-and then the key of the country would have been in his hands, and he would have had the glory of the splendid achievement."

Tallmadge fairly kindled into admiration as André, with hereditary French vivacity, acted the scene he was describing. "It seemed to him," he said, "as if André were entering the fort sword in hand."

He ventured to ask what was to have been his reward had he succeeded. "Military glory was all he sought. The thanks of his general and the approbation of his king would have been a rich reward for such an undertaking."

Tallmadge was perfectly charmed, but adds quietly, "I think he further remarked, that, if he had succeeded, he was to have been promoted to the rank of a brigadier-general."

While thus the prisoner, confident of the merit of what he had attempted, kindled with the idea of an imaginary triumph, and the youthful officer who had him in charge, caught fire from his enthusiasm, the barge glided through that solemn defile of mountains,




through which, but a few days previously, Ar-1 nold, the panic-stricken traitor of the drama, had filed like a felon.


"He endeavored," adds Tallmadge, "to answer my remarks, but it was manifest he was more troubled in spirit than I had ever seen him before."

[ocr errors]

After disembarking at King's Ferry near Stony Point, they set off for Tappan under the "We stopped at the Clove to dine and let escort of a body of horse. As they approach- the horse-guard refresh," continues Tallmadge, ed the Clove, a deep defile in the rear of the "While there, André kept reviewing his Highlands, André, who rode beside Tallmadge, shabby dress, and finally remarked to me, that became solicitous to know the opinion of the he was positively ashamed to go to the headlatter as to what would be the result of his cap-quarters of the American army in such a plight, ture, and in what light he would be regarded I called my servant and directed him to bring by General Washington and by a military tri- my dragoon cloak, which I presented to Major bunal, should one be ordered. Tallmadge André. This he refused to take for some evaded the question as long as possible, but be- time; but I insisted on it, and he finally put it ing urged to a full and explicit reply, gave it, on and rode in it to Tappan.' he says, in the following words: "I had a much-loved classmate in Yale College, by the name of Nathan Hale, who entered the army in 1775. Immediately after the battle of Long Island, General Washington wanted information respecting the strength, position, and probable movements of the enemy. Captain Hale tendered his services, went over to Brooklyn, and was taken, just as he was passing the outposts of the enemy on his return; said I with emphasis-'Do you remember the sequel of the story?' 'Yes,' said André. He was hanged as a spy! But you surely do not consider his case and mine alike?' 'Yes, precisely similar; and similar will be your fate.'

[ocr errors]

*The fate of the heroic youth here alluded to, deserves a more amplo notice. Born in Coventry, Connecticut, June 6th, 1755, he entered Yalo College in 1770, and grad. uated with some distinction in September, 1773, having previously contracted an engagement of marriage; not unlike André in this respect, who wooed his "Honora" at eighteen. On quitting college he engaged as a teacher, as is common with young men in New England, while study. ing for a profession. His half-formed purpose was to devote himself to the ministry. As a teacher of youth, he was eminently skilful, and equally appreciated by parents and pupils. He became universally popular. "Everybody loved him," said a lady of his acquaintanco, "he was so sprightly, intelligent and kind, and so handsome."

He was teaching at New London, when an express ar. rived, bringing tidings of the outbreak at Lexington. A town meeting was called, and Hale was among the most ardent of the speakers, proposing an instant march to the scene of hostilities, and offering to volunteer. "A senso of duty," writos ho to his father, "urges me to sacrifice every thing for my country."

He served in the army before Boston as a lieutenant; prevailed on his company to extend their term of service by offering them his own pay, and for his good conduct received from Congress the commission of captain. He commanded a company in Colonel Knowlton's regiment in the following year. After the disastrous battle of Long Island, Washington applied to that officer for a competent person to penetrate the enemy's camp, and procure intelligence of their designs; a service deemed vital in that

The place which had been prepared to receive Major André, is still pointed out as the "76 Stone House." The caution which Washington had given as to his safe keeping was strictly observed by Colonel Scammel, the adjutant-general, as may be seen by his orders to the officer of the guards.

"Major André, the prisoner under your guard, is not only an officer of distinction in the British army, but a man of infinite art and address, who will leave no means unattempted to make his escape, and avoid the ignominious death which awaits him. You are therefore, in addition to your sentries, to keep two officers constantly in the room with him, with their swords drawn, whilst the other officers who


dispiriting crisis. Halo, in the ardor of patriotism, volunteered for the unenviable enterprise, though fully aware of its peril, and the consequences of capture.

Assuming his old character as schoolmaster, he crossed the Sound at night from Norwalk to Huntington on Long Island, visited the British oncampments unsuspected, made drawings of the enemy's works, and noted down memoranda in Latin of the information he gathered, and then retraced his steps to Huntington, where a boat was to meet him and convey him back to the Connecticut shore. Unfortunately a British guard-ship was at that time anchored out of view in the Sound, and had sent a boat on shoro for water. Hale mistook it for the expected boat, and did not discover his mistake until he found himself in the hands of enemies. He was stripped and searched, the plans and memoranda were found concealed in the soles of his shoes, and proved him to be a spy.

He was conveyed to the guard-ship, and thence to New York, where ho was landed on the 21st September, the day of the great fire. He was taken to General Howe's head-quarters, and, after brief parley with his judge, or dered for execution the next morning at daybreak-a sen tence carried out by the provost martial, the brutal and infamous Cunningham, who refused his request for a Bible, and destroyed a letter he had addressed to his mother, for the reason afterwards given by himself, "that the rebels should never know they had a man who could dio with such firmness." His patriot spirit shone forth in his dying words,-"I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."

T. 48.]



are out of the room are constantly to keep | ton, Knox, Glover, Paterson, Hand, Huntingwalking the entry and around the sentries, to don, and Stark. General Greene, who was see that they are alert. No person whatever well versed in military law, and was a man of to be permitted to enter the room, or speak sound head and kind heart, was president, and with him, unless by direction of the command- Colonel John Lawrence, judge advocate-gener-in-chief. You are by no means to suffer eral. him to go out of the room on any pretext whatever." 19*

Colonel Alexander Hamilton, who, like Tallmadge, had drawn to André in his misfortunes, as had most of the young American officers, gives, in letters to his friends, many interesting particulars concerning the conduct of the pris"When brought before the board of officers," writes he, "he met with every mark of indulgence, and was required to answer no interrogatory which would even embarrass his feelings. On his part, while he carefully concealed every thing that might implicate others, he frankly confessed all the facts relating to himself, and upon his confession, without the trouble of examining a witness, the board made up their report."

The capture of André caused a great sensation at New York. He was universally popular with the army, and an especial favorite of Sir Henry Clinton. The latter addressed a let-oner. ter to Washington on the 29th, claiming the release of André on similar ground to that urged by Colonel Robinson-his having visited Arnold at the particular request of that general officer, and under the sanction of a flag of truce; and his having been stopped while travelling under Arnold's passports. The same letter enclosed one addressed by Arnold to Sir Henry, and intended as a kind of certificate of the innocence of André. "I commanded at the time at West Point," writes the renegade, "had an undoubted right to send my flag of truce to Major André, who came to me under that protection, and having held conversation with him, I delivered him confidential papers in my own handwriting to deliver to your Excellency. Thinking it much properer he should return by land, I directed him to make use of the feigned name of John Anderson, under which he had, by my direction, come on shore, and gave him my passports to go to the White Plains, on his way to New York.

* *


All which I had then a right to do, being in the actual service of America, under the orders of General Washington, and commanding general at West Point and its dependencies." He concludes, therefore, that André cannot fail of being immediately sent to New York.

It briefly stated the circumstances of the case, and concluded with the opinion of the court, that Major André, adjutant-general of the British army, ought to be considered a spy from the enemy, and, agreeably to the law and usage of nations, ought to suffer death. In a conversation with Hamilton, André acknowledged the candor, liberality, and indulgence with which the board had conducted themselves in their painful inquiry. He met the result with manly firmness. fate," said he; "and though I pretend not to play the hero, or to be indifferent about life, yet I am reconciled to whatever may happen; conscious that misfortune, not guilt, has brought it upon me."

"I foresee my

Even in this situation of gathering horrors, he thought of others more than of himself. "There is only one thing that disturbs my Neither the official demand of Sir Henry tranquillity," said he to Hamilton. "Sir HenClinton, nor the impudent certificate of Arnold, ry Clinton has been too good to me; he has had any effect on the steady mind of Washing- been lavish of his kindness. I am bound to ton. He considered the circumstances under him by too many obligations, and love him too which André had been taken such as would well, to bear the thought that he should rehave justified the most summary proceedings, proach himself, or others should reproach him, but he determined to refer the case to the ex- on the supposition of my having conceived amination and decision of a board of general myself obliged, by his instructions, to run the officers, which he convened on the 29th of Sep-risk I did. I would not for the world leave a tember, the day after his arrival at Tappan. It sting in his mind that should embitter his was composed of six major-generals, Greene, future days." He could scarce finish the senStirling, St. Clair, Lafayette, R. Howe, and Steu- tence; bursting into tears, in spite of his efben; and eight brigadiers, Parsons, James Clin-forts to suppress them, and with difficulty col

* From a copy among the papers of General Hand.

lected himself enough afterwards to add, "I wish to be permitted to assure him that I did.





not act under this impression, but submitted | expedient as incompatible with honor and milito a necessity imposed upon me, as contrary to tary principle. my own inclination, as to his wishes."

In the mean time, the character, appearance,

His request was complied with, and he wrote deportment, and fortunes of André, had intera letter to Sir Henry Clinton to the above pur-ested the feelings of the oldest and sternest solport. He made mention also of his mother diers around him, and completely captivated and three sisters, to whom the value of his the sympathies of the younger ones. He was commission would be an object. "It is need-treated with the greatest respect and kindness less," said he, "to be more explicit on this subject; I am persuaded of your Excellency's goodness."*

He concluded by saying, "I receive the greatest attention from his Excellency, General Washington, and from every person under whose charge I happen to be placed."

This letter accompanied one from Washington to Sir Henry Clinton, stating the report of the board of inquiry, omitting the sentence. "From these proceedings," observes he, "it is evident that Major André was employed in the execution of measures very foreign to the objects of flags of truce, and such as they were never meant to authorize in the most distant degree; and this gentleman confessed with the greatest candor, in the course of his examination, that it was impossible for him to suppose that he came on shore under the sanction of a flag."

Captain Aaron Ogden, a worthy officer of the New Jersey line, was selected by Washington to bear these despatches to the enemy's post at Paulus Hook, thence to be conveyed across the Hudson to New York. Before his departure, he called by Washington's request on the Marquis Lafayette, who gave him instructions to sound the officer commanding at that post whether Sir Henry Clinton might not be willing to deliver up Arnold in exchange for André. Ogden arrived at Paulus Hook in the evening, and made the suggestion, as if incidentally, in the course of conversation. The officer demanded if he had any authority from Washington for such an intimation. "I have no such assurance from General Washington," replied he, "but I am prepared to say, that if such a proposal were made, I believe it would be accepted, and Major André set at liberty."

The officer crossed the river before morning, and communicated the matter to Sir Henry Clinton, but the latter instantly rejected the *The commission was sold by Sir Henry Clinton, for the benefit of André's mother and sisters. The King, also, settled a pension on the mother, and offered to confer

the honor of knighthood on Andro's brother, in order to

wipo away all stain from the family, that the circumstance

of his fate might be thought to occasion.

throughout his confinement, and his table was supplied from that of the commander-in-chief.

Hamilton, who was in daily intercourse with him, describes him as well improved by education and travel, with an elegant turn of mind, and a taste for the fine arts. He had attained some proficiency in poetry, music, and painting. His sentiments were elevated, his elocution was fluent, his address easy, polite, and engaging, with a softness that conciliated affection. His talents and accomplishments were accompanied, says Hamilton, by a diffdence that induced you to give him credit for more than appeared.

No one felt stronger sympathy in his case than Colonel Tallmadge, no doubt from the consideration that he had been the means of bringing him into this awful predicament, by inducing Colonel Jameson to have him conducted back when on the way to Arnold's quarters. A letter lies before us, written by Tallmadge to Colonel Samuel B. Webb, one of Washington's aides-de-camp. "Poor André, who has been under my charge almost ever since he was taken, has yesterday had his trial, and though his sentence is not known, a disgraceful death is undoubtedly allotted him. By heavens, Colonel Webb, I never saw a man whose fate I foresaw whom I so sincerely pitied. He is a young fellow of the greatest accomplishments, and was the prime minister of Sir Henry on all occasions. He has unbosomed his heart to me so fully, and indeed let me know almost every motive of his actions since he came out on his late mission, that he has endeared me to him exceedingly. Unfortunate man! He will undoubtedly suffer death tomorrow; and though he knows his fate, seems to be as cheerful as if he were going to an assembly. I am sure he will go to the gallows less fearful for his fate, and with less concern than I shall behold the tragedy. Had he been tried by a court of ladies, he is so genteel, handsome, polite a young gentleman, that I am confident they would have acquitted him. But enough of André, who, though he dies la mented, falls justly."


Er. 48.]





The execution was to have taken place on | Excellency, Sir Henry Clinton, who cannot in the 1st of October, at five o'clock in the after-justice extend his mercy to them any longer, if noon; but in the interim Washington received Major André suffers; which, in all probability, a second letter from Sir Henry Clinton, dated will open a scene of blood at which humanity September 30th, expressing an opinion that the shudders. board of inquiry had not been rightly informed of all the circumstances on which a judgment ought to be formed, and that, in order that he might be perfectly apprised of the state of the matter before he proceeded to put that judgment in execution, he should send a commission on the following day, composed of LieutenantGovernor Elliot, William Smith, chief justice of the province, and Lieutenant-General Robinson, to wait near Dobbs' Ferry for permission and safe conduct to meet Washington, or such persons as he should appoint to converse with them on the subject.

This letter caused a postponement of the execution, and General Greene was sent to meet the commissioners at Dobbs' Ferry. They came up in the morning of the 1st of October, in a schooner, with a flag of truce, and were accompanied by Colonel Beverley Robinson. General Robertson, however, was the only commissioner permitted to land, the others not being military officers. A long conference took place between him and General Greene, without any | agreement of opinion upon the question at issue. Greene returned to camp promising to report faithfully to Washington the arguments urged by Robertson, and to inform the latter of the result.

[ocr errors]

A letter also was delivered to Greene for Washington, which Arnold had sent by the commissioners, in which the traitor reasserted the right he had possessed, as commanding officer of the department, to transact all the matters with which André was inculpated, and insisted that the latter ought not to suffer for them. But," ," added he, "if after this just and candid representation of Major André's case, the board of general officers adhere to their former opinion, I shall suppose it dictated by passion and resentment; and if that gentleman should suffer the severity of their sentence, I shall think myself bound, by every tie of duty and honor, to retaliate on such unhappy persons of your army as may fall within my power, that the respect due to flags, and to the laws of nations, may be better understood and observed. I have further to observe, that forty of the principal inhabitants of South Carolina have justly forfeited their lives, which have hitherto been spared by the clemency of his

"Suffer me to entreat your Excellency, for your own sake and the honor of humanity, the love you have of justice, that you suffer not an unjust sentence to touch the life of Major André. But if this warning should be disregarded, and he suffer, I call Heaven and earth to witness, that your Excellency will be justly answerable for the torrent of blood that may be spilt in consequence."

[ocr errors]

Beside this impudent and despicable letter, there was another from Arnold containing the farce of a resignation, and concluding with the following sentence: At the same time I beg leave to assure your Excellency, that my attachment to the true interests of my country is invariable, and that I am actuated by the same principle which has ever been the governing rule of my conduct in this unhappy contest."

The letters of Arnold were regarded with merited contempt. Greene, in a brief letter to General Robertson, informed him that he ́ had made as full a report of their conference to the commander-in-chief, as his memory would serve, but that it had made no alteration in Washington's opinion and determination.

Robertson was piqued at the brevity of the note, and professed to doubt whether Greene's memory had served him with sufficient fulness and exactness; he addressed therefore to Washington his own statement of his reasoning on the subject; after despatching which he and the other commissioners returned in the schooner to New York.

During this day of respite André had conducted himself with his usual tranquillity. A likeness of himself, seated at a table in his guard-room, which he sketched with a pen and gave to the officer on guard, is still extant. It being announced to him that one o'clock on the following day was fixed on for his execution, he remarked, that since it was his lot to die, there was still a choice in the mode; he therefore addressed the following note to Washington:

"SIR:-Buoyed above the terror of death by the consciousness of a life devoted to honorable pursuits, and stained with no action that can give me remorse, I trust that the request I make to your Excellency at this serious period,

« PrejšnjaNaprej »