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´╗┐Title: Proceedings of a Board of General Officers
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Proceedings of a Board of General Officers" ***

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[Frontispiece: Major Andre]



                        PROCEEDINGS

                           OF A

                  Board of General Officers

                         RESPECTING

                       MAJOR JOHN ANDRE

                         * * * * *

                         NEW YORK

                      PRIVATELY PRINTED

                           1867



[Illustration: Limited edition]



[Illustration: Capture of Andre]



                        PROCEEDINGS

                           OF A

                  Board of General Officers,

      _Held by Order of His Excellency General_ Washington,
        _Commander in Chief of the Army of the United States
         of America: Respecting Major_ Andre, _Adjutant General
         to the British Army, Sept._ 29, 1780.

      _To which are_ APPENDED, _The several Letters which passed to
         and from New York on the Occasion, &c._

                Published by Order of Congress.



[Illustration: George Washington]



                         PROCEEDINGS

                             OF A

                            BOARD

                              OF

                        GENERAL OFFICERS,

                        Held by Order of

                 His Excellency Gen. WASHINGTON,

          Commander in Chief of the Army of the United States
                           of America.

                           RESPECTING

                        Major _JOHN ANDRE,_

               Adjutant General of the British Army.

                        September 29, 1780.

                          _PHILADELPHIA:_

            Printed by FRANCIS BAILEY, in Market-Street

                           M.DCC.LXXX.



                          * * * * *

                      EXTRACTS OF LETTERS

                  _From_ General Washington, _to the_
                       President _of_ Congress.

                          * * * * *


       _Robinson's House, in the Highlands, Sept._ 26, 1780.

 _SIR,_

I have the honor to inform Congress, that I arrived here yesterday
about twelve o'clock, on my return from Hartford. Some hours previous to
my arrival Major General Arnold went from his quarters, which were this
place, and, as it was supposed, over the river to the garrison at West
Point, whither I proceeded myself, in order to visit the post. I found
General Arnold had not been there during the day, and on my return to
his quarters he was still absent. In the mean time, a packet had arrived
from Lieut. Colonel Jameson, announcing the capture of a John Anderson,
who was endeavouring to go to New York with several interesting and
important papers, all in the hand writing of General Arnold. This was
also accompanied with a letter from the prisoner, avowing himself to be
Major John Andre, Adjutant General to the British army, relating the
manner of his capture, and endeavouring to shew that he did not come
under the description of a spy. From these several circumstances, and
information that the General seemed to be thrown into some degree of
agitation, on receiving a letter a little time before he went from his
quarters, I was led to conclude immediately that he had heard of Major
Andre's captivity, and that he would, if possible, escape to the enemy,
and accordingly took such measures as appeared the most probable to
apprehend him. But he had embarked in a barge and proceeded down the
river, under a flag, to the Vulture ship of war, which lay at some
miles below Stoney and Verplank's Points. He wrote me a letter after he
got on board. Major Andre is not arrived yet, but I hope he is secure,
and that he will be here to-day. I have been and am taking precautions,
which I trust will prove effectual to prevent the important consequences
which this conduct, on the part of General Arnold, was intended to
produce. I do not know the party that took Major Andre, but it is said
that it consisted only of a few militia, who acted in such a manner
upon the occasion, as does them the highest honor, and proves them to
be men of great virtue. As soon as I know their names, I shall take
pleasure in transmitting them to Congress.


                               _Paramus, October_ 7, 1780.
  SIR,

I have the honour to enclose Congress a copy of the proceedings of a
Board of General Officers in the case of Major Andre Adjutant General
to the British army. This officer was executed in pursuance of the
opinion of the Board, on Monday, the 2d instant, at 12 o'clock, at our
late camp at Tappan. Besides the proceedings I transmit copies of sundry
letters respecting the matter, which are all that passed on the
subject, not included in the proceedings.

I have now the pleasure to communicate the names of the three persons
who captured Major Andre, and who refused to release him,
notwithstanding the most earnest importunities and assurances of a
liberal reward on his part. Their names are, _John Paulding, David
Williams, and Isaac Van Wert._



[Illustration: George The Third]



                            PROCEEDINGS

                               OF A

                     Board of General Officers,

  Held by Order of his Excellency General Washington, commander in chief
     of the army of the United States of America, respecting Major
     Andre, Adjutant General of the British army, September the 29th,
     1780, at Tappan, in the State of New York.

                            PRESENT,

               _Major General Greene, President,
 Major General Lord Stirling,
 Major General St. Clair,
 Major General The Marquis de la Fayette,
 Major General Howe,
 Major General The Baron de Steuben,
 Brigadier General Parsons,
 Brigadier General Clinton,
 Brigadier General Knox,
 Brigadier General Glover,
 Brigadier General Patterson,
 Brigadier General Hand,
 Brigadier General Huntington,
 Brigadier General Starke,
         John Lawrence, Judge-Advocate General._


Major Andre, Adjutant General to the British army was brought before
the Board, and the following letter from General Washington, to the
Board, dated Head Quarters, Tappan, September 29th, 1780, was laid
before them and read.

 _Gentlemen,_

Major Andre, Adjutant General to the British army, will be brought
before you for your examination. He came within our lines in the night,
on an interview with Major General Arnold, and in an assumed character;
and was taken within our lines, in a disguised habit, with a pass under
a feigned name, and with the inclosed papers concealed upon him. After
a careful examination, you will be pleased, as speedily as possible,
to report a precise state of his case, together with your opinion of
the light in which he ought to be considered, and the punishment that
ought to be inflicted. The Judge Advocate will attend to assist in the
examination, who has sundry other papers relative to this matter, which
he will lay before the Board.

        _I have the honour to be,
           Gentlemen,
              Your most obedient and humble servant,_
                                         G. WASHINGTON.
 _The Board of General Officers
    convened at Tappan._


The names of the officers composing the Board were read to Major Andre,
and on his being asked whether he confessed the matters contained in
the letter from his Excellency General Washington to the Board, or
denied them, he said, in addition to his letter to General Washington,
dated Salem, the 24th September, 1780, (which was read to the board,
and acknowledged by Major Andre, to have been written by him,) which
letter is as follows:

                                      Salem, 24th Sept. 1780.
  SIR,

_What I have as yet said concerning myself, was in the justifiable
attempt to be extricated; I am too little accustomed to duplicity to
have succeeded._

_I beg your Excellency will be persuaded, that no alteration in the
temper of my mind, or apprehension for my safety, induces me to take
the step of addressing you, but that it is to secure myself from an
imputation of having assumed a mean character for treacherous purposes
or self interest. A conduct incompatible with the principles that
actuated me, as well as with my condition in life._

_It is to vindicate my fame that I speak and not to solicit security._

_The person in your possession is Major John Andre, Adjutant General to
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 favour it, I agreed to meet upon ground not within posts of either
army, a person who was to give me intelligence; I came up in the Vulture
man of war for this effect, and was fetched by a boat 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 before
hand, I was conducted within one of your posts. Your Excellency may
conceive my sensation on this occasion and will imagine how much more
I must have been affected, by a refusal to reconduct me back the next
night as I had been brought. Thus become a prisoner I had to concert my
escape._ I quitted my uniform _and was passed another way in the night
without the American posts to neutral ground, and informed I was beyond
all armed parties and left to press for New York. I was taken at Tarry
Town by some volunteers._

_Thus as I have had the honor to relate was I betrayed (being Adjutant
General of the British army) into the vile condition of an enemy in
disguise within your posts._

_Having avowed myself a British officer I have nothing to reveal but
what relates to myself, which is true on the honour of an officer and
a gentleman._

_The request I have to make your Excellency, and I am conscious I address
myself well, is, that in any rigour policy may dictate, a decency of
conduct towards me may mark, that though unfortunate I am branded with
nothing dishonourable, as no motive could be mine but the service of
my king, and as I was involuntarily an impostor._

_Another request is, that I may be permitted to write an open letter to
Sir Henry Clinton and another to a friend for cloaths and linen._

_I take the liberty to mention the condition of some gentlemen at
Charles-Town, who being either on parole or under protection, were
engaged in a conspiracy against us. Though their situation is not
similar, they are objects who may be set in exchange for me, or are
persons whom the treatment I receive might affect._

_It is no less. Sir, in a confidence in the generosity of your mind,
than on account of your superior station that I have chosen to importune
you with this letter._

    _I have the honour to be, with great respect, Sir, Your Excellency's_
       _most obedient and most humble servant,_
             _JOHN ANDRE,_
                _Adjutant General._
 _His Excellency General Washington.
     &c., &c., &c._


That he came on shore from the Vulture sloop of war in _the night_ of
the twenty-first of September instant, somewhere under the Haverstraw
mountain; that the boat he came on shore in carried _no flag,_ and that
he had on a surtout coat over his regimentals, and that he wore his
surtout coat when he was taken; that he met General Arnold on the shore,
and had an interview with him there. He also said, that when he left
the Vulture sloop of war, it was understood he was to return that
night; but it was then doubted, and if he could not return he was
promised to be concealed on shore in a place of safety, until the next
night, when he was to return in the same manner he came on shore; and
when the next day came he was solicitous to get back, and made enquiries
in the course of the day, how he should return, when he was informed he
could not return that way and he must take the route he did afterwards.
He also said, that the first notice he had of his being within any _of
our posts,_ was, being challenged by the sentry, which was the first
night he was on shore. He also said, that the evening of the
twenty-second of September instant, he passed _King's Ferry between our
posts of Stoney and Verplank's Points,_ in the _dress he is at present
in, and which he said was not his regimentals,_ and which dress he
procured, after he landed from the Vulture and when he was within our
posts, and that he was proceeding to New York, but was taken on his way
at Tarry Town, as he has mentioned in his letter, on Saturday the
twenty-third of September instant, about nine o'clock in the morning.

The following papers were laid before the Board and shewn to Major
Andre, who confessed to the board that they were found on him when he
was taken, and said they were concealed in his boot, except the pass:

 A pass from General Arnold to John Anderson, which name Major Andre
   acknowledged he assumed.
 Artillery orders, September 5, 1780.
 Estimate of the force at West Point and its dependencies, September
   1780.
 Estimate of men to man the works at West Point, &c.
 Return of ordnance at West Point, September 1780.
 Remarks on works at West Point.
 Copy of a state of matters laid before a council of war, by his
   Excellency General Washington, held the 6th of September 1780.



[Illustration: John Paulding]



[Illustration: Washington's Head Quarters, Tappan]



[Illustration: The Death Warrant]



[Illustration: General Lord Stirling]



[Illustration: Maj. Gen. Henry Knox]



[Illustration: House Where the Trial Was Held]



A letter signed _John Anderson,_ dated Sept. 7, 1780, to Colonel Sheldon,
[FN-1] was also laid before the Board, and shewn to Major Andre, which
he acknowledged to have been written by him, and is as follows:

                                      _New York, the_ 7th Sept. 1780.
  SIR,

I am told my name is made known to you, and that I may hope your
indulgence in permitting me to meet a friend near your out posts. I
will endeavour to obtain permission to go out with _a flag_ which will
be sent to Dobb's Ferry on Monday next, the 11th, at twelve o'clock,
when I shall be happy to meet Mr. G____. [FN-2] Should I not be allowed
to go, the officer who is to command the escort, between whom and myself
no distinction need be made, can speak on the affair.

Let me entreat you. Sir, to favour a matter so interesting to the
parties concerned, and which is of so private a nature that the public
on neither side can be injured by it.

I shall be happy on my part in doing any act of kindness to you in a
family or property concern of a similar nature.

I trust I shall not be detained, but should any old grudge be a cause
for it, I shall rather risk that, than neglect the business in question,
or assume a mysterious character to carry on an innocent affair, and, as
friends have advised, get to your lines by stealth.

                 _I am, Sir, with all regard,_
                     _Your most obedient humble servant,_
                                     John Anderson.
 _Col._ Sheldon.

                          * * * * *

  [FN-1] Less it should be supposed that Colonel Sheldon, to whom the
  above letter is addressed, was privy to the plot carrying on by
  General Arnold, it is to be observed, that the letter was found among
  Arnold's papers, and had been transmitted by Colonel Sheldon, who, it
  appears from a letter of the 9th of September to Arnold, which
  inclosed it, had never heard of John Anderson before. Arnold in his
  answer on the 10th, acknowledged he had not communicated it to him,
  though he had informed him that he expected a person would come from
  New York, for the purpose of bringing him intelligence.

  [FN-2] It appears by the same letter that Arnold had written to Mr.
  Anderson, under the signature of Gustavus. His words are "I was
  obliged to write with great caution to him, my letter was signed
  Gustavus to prevent any discovery in case it fell into the hands of
  the enemy."


Major Andre observed that this letter could be of no force in the case
in question, as it was written in New York, when he was under the orders
of General Clinton, but that it tended to prove that it was not his
intention to come within our lines.

The Board having interrogated Major Andre about his conception of his
coming on shore under the sanction of a flag, _he said, That it was
impossible for him to suppose he came on shore under that fashion;_ and
added, that if he came on shore under that sanction, he certainly might
have returned under it.

Major Andre having acknowledged the preceding facts, and being asked
whether he had any thing to say respecting them, answered, He left them
to operate with the Board.

The examination of Major Andre being concluded, he was remanded into
custody.

The following letters were laid before the Board, and read:--Benedict
Arnold's letter to General Washington, dated September 25, 1780, Col.
Robinson's letter to General Washington, dated September 25, 1780, and
General Clinton's letter, dated the 26th September, 1780, (inclosing
a letter of the same date from Benedict Arnold) to General Washington.

                                _On board the Vulture,_ Sept. 25, 1780.

  _SIR,_

The heart which is conscious of its own rectitude, cannot attempt to
palliate a step which the world may censure as wrong; I have ever acted
from a principle of love to my country, since the commencement of the
present unhappy contest between Great Britain and the Colonies; the same
principle of love to my country actuates my present conduct, however
it may appear inconsistent to the world, who very seldom judge right of
any man's actions.

I have no favour to ask for myself. I have too often experienced the
ingratitude of my country to attempt it; but from the known humanity
of your Excellence, I am induced to ask your protection for Mrs. Arnold,
from every insult and injury that the mistaken vengeance of my country
may expose her to. It ought to fall only on me; she is as good and as
innocent as an angel, and is incapable of doing wrong. I beg she may be
permitted to return to her friends in Philadelphia, or to come to me as
she may choose; from your Excellency I have no fears on her account,
but she may suffer from the mistaken fury of the country.

I have to request that the inclosed letter may be delivered to Mrs.
Arnold, and she permitted to write to me.

I have also to ask that my cloaths and baggage, which are of little
consequence, may be sent to me, if required their value shall be paid
in money.

    _I have the honour to be, with great regard and esteem,
       Your Excellency's most obedient humble servant,_
                  B. ARNOLD.
 _His Excellency General Washington._

N. B. In justice to the gentlemen of my family, Col. Varrick and Major
Franks, I think myself in honour bound to declare, that they, as well
as Joshua Smith, Esq; (who I know is suspected) are totally ignorant of
any transactions of mine, that they had reason to believe were injurious
to the public.


                        _Vulture, off Sinsinck,_ Sept. 25, 1780.

  _SIR,_

I am this moment informed that Major Andre, Adjutant General of his
Majesty's army in America, is detained as a prisoner, by the army under
your command. It is therefore incumbent on me to inform you of the
manner of his falling into your hands; He went up with a flag at the
request of General Arnold, on public business with him, and had his
permit to return by land to New York; Under these circumstances Major
Andre cannot be detained by you, without the greatest violation of
flags, and contrary to the custom and usage of all nations; and as I
imagine you will see this matter in the same point of view as I do,
I must desire you will order him to be set at liberty and allowed to
return immediately; Every step Major Andre took was by the advice and
direction of General Arnold, even that of taking a feigned name, and
of course not liable to censure for it.

     _I am, Sir, not forgetting our former acquaintance,
         Your very humble servant,_
           BEV. ROBINSON, Col.
              Loyl. Americ.
  _His Excellency
 General Washington._


                                    _New York,_ Sept. 26, 1780.
  _SIR,_
Being informed that the King's Adjutant General in America has been
stopt, under Major General Arnold's passports, and is detained a
prisoner in your Excellency's army, I have the honour to inform you,
Sir, that I permitted Major Andre to go to Major General Arnold, at the
particular request of that general officer. You will perceive, Sir,
by the inclosed paper, that a flag of truce was sent to receive Major
Andre, and passports granted for his return, I therefore can have no
doubt but your Excellency will immediately direct, that this officer
has permission to return to my orders at New York.

    _I have the honour to be, your Excellency's
        most obedient and most humble servt._
                   H. CLINTON.
 _His Excellency General Washington._


                                    _New York,_ Sept. 26, 1780.
  _SIR,_
In answer to your Excellency's message, respecting your Adjutant
General, Major Andre, and desiring my idea of the reasons why he is
detained, being under my passports, I have the honour to inform you,
Sir, that I apprehend a few hours must return Major Andre to your
Excellency's orders, as that officer is assuredly under the protection
of a flag of truce sent by me to him for the purpose of a conversation
which I requested to hold with him relating to myself, and which I
wished to communicate through that officer to your Excellency.

I commanded at the time at West Point, had an undoubted right to send
my flag of truce for Major Andre, who came to me under that protection,
and having held my conversation with him, I delivered him confidential
papers in my own hand writing, 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 to come on shore, and gave him my passports to go to the
White Plains on his way to New York. This officer cannot therefore fail
of being immediately sent to New York, as he was invited to a
conversation with me, for which I sent him a flag of truce, and finally
gave him passports for his safe return to your Excellency; 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.

    _I have the honour to be, your Excellency's
       most obedient and very humble servant,_
               B. ARNOLD.
 _His Excellency Sir Henry Clinton._



[Illustration: Le Baron de Stueben]



[Illustration: Gen. Sir William Howe]



The Board having considered the letter from his Excellency General
Washington respecting Major Andre, Adjutant General to the British army,
the confession of Major Andre, and the papers produced to them, REPORT
to His Excellency, the Commander in Chief, the following facts, which
appear to them relative to Major Andre.

_First,_ that he came on shore from the Vulture sloop of war in the
_night_ of the twenty-first of September instant, on an interview with
General Arnold, _in a private and secret manner._

_Secondly,_ that _he changed his dress within our lines, and under a
feigned name, and in a disguised habit,_ passed our _works at Stoney
and Verplank's Points,_ the evening of the twenty-second of September
instant, and was taken the morning of the twenty-third of September
instant, _at Tarry Town, in a disguised habit,_ being then on his way
to New York, _and when taken,_ he had in his possession several papers,
which contained _intelligence for the enemy._

The Board having maturely considered these facts, DO ALSO REPORT to His
Excellency General Washington, that Major Andre, Adjutant General to
the British army, ought to be considered as a Spy from the enemy, and
that agreeable to the law and usage of nations, it is their opinion, he
ought to suffer death.

                Nath. Greene, _M. Genl._ President.
                  _Stirling, M. G._
                  _Ar. St. Clair, M. G._
                  _La Fayette, M. G._
                  _R. Howe, M. G._
                  _Stuben, M. G._
                  _Saml. H. Parsons, B. Genl._
                  _James Clinton, B. Genl._
                  _H. Knox, Brig. Genl. Artillery._
                  _Jno. Glover, B. Genl._
                  _John Patterson, B. Genl._
                  _Edwd. Hand, B. Genl._
                  _J. Huntington, B. Genl._
                  _John Starke, B. Genl._
                              John Lawrence, _J. A. Genl._



                          * * * * *

                          APPENDIX.

  Copy of a Letter from Major Andre, Adjutant General, to Sir Henry
                    Clinton, K. B. &c. &c.

                                       _Tappan, Sept._ 29, 1780.
  _SIR,_

Your Excellency is doubtless already apprised of the manner in which I
was taken, and possibly of the serious light in which my conduct is
considered, and the rigorous determination that is impending.

Under these circumstances, I have obtained General Washington's
permission to send you this letter; the object of which is, to remove
from your breast any suspicion, that I could imagine I was bound by
your Excellency's orders to expose myself to what has happened. The
events of coming within an enemy's posts, and of changing my dress,
which led me to my present situation, were contrary to my own
intentions, as they were to your orders; and the circuitous route, which
I took to return, was imposed (perhaps unavoidably) without alternative
upon me.

I am perfectly tranquil in mind, and prepared for any fate, to which an
honest zeal for my King's service may have devoted me.

In addressing myself to your Excellency on this occasion, the force of
all my obligations to you, and of the attachment and gratitude I bear
you, recurs to me. With all the warmth of my heart, I give you thanks
for your Excellency's profuse kindness to me; and I send you the most
earnest wishes for your welfare, which a faithful, affectionate, and
respectful attendant can frame.

I have a mother and three sisters, to whom the value of my commission
would be an object, as the loss of Grenada has much affected their
income. It is needless to be more explicit on this subject; I am
persuaded of your Excellency's goodness.

I receive the greatest attention from his Excellency General Washington,
and from every person, under whose charge I happen to be placed.
          _I have the honour to be,
             With the most respectful attachment,
                Your Excellency's most obedient
                  and most humble servant,_
                 JOHN ANDRE,
                    _Adjutant General._
  (Addressed)
   _His Excellency
  General Sir Henry Clinton, K. B.
    &c. &c. &c._



[Illustration: B. Arnold]



   Copy of a letter from His Excellency General Washington,
          to His Excellency Sir Henry Clinton.

                                 _Head Quarters, Sept._ 30, 1780.
  _SIR,_

In answer to your Excellency's letter of the 26th instant, which I had
the honour to receive, I am to inform you, that Major Andre was taken
under such circumstances as would have justified the most summary
proceedings against him. I determined, however, to refer his case to
the examination and decision of a Board of General Officers, who have
reported, on his free and voluntary confession and letters,--"That he
came on shore from the Vulture sloop of war in the night of the
twenty-first of September instant," &c. &c. as in the report of the
Board of General Officers.

From these proceedings it is evident Major Andre was employed in the
execution of measures very foreign to the objects of flags of truce,
and such as they were never meant to authorise or countenance 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 he came on shore, under the sanction of a flag."

     _I have the honour to be your Excellency's
         Most obedient and most humble servant,_
                     G. WASHINGTON.
  (Addressed)
 _His Excellency Sir Henry Clinton._

In this letter. Major Andre's of the 29th of September to Sir Henry
Clinton, was transmitted.

                                  _New York, 29, Sept._ 1780.
  _SIR,_

Persuaded that you are inclined rather to promote than prevent the
civilities and acts of humanity, which the rules of war permit between
civilized nations, I find no difficulty in representing to you, that
several letters and messages sent from hence have been disregarded, are
unanswered, and the flags of truce that carried them, detained. As I
ever have treated all flags of truce with civility and respect, I have
a right to hope, that you will order my complaint to be immediately
redressed. Major Andre, who visited an officer commanding in a district
at his own desire, and acted in every circumstance agreeable to his
direction, I find is detained a prisoner; my friendship for him leads
me to fear he may suffer some inconvenience for want of necessaries;
I wish to be allowed to send him a few, and shall take it as a favour
if you will be pleased to permit his servant to deliver them. In Sir
Henry Clinton's absence it becomes a part of my duty to make this
representation and request.

       _I am. Sir, your Excellency's
           Most obedient humble servant,_
              JAMES ROBERTSON,
                 _Lt. General._
  _His Excellency
 General Washington._

                                     _Tappan, Sept._ 30, 1780.
  _SIR,_

I have just received your letter of the 29th. Any delay which may have
attended your flags has proceeded from accident, and the peculiar
circumstances of the occasion,--not from intentional neglect or
violation. The letter that admitted of an answer, has received one as
early as it could be given with propriety, transmitted by a flag this
morning. As to messages, I am uninformed of any that have been sent.

The necessaries for Major Andre will be delivered to him, agreeable to
your request.

       _I am, Sir,
           Tour most obedient humble servant,_
              G. WASHINGTON.
  _His Excellency
 Lieut. General Robertson,
  New York._



[Illustration: illegible]



[Illustration: The Marquis de Lafayette]



                                  _New-York, Sept._ 30. 1780.
  _SIR,_

From your Excellency's letter of this date, I am persuaded the Board of
General Officers, to whom you referred the case of Major Andre, can't
have been rightly informed of all the circumstances on which a judgment
ought to be formed. I think it of the highest moment to humanity, that
your Excellency should be perfectly apprized of the state of this
matter, before you proceed to put that judgment in execution.

For this reason, I shall send His Excellency Lieut. General Robertson,
and two other gentlemen, to give you a true state of facts, and to
declare to you my sentiments and resolutions. They will set out
to-morrow as early as the wind and tide will permit, and wait near
Dobbs's ferry for your permission and safe conduct, to meet your
Excellency, or such persons as you may appoint, to converse with them
on this subject.

        _I have the honour to be, your Excellency's
          Most obedient and most humble servant,_
              H. CLINTON.

_P. S._ The Hon. Andrew Elliot, Esq., Lieut. Governor, and the Hon.
William Smith, Chief Justice of this province, will attend His
Excellency Lieut. General Robertson.

              H. C.
 _His Excellency General Washington._

Lieut. General Robertson, Mr. Elliot, and Mr. Smith came up in a flag
vessel to Dobb's ferry, agreeable to the above letter. The two last were
not suffered to land. General Robertson was permitted to come on shore,
and was met by Major General Greene, who verbally reported that General
Robertson mentioned to him in substance what is contained in his letter
of the 2d of October to General Washington.

                                _New York, Oct._ 1, 1780.
  _SIR,_

I take this opportunity to inform your Excellency, that I consider
myself no longer acting under the commission of Congress; Their last
to me being among my papers at West Point, you Sir, will make such use
of it, as you think proper.

At the same time, I beg leave to assure your Excellency, that my
attachment to the true interest 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.

       _I have the honour to be, very respectfully,
          Your Excellency's most obedient humble servant,_
              B. ARNOLD.
  _His Excellency General Washington._

                                 _Greyhound Schooner, Flag of Truce,
                                   Dobbs's Ferry, October_ 2, 1780.
  _SIR,_

A note I have from General Greene, leaves me in doubt if his memory had
served him, to relate to you with exactness the substance of the
conversation that had passed between him and myself, on the subject of
Major Andre. In an affair of so much consequence to my friend, to the
two armies, and humanity, I would leave no possibility of a
misunderstanding, and therefore take the liberty to put in writing the
substance of what I said to General Greene.

I offered to prove, by the evidence of Colonel Robinson and the
officers of the Vulture, that Major Andre went on shore at General
Arnold's desire, in a boat sent for him with a flag of truce; that he
not only came ashore with the knowledge and under the protection of the
General who commanded in the district, but that he took no step while
on shore but by direction of General Arnold, as will appear by the
inclosed letter from him to your Excellency.

Under these circumstances I could not, and hoped you would not, consider
Major Andre as a spy, for any improper phrase in his letter to you.

The facts he relates correspond with the evidence I offer; but he admits
a conclusion that does not follow. The change of cloaths and name was
ordered by General Arnold, under whose direction he necessarily was,
while within his command. As General Greene and I did not agree in
opinion, I wished, that disinterested gentlemen of knowledge of the
law of war and nations, might be asked their opinion on the subject;
and mentioned Monsieur Knyphaufen, and General Rochambault.

I related that a Captain Robinson had been delivered to Sir Henry
Clinton as a spy, and undoubtedly was such; but that it being signified
to him that you were desirous that this man should be exchanged, he had
ordered him to be exchanged.

I wished that an intercourse of such civilities, as the rules of war
admit of, might take off many of its horrors. I admitted that Major
Andre had a great share of Sir Henry Clinton's esteem, and that he
would be infinitely obliged by his liberation; and that if he was
permitted to return with me, I would engage to have any person you would
be pleased to name set at liberty.

I added, that Sir Henry Clinton had never put to death any person for
a breach of the rules of war, though he had, and now has, many in his
power. Under the present circumstances, much good may arise from
humanity, much ill from the want of it. If that could give any weight,
I beg leave to add, that your favourable treatment of Major Andre, will
be a favour I should ever be intent to return to any you hold dear.

My memory does not retain with the exactness I could wish, the words
of the letter which General Greene shewed me from Major Andre to your
Excellency. For Sir Henry Clinton's satisfaction, I beg you will order
a copy of it to be sent to me at New York.

         _I have the honour to be, your Excellency's
             Most obedient and most humble servant,_
                JAMES ROBERTSON.
  _His Excellency General Washington._

                             _New York, October_ 1, 1780.

  _SIR,_
The polite attention shewn by your Excellency and the Gentlemen of your
family to Mrs. Arnold, when in distress, demand my grateful
acknowledgment and thanks, which I beg leave to present.

From your Excellency's letter to Sir Henry Clinton, I find a Board of
General Officers have given it as their opinion, that Major Andre comes
under the description of a spy; My good opinion of the candor and
justice of those Gentlemen leads me to believe, that if they had been
made fully acquainted with every circumstance respecting Major Andre,
that they would by no means have considered him in the light of a spy,
or even of a prisoner. In justice to him, I think it my duty to declare,
that he came from on board the Vulture at my particular request, by a
flag sent on purpose for him by Joshua Smith, Esq. who had permission
to go to Dobbs's ferry to carry letters, and for other purposes not
mentioned, and to return. This was done as a blind to the spy boats;
Mr. Smith at the same time had my private directions to go on board
the Vulture, and bring on shore Col. Robinson, or Mr. John Anderson,
which was the name I had requested Major Andre to assume; At the same
time I desired Mr. Smith to inform him, that he should have my
protection, and a safe passport to return in the same boat, as soon as
our business was compleated. As several accidents intervened to prevent
his being sent on board, I gave him my passport to return by land. Major
Andre came on shore in his uniform (without disguise) which with much
reluctance, at my particular and pressing instance, he exchanged for
another coat. I furnished him with a horse and saddle, and pointed out
the route by which he was to return. And as commanding officer in the
department, I had an undoubted right to transact all these matters;
which, if wrong, Major Andre ought by no means to suffer for them.

But if, after this just and candid representation of Major Andre'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 honour, to retaliate on such unhappy
persons of your army, as may fall within my power, that the respect due
to flags, and to the law 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 Excellency Sir Henry Clinton, who
cannot in justice extend his mercy to them any longer, if Major Andre
suffers; which in all probability will open a scene of blood at which
humanity will revolt.

Suffer me to intreat your Excellency, for your own and the honour of
humanity, and the love you have of justice, that you suffer not an
unjust sentence to touch the life of Major Andre.

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.
       _I have the honour to be, with due respect, your Excellency's
           Most obedient and very humble servant,_
                 B. ARNOLD.
  _His Excellency General Washington._



[Illustration: Washington, Lafayette and Greene]



[Illustration: Brig. Gen. Glover]



[Illustration: Maj. Gen. John Stark]



                            _Tappan, Oct._ 1, 1780.
  _SIR,_
Bouy'd above the terror of death, by the consciousness of a life devoted
to honourable 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, and which is to soften my last moments, will not be
rejected.

Sympathy towards a soldier will surely induce your Excellency and a
military tribunal to adopt the mode of my death to the feelings of a
man of honour.

Let me hope, Sir, that if ought in my character impresses you with
esteem towards me, if ought in my misfortunes marks me as the victim
of policy and not of resentment, I shall experience the operation of
these feelings in your breast, by being informed that I am not to die
on a gibbet.

          _I have the honour to be, your Excellency's
              Most obedient and most humble servant,_
                 JOHN ANDRE,
             _Adj. Gen. to the British army._

The time which elapsed between the capture of Major Andre, which was
on the morning of the 23d of Sept. and his execution, which did not
take place till 12 o'clock on the 3d of October;--the mode of trying
him;--his letter to Sir Henry Clinton, K. B. on the 29th of September,
in which he said, "I receive the greatest attention from his Excellency
General Washington, and from every person under whose charge I happen
to be placed;"--not to mention many other acknowledgments which he made
of the good treatment he received;--must evince, that the proceedings
against him were not guided by passion or resentment. The practice and
usage of war were against his request, and made the indulgence he
solicited, circumstanced as he was, inadmissible.

              _Published by order of Congress,_
                 CHARLES THOMSON, _Secretary._





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