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of West Point, with critical remarks on the works, and other important papers. They conducted their prison. er to Lieutenant Colonel Jameson, who commanded the troops on the lines. Their names were John Paulding, David Williams, and Isaac Van Vert. Con gress eventually settled on each of them an annual pension of two hundred dollars during life ; and presented each with a silver medal, on one side of which was a shield with the inscription “ Fidelity ;' and on the other the motto “ Amor Patriæ.”
André still passed as John Anderson, and requested permission to write to General Arnold to inform him that Andersin was detained. The Colonel thoughtlessly permitted the letter to be sent. Colonel Jameson forwarded to General WASHINGTON the papers found on the prisoner, and a statement of the manner in which he was taken. The General was then on his return from Hartford, and the express unfortunately took a road different from that on which he was travelling, and passed him. This occasioned so great loss of time, that Arnold having received André's letter, made his escape on board the Vulture, before the order for his arrest arrived at West Point.
As soon as André thought that time had been given for Arnold to make bis escape, he threw off the disguise which was abhorrent to his nature, and assumed his appropriate character of ingenuousness and honour. The express which conveyed the intelligence of his capture, was charged with a letter from him to Ge. neral Washington, in which, he declared kis namo and rank, stated that he had, by order of his General, Sir Henry Clinton, corresponded with Arnold, that his intention was to have met him on neutral ground, and that against his stipulation he had been brought within an American post. Attempting to make his escape from it he had been betrayed into the vile condition of an enemy in disguise, and he requested that, "whalover his fate might be, a decency of treatment
might be observed, which would mark, that though unfortunate he was branded with nothing that was dishonourable, and that he was involuntarily an impostor. The decorous and manly deportment of André greatly interested in his favour the American army and nation. He was endowed with properties to conciliate general esteem. His character is thus beautifully painted by the late General Hamilton, who without envy might have contemplated his eminent qualities, for they were not equal to his own. “ There was something singularly interesting in the character of André. To an excellent understanding, well improved by education and travel, he united a peculiar elegance of mind and manners, and the advantages of a pleasing person. It is said that he possessed a pretty taste for the fine arts, and had himself attained some proficiency in poetry, musick, and painting. His knowledge appeared without osteatation, and embellished by a diffidence that rarely accompanies so many talents and accomplishments, which left you to suppose more than appeared. His sentiments were elevated and inspired esteem, they had a softness that conciliated affection. His elo cution was handsome, his address easy, polite, and insinuating. By his merit he had acquired the unlimited confidence of his General, and wns making rapid progress in military rank and reputation. But in the height of his career, flushed with new hopes from the execution of a project the most beneficial to his party that could be devised, he is at once precipitated from the summit of prosperity, sees all the expectations of his ambition blasted, and himself ruined. The charac ter I have given of him is drawn partly from what I saw of him myself, and partly from information. I am aware that a man of real merit is never seen in so favourable a light as through the medium of adversity. The clouds that surround him are so many shades that set off his good qualities. Misfortune cuts down little vanities, that in prosperous times serve as so man
spots in his virtues ; and gives a tone to Lumanity that makes his worth more amiable.
“ His spectators, who enjoy a happier lot, are less prone to detract from it through envy; and are much disposed by compassion to give the credit he deserves, and perhaps even to magnify it.”
General W,SHINGTON referred the case of Major André to a Board of fourteen General officers. Of this Board General Green was President, and the fo. reign Generals La Fayette and Steuben were members. They were to determine in what character he was to be considered, and what punishment ought to be in. flicted. This Board treated their prisoner with the utmost delicacy and tenderness. They desired him to answer no question that enibarrassed his feelings, But, concerned only for bis honour, he frankly confessed he did not come on shore under the sanction of a flag, and stated so fully all facts respecting himself, that it became unnecessary to examine a single witness; but he cautiously guarded against communications which would involve the guilt of others.
The Board reported the important facts in the case, and gave it as their opinion that André was a Spy, and that agreeably to the laws and usages of nations, he ought to suffer death. His execution took place next day.
André was reconciled to death, but not to the mode of dying, which the laws of war had assigned to per. sons in his situation. He wished to die as a soldier, not as a criminal. In language, which proved him possessed of the nicest feelings of heroism and honour, he wrote to General Washington, soliciting that he might not die on a gibbet : but the stern maxims of justice for bade a compliance with the request, although the sensibility of the General was wounded by a refu. sal.
Major André walked with composure to the place of execution between two American officers. When
he beheld the instrument of nis fate, he asked with soine emotion," must I die in this manner ?” “It ja unavoidable,” was the answer. He replied, “ I am re conciled to my fate, but not to the mode ;” but imme diately added, “it will be but a momentary pang.' With a countenance of serenity and magnanimit! which melted the heart of every spectator, he inount ed the cart. Being asked at the fatal moment if he wished to say any thing, only that "you will witness to the world, that I die like a brave man."
Never, perhaps, did an execution of this kind more deeply interest the finer feelings of human nature.
The Gencral officers, who reported his case, lamented the necessity they were under to advise that as a spy he should be hung; and the heart of General WASHINGTON was wrung with anguish when he signed his death warrant. But the fatal wound that would have been inflicted on the country, had Arnold's treason succeeded, made the sacrifice necessary for the publick safety. The American officers universally discovered a sympathy for the unfortunate sufferer, and the sensibility of the publick was greatly excited on the occasion.
Great, but unavailing endeavours had beed used by Sir Henry Clinton to save Major André. Even Arnold had the presumption to write a threatening letter to General WASHINGTON on the subject. The General deigned not to answer his letter, but he conveyed to him his wife and his baggage. The merits and the fate of André gave a darker shade to the baceness and treachery of Arnold, and he became an object of publick detestation and abhorrence. “ André," observed General WASHINGTON in a letter to a friend,“ has inet his fate with that fortitude which was to be expected from an accomplished man and gallant officer ; but I ain mistaken if at this time Arnold is undergoing the terments of a mental 119!l. He wants feeling : from . some traits of his character, which liave lately come
to my knowledge, ne seems to have been so hackney. ed in crime, so lost to all sense of honour and shame, that while his faculties still enable him to continue his sordid pursuits, there will be no time for remorsa.
Arnold published at New-York, an address to the inhabitants of America, and a proclamation to the officers and soldiers of the American army. In these publications, he attempted to sow the seeds of disaffection to the government among the citizens, and to allure, by the prospect of emolument and promotion, numbers from the army to the British standard; but these publications met with universal indignation and contempt. During the whole period of the revolution. ary war, the infamous Arnold was the only American officer who deserted his banners, and turned his sword against the bosoni of his country.
On the discovery of the defection of Arnold, Gencral Washington strengthened the garrison of West Point, and moved the army to a position to support it, should Sir Henry Clinton make an attempt to carry the post. But although he had acquired a correct knowledge of its works, and was assistad by the ad. vice of Arnold, he was not inclined to hazard the as. sault unaided by plot and stratagem.
The state of the army lay perpetually upon thu mind of the Commander in Chief. Not wholly discouraged by former unsuccessful attempts to persuade ('ongress to adopt a permanent military establishment, he embraced the inactive period of this campaign once mora to address that honourable body on this important subject.
* Colonel Hamilton in a private letter to a friend unfolded . the practices io which General WASHINGTON here alludes. “ This man (Arnold) is in every sense despicable. In addition to the scene of knavery and prostitutivn during his command in Philadelphia, which the laie seizure of his papers has infolded, the history of buis command at West Point is a history of little as well as great villanies. He practised every dirty Art of peculation and even stooped to connexions with the suilers of the garrison to defraud the publick.”