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 meantime a packet had arrived from I^ieut. Col.
Jameson, announcing the capture of a John Anderson who was endeavoring to go to New
York with several interesting and important papers, all in the handwriting of General
Arnold. This was also accompanied with a letter from the prisoner, avowing himself to be
Major John Andr6, Adjutant to the British army, relating the manner of his capture, and
endeavoring to show 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 Andrews 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
Stony 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 Andr6, 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. I have taken such
measures with respect to the gentlemen of General Arnold's family,1 as prudence dictated;
but, from everything that has hitherto come to my knowledge, I have the greatest reason
to believe they are perfectly innocent. I early secured Joshua H. Smith, the person
mentioned in the close of General Arnold's letter, and find him to have had considerable
share in this business.
I have the honor to be, etc.,
Though Washington and his staff were occupying the Robinson House,
the Chief avoided seeing Andre.2 By Wednesday morning, the twenty-seventh,
the Vulture, with Arnold aboard, had reached New York, and Sir Henry Clinton
knew of the complete failure of his plans and the capture of his favorite. The
same day, Jameson wrote to Washington a regretful letter,8 in which it is not
hard to recognize the self-reproach of an honorable man who finds he has made an
* * * I am very sorry that I wrote to General Arnold. I did not think of a
British ship being up the river, and expected that, if he was the man he has since turned
out to be, he would come down to the troops in this quarter, in which case I should have
In the evening of Tuesday Andre and Smith met, as they were escorted to
a boat which was to take them to West Point. Smith says he himself was under
1 Colonel Varick and Major Franks, Both were put under arrest, and on November 2d tried by court martial.
Both were acquitted of complicity with Arnold, or knowledge of his plans.
2 It is a singular fact, for which Tallmadge is authority, that he never saw nim at all, living or dead.
3 This was taken to Washington by Paulding.
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