I have, Sir, most carefully re-perused your letter of September thirtieth, which
contains indeed an opinion of a Board of your General Officers, but in no respect any
opinion or determination of your Excellency.
I must remain therefore, altogether at a loss what they may be, until you are so
good as to inform me, which I make no doubt of your Excellency's doing immediately.
I will, Sir, in the meantime very freely declare my sentiments upon this occasion, which
positively are, that under no description Major Andr£ can be considered as a spy; nor by
any usage of nations at war, or the customs of armies, can he be treated as such. That
officer went at Major General Arnold's request from me to him, at that time in the
American service and Commanding officer at West Point. A flag of truce was sent to
receive Major Andr£ with which he went on shore and met General Arnold.
To this period he was acting under my immediate orders as a military man. What
happened after was from the entire direction and positive orders of Major General Arnold,
your officer commanding at West Point: and Major Andre1 travelled in this way to New
York, with pass-ports from that American General Officer who had an undoubted right to
grant them. And here it may be necessary to observe that Major Andr£ was stopped
upon the road, and on Neutral Ground, and made a prisoner two days prior to Major
General Arnold's quitting the American service at West Point.
From all of which I have a right to assert, that Major Andrd can merely be con-
sidered as a messenger, and not as a spy. He visited no Posts, made no Plans, held no
conversation with any person save Major General Arnold; and the papers found upon him
were written in that General officer's own hand-writing, who directed Major Andr6 to
receive and deliver them to me.
From these circumstances, I have no doubt but you, Sir, will see this matter in
the same point of view with me, and will be extremely cautious of producing a precedent
which may render the future progress of this unhappy war liable to a want of that
humanity. Which I am willing to believe your Excellency possesses, and which I have
I trust, Sir, to your good sense and to your liberality, for a speedy release of Major
Andre1 who, I am free to own, is an officer I extremely value and a Gentleman I very
I enclose to you, Sir, a list of persons, among whom is a Gentleman who acted as
the American Lieutenant-Governor of South Carolina. A discovered conspiracy and
correspondence with General Gates's army, have been a reason for removing these persons
from Charleston to St. Augustine. Being desirous to promote the release of Major Andre
upon any reasonable terms, I offer to you, Sir, this Lieutenant Governor, Mr. Gadson,1
for my Adjutant General, or will make a military exchange for him should you, Sir,
prefer it. Lieutenant General Robertson in his report to me, mentions his having requested
from your Excellency a copy of Major Andre's letter to you, Sir, upon which seems
grounded great matter of charge against him — given, as if that letter might be considered
as confession of his guilt as a spy. I have waited until this evening with some impatience
for the copy of the Letter I mention, not doubting but your Excellency will send it to me.
I have now to request you will, Sir, do so, and I shall pay it every due considera-
tion and give your Excellency my answer upon it immediately.
I have the honour to be, etc.,
1 Christopher Gadsden.
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