it could have been read by Clinton, although written at his request with a view
of operating on the judgment and clemency of Washington." Marbois says
Greene contemptuously let it fall on the ground at Robertson's feet. Notwith-
standing, the shrewd Scotchman told him he would stay aboard the Greyhound
all night, and expressed his hope that Andre would be released the next day, or
at any rate saved from death, on Greene's statement to his chief of Robertson's
arguments. The sincerity of his belief, unfounded as it was, appears in the
letter he wrote Clinton that very day.1 While these efforts were making to save
him, Andre, recalling Tallmadge's warning of his fate, wrote to Washington the
letter which N. P. Willis afterwards paraphrased in verse,' and which remains to
this day a model of manly feeling,8 tersely and forcibly expressed by one who,
feeling himself within one day of death, was yet only solicitous about its mode:
1 Off Dobbs' Ferry,
Sir,—On coming to anchor here, I seat Murray on shore, who soon returned with notice that General
Green was ready to meet me, but would not admit a conference with the other two gentlemen.
I paid my compliments to his character, and expressed the satisfaction I had in treating with him in
the cause of my friend, the two armies, and humanity. He said he could not treat with me as an officer—
that Mr. Washington had permitted him to meet me as a gentleman, but the case of an acknowledged spy
admitted no opportunity of discussion. I said that a knowledge of facts was necessary to direct a General's
judgment; that in whatever character I was (received) I hoped he would represent what I said candidly to
Mr. Washington. I laid before him the facts and Arnold's assertion of Mr. Andrd's being under a flag of
truce and disguised by his order. He showed me a low-spirited letter of Andrew's saying that he had not
landed under a flag of truce, and lamenting his being taken in a mean disguise. He expresses this in
language that admits it to be criminal I told him that Andre" stated facts with truth, but reasoned ill
upon them; that whether a flag was flying or not, was of no moment. He landed and acted as directed
by their General. He said they would believe Andre" in preference to Arnold. * * * *
Green said one thing would satisfy them—they expected if Andre" was set free, Arnold should be
given up. This I answered with a look only which threw Green into confusion. I am persuaded Andre1
will not be hurt.
Believe me, Sir, etc., etc., etc.,
(The omitted portions correspond with the general narrative, hence are omitted as repetitions.) His assertion
about surrendering Arnold is almost certainly pure invention. Greene repelled his intimation that Lieut.
Governor Gadsden and other South Carolina prisoners might be retaliated upon.
2 Willis wrote:
It is not the fear of death
That damps my brow;
It is not for another breath
I ask thee now.
I can die with a lip unstirred
And a quiet heart—
Let but this prayer be heard
Ere I depart.
I can give up my mother's look—
My sister's kiss;
I can think of love—yet brook
A death like this!
I can give up the young fame
I burn'd to win ;
All—but the spotless name
I glory in.
Thine is the power to give,
Thine to deny:
Joy for the hour I live,
Calmness to die.
By all the brave should cherish,
By my dying breath,
I ask that I may perish
By a soldier's death.. 3 Sargent says, page 68.
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.