that if they had been made fully acquainted with every circumstance relating to 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
Colonel Robinson or Mr. John Anderson, which is 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
completed. As several accidents intervened to prevent his being sent on board, I gave
him my passport to return by land. Major Andr£ 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 Andr6 suffers; which in all
probability will open a scene of blood at which humanity will revolt.
Suffer me to entreat 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 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, etc., etc.,
Surely a more remarkable jumble of brazen avowal of treason, pleading,
threats and hypocrisy, was never written—and this by the man who had attacked
Quebec, saved the day at Saratoga, nearly captured Tryon at Danbury (Compo),
saved from want the children of Warren, and for five years been intimately
associated with the very men he now declares to be "actuated by passion or
If he really expected it to help Andre, he was singularly deficient in
knowledge of the man he addressed.1 Sparks well says: " It is hardly possible that
1 Sargent thinks it did not reach Waeshington until after the execution.
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