originals in size and form. The whole design is that of the best residences of its
day, and when new and in good condition it must have been a handsome and
dignified abode for a man of means and good social position, which Smith certainly
was. A complete list of its visitors of note would be interesting. In its dining-
room Arnold, his host and Mrs. Smith dined when the former made his frequent
visits from West Point. Mrs. Arnold, with her child, was there overnight,
Tuesday, the twelfth1 of September, and there were to be other and more
distinguished guests soon after. Wayne was there on the twenty-seventh, and
wrote to Washington, dating from "Smith's white house." William Irvine
followed, then Lafayette, and finally Washington, again,2 nearly a year later, on
his way to Cornwallis and Yorktown.
Though contemporary opinions as to Smith's politics varied widely, he was
in excellent repute with many good Whigs. Though Colonel Lamb, commanding
the artillery at West Point, would not visit him (although their wives were
relatives) as he deemed him a Tory, Knox and Robert Howe testified in his favor
at his trial, and Major Kierse, of Stony Point, testified that Smith had lent him
a thousand dollars that very summer, to aid in shipping quartermaster's stores,
and that his predecessor, Quartermaster Henry, had had a similar loan. Colonel
Hay testified that in July, 1776, Smith was one of thirteen men who, in the
absence of the militia, successfully resisted the landing of a force from some
British vessels, to carry off some stores from Haverstraw.
In the parlor, the floor boards attest the building's age. They are spruce,
unusually wide and thick, and but little worn, considering their century and a
quarter of use. The grate, fender, and iron-work of the fireplace are said to be
the originals, but the marble mantel and jambs have been transferred to the
dining-room and replaced by others. They are of white marble and were brought
from England. On the mantel, some Vandal has roughly scratched the name
Burr.8 In the second story the visitor is shown a curious secret closet under the
garret stairs, and then the most interesting apartment of the house, the southeast
bedroom, where Arnold and Andre breakfasted.4 Smith himself brought the
meal upstairs, and Arnold returned to the Robinson House as soon as it was over.
Every detail of the conspiracy had been settled between Andre and himself, and
1 There has been some variance of opinion about this date, some writers claiming it was the nineteenth. I have
followed Leake, who says Arnold " brought Mrs. Arnold to the Robinson House, the next day," which
was the thirteenth.
2 King (see Ch. Ill) says he heard Washington tell Luzerne in October, that he dined with Arnold at Belmont
the day he started for his conference with Rochambeau at Hartford.
As Washington was crossing from King's Ferry, in Arnold's boat, two incidents occurred, which although almost unnoticed at the time, assumed some importance when the treachery became known. The_ Vulture was in full view, and while Washington was regarding her through his spyglass, and speaking in a low tone to one of his officers, Arnold was observed to appear uneasy. A second was Lafayette's remark to Arnold, apropos of the expected arrival of the French fleet under Count de Guichen. Alluding to the frequent communications by water between New York and the Hudson river posts, he said: "General, since you have a correspondence with the enemy, you must ascertain what has become of Guichen."
Arnold was disconcerted, probably for a moment thinking his-plot was discovered; but nothing more was said, as the shore was reached at that moment.—Spajrks, quoted by Lossing.
s After Aaron Burr. * According to Thacher, page 12.
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