Abbildungen der Seite



for him to return to the vessel. In this extremity, un fortunately for himself, he allowed Arnold to conduct him within one of the American posts, where he lay concealed till the next night. In the mean time, the Vulture, having been incommoded by an American battery, had moved lower down the river, and the boatmen now refused to convey the stranger on board her.

Being cut off from this way of escape, André was advised to make for New York by land ; and, for this purpose, he was furnished with a disguise, and a passport signed by Arnold, designating him as John Anderson. He had advanced in safety near the British lines, when he was stopped by three New York militia men, whose names were Paulding, Williams and Vanwart. Instead of showing them his pass, he asked them where they belonged to ?' and on their answering “to below,' meaning to New York, with singular want of judgment, he stated that he was a British officer, and begged them to let him proceed without delay.

The men, now declaring their real character, seized him; and notwithstanding his offer of a purse of gold, a valuable watch, and much larger bribes from his government, if they would release him, they proceeded to search him, and found in one of his boots certain papers which gave fatal evidence of his own culpability, and of Arnold's treachery. These papers were in Arnold's hand writing, and contained exact and detailed returns of the forces, ordinance and defences of West Point, and its dependencies, with the artillery orders, critical remarks on the works, an estimate of the number of men that were ordinarily on duty to man them, and the copy of a state of matters that had, on the 6th of the month, been laid before a council of war by the commander in chief.

When André was conducted by his captors to the quarters of the commander of the scouting parties, still assuming the name of Anderson, he requested permission to write to Arnold, to inform him of his detention. This request was inconsiderately granted; and the traitor being thus apprised of his peril, instantly made his escape. · At this moment, Washington arriving at West Point, was made acquainted with the whole affair. Having taken the necessary precautions for the security of his post, he referred the case of his prisoner to a court martial, consisting of fourteen general officers.

Relate the circumstances of André's | How did he contrive to save Arnold capture.

What was done by Washington ? What did his papers contain ?

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]


Capture of Major André. Before this tribunal André appeared with steady composure of mind. He voluntarily confessed all the facts of his case. Being interrogated by the board, with respect to his conception of his coming on shore under the sanction of a flag, he ingenuously replied, that if he had landed under that protection, he might have returned under it.' The court having taken all the circumstances of the case into consideration, unanimously concurred in the opinion that he ought to be considered as a spy; and that agreeably to the laws and usages of nations, he ought to suffer death.'

Sir Henry Clinton, first by amicable negotiation, and afterwards by threats, endeavoured to induce the American commander to spare the life of his friend ; but Washington did not think this act of mercy compatible with his duty to his country, and André was ordered for exécision. He had petitioned to be allowed to die a soldier's death, but this request could not be granted. Of this circumstance, however, he was kept in ignorance, till he saw the preparations for his final catastrophe, when finding that the bitterness of his destiny was not to be alleviated as he wished, he exclaimed, • It is out a momentary pang,' and calmly submitted to his fate.

No circumstance which occurred during the war was more trying to the feelings of Washington than this: The noble ingenuousness of André; his disinterested exertions to save his accomplice, by sending him intelligence of his capture; and his firmness in the last trying moments, all pronounced him worthy of a better fate. But his having consented in an evil hour to assume the detestable character of a spy, and an


By André on his trial?
By the court ?
By Sir Henry Clinton ?

How did André die?
What remarks are made on this af.







agent in a scheme of treason, placed him beyond the reach of that mercy which the magnanimous Washington would have rejoiced to extend, if the safety of his country would have permitted it.

The treason of Arnold received the stipulated reward. He was immediately appointed brigadier general in the service of the king of Great Britain; and, on his promotion he had the folly and presumption to publish an address, in which he avowed, that, being dissatisfied with the alliance between the United States and France, he had retained his arms and command for an opportunity to surrender them to Great Britain.' This address was exceeded in meanness and insolence by another, in which he invited his late companions in arms to follow his example. The American soldiers read these manifestoes with scorn; and so odious did the character of a traitor, as exemplified in the conduct of Arnold, become in their estimation, that desertion wholly ceased amongst them at this remarkable period of the war.

Circumstances, however, took place soon after the discovery of Arnold's treason, which led that renegade to entertain defusive hopes that the army of Washington would disband itself. The Pennsylvania troops, then stationed on the Hudson, had been enlisted on the ambiguous terms of serving three years, or during the continuance of the war.' As the three years from the date of their enrolment were expired, they claimed their discharge, which was refused by the of ficers, who maintained that the option of the two abovementioned conditions rested with the state.

Wearied out with privations, and indignant at what they deemed an attempt to impose upon them, the soldiers flew to arms, deposed their officers, and under the guidance of others whom they elected in their place, they quitted Morristown and marched to Princeton. Here they were solicited by the most tempting offers on the part of some emissaries sont by Sir Henry Clinton, to put themselves under the proteccion of the British government. But they were so far from listening to these overtures, that they arrested Sir Henry's agents, and their grievances having been redressed by the interposition of


How was Arnold rewarded for his | What is said of the Pennsylvania treason by the British ?

troops ? What was then done by him ? Of Sir Henry Clinton's emissaries ? Whom lid he endeavour to cor- Of the mutinous troops ? rupt?

How were Sir Henry's agents treated ?

* Ramsay.



a committee of congress, they returned to their duty; and the British spies, having been tried by a board of officers, were condemned to death and executed.

A similar revolt of a small body of the Jersey line was quelled by the capital punishment of two of the ringleaders of the mutineers. The distresses, which were the chief cause of this misconduct of the American soldiery, were principally occasioned by the depreciation of the continental currency; which evil at this period effected its own cure, as the depreciated paper was by common consent, and without any act of the legislature, put out of use; and by a seasonable loan from France, and the revival of trade with the French and Spanish West Indies, its place was speedily supplied by hard money.



This was the last campaign of the revolutionary war. Its events decided the contest in favour of American indepen. dence.

Though the Spaniards and the Dutch had united with France in hostility against Great Britain, she still, with unconquered spirit, everywhere made head against her foreign enemies; and the king's ministers were now more than ever determined, by an extension of combined measures, to reduce the North American provinces to submission. The plan of the campaign of 1781, accordingly, comprehended active operations in the state of New York, South Carolina, and Virginia.

The invasion of the last mentioned state was entrusted to Arnold; who, taking with him a force of 1,600 men, and a number of armed vessels, sailed up the Chesapeake, spreading terror and devastation wherever he came. An attempt to in

What is said of the Jersey troops ? What was the disposition of the BriWhat was the chief cause of discon- tish ministry? tent among the soldiery?

What was their plan for the camHow was it removed?

paign? What was the state of affairs at the Give an account of Arnold's opera

commencement of the campaign of tions. 1781 ?



tercept him was made by the French fleet, which sailed from Rhode Island for that purpose; but after an indecisive engagement with the fleet of Admiral Arbuthnot, off the capes of Virginia, was obliged to return to Newport, leaving ihe invaded state open to the incursions of the British, who, making occasional advances into the country, destroyed an immense quantity of public stores, and enriched themselves with an extensive plunder of private property, at the same time burning all the shipping in the Chesapeake and its tributary streams, which they could not conveniently carry away as prizes.

'The Carolinas also suffered severely by the scourge of war. When Gates was removed from the command of the American forces in that district, he was succeeded by General Greene, to whose charge he transferred the poor remains of his army, which were collected at Charlotte, in North Carolina, and which amounted to 2,000 men. These troops were imperfecily armed and badly clothed ; and such was the poverty of the military chest, that they were obliged to supply themselves with provisions by forced requisitions made upon the inhabitants of the adjacent country.

In these circumstances, to encounter the superior forces of the enemy in pitched battle, would have been madness. Greene, therefore, resolved to carry on the war as a partisan officer, and to avail himself of every opportunity of harassing the British in detail.

The first enterprise which he undertook in prosecution of this system, was eminently successful. Understanding that the inhabitants of the district of Ninety-Six, who had submitted to the royal authority, were severely harassed by the licensed acts of plunder committed by the king's troops and the loyalists, he sent General Morgan into that quarter with a small detachment, which was, on its arrival, speedily in creased by the oppressed countrymen, who were burning for revenge.

Lord Cornwallis, who was at this moment on the point of invading North Carolina, no sooner heard of this movement, than he sent Lieutenant Colonel Tarleton, with 1,100 men, to drive Morgan out of the district. Tarleton was an active partisan officer, and had been as successful in his various en

What is said of the Carolinas? What was General Greene's plan of Who succeeded General Gates in the operations? south?

Where did he commence, and how ? What was the condition of the south- | Who was sent to oppose Morgan ? eru army?

What is said of Tarleton ?

« ZurückWeiter »