American Revolution - Highlights - TREASON MOST FOUL

TREASON MOST FOUL (Illustration) American History Famous Historical Events Famous People Social Studies Revolutionary Wars Ethics American Revolution

In 1845, Asher Brown Durand (1796–1886) created this artistic interpretation of the capture of British Major John Andre. The oil-on-canvas, which measures 25 × 30 inches (63.5 × 76.2 cm), is currently maintained at the Birmingham Museum of Art (in Birmingham, Alabama). Click on it for a better view.


Benedict Arnold insisted on a personal meeting with John Andre. Knowing such a meeting would require him to go behind enemy lines, Andre initially resisted but finally gave in.

He would wear his uniform, however. To dress in disguise, or use a false name, would automatically render him a spy, if he were caught.

The meeting with Arnold (on September 21, 1780) took longer than expected, but Andre left with priceless documents. Benedict Arnold gave him key data about West Point, including troop placement.

Because his ship (the Vulture) had moved up river, Andre was stranded. He would have to return by land, inside American lines.

Against his better judgment, Andre wore a disguise and used passes (prepared by Arnold) in the name of John Anderson. Joshua Hett Smith, who was later court-martialed but found not guilty, traveled with him.  (To clear his name, Smith wrote An Authentic Narrative of the Causes which Led to the Death of Major Andrè.) 

Smith also traveled with a pass signed by Arnold.

Believing he was safe, once the two men reached neutral territory on September 23rd, Andre continued alone. By 9 a.m. that morning, he was apprehended by suspicious militiamen. Searching Andre, the men (John Paulding, Isaac Van Wart and David Williams) found the West Point documents.

It was the beginning of the end for John Andre.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Dec 04, 2014

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"TREASON MOST FOUL" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jan 21, 2020.
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