André, John, a British military officer, born in London in 1751; entered the army in 1771; went to Canada in 1774; and was made prisoner by the Americans in 1775. After his exchange, he was rapidly promoted, and in 1780 was appointed Adjutant-General, with the rank of Major. His prospects were of the most flattering kind when the treason of Arnold led to his death. The temporary abeyance of Washington having been chosen by the traitor as the most proper season for carrying into effect his design of delivering to Sir Henry Clinton the fortification at West Point, then under his command, and refusing to confide to any but Major André the maps and information required by the British general, an interview became necessary, and Sept. 19, 1780, André left New York in the sloop-of-war "Vulture," and on the next day arrived at Fort Montgomery, in company with Beverly Robinson, an American residing at the lines, through whom the communications had been carried on. Furnished with passports from Arnold, Robinson and André the next day landed and were received by the traitor at the water's edge. Having arranged all the details of the proposed treason, Arnold delivered to André drafts of the works at West Point and memoranda of the forces under his command, and the latter returned to the beach in hopes of being immediately conveyed to the "Vulture." But the ferrymen, who were Americans, refused to carry him, and as Arnold would not interpose his authority, he was compelled to return by land. Unfortunately for him he persisted, against the advice of Arnold, in retaining the papers, which he concealed in his boot. Accompanied by Smith, an emissary of Arnold, and provided with a passport under his assumed name of Anderson, he set out and reached in safety a spot from which he could see the ground occupied by the English videttes. At Tarrytown he was first stopped, and then arrested, by three Americans. André offered them his money, horse, and a large reward, but without avail. They examined his person, and, in his boots, found the fatal papers. He was then conveyed to Colonel Jameson, commander of the American outposts. On the arrival of Washington, André was conveyed to Tappan and tried by a board of general officers, among whom were General Greene, the president, Lafayette, and Knox. Every effort was made by Sir Henry Clinton to save him, and there was a strong disposition on the American side to do so. His execution, originally appointed for Sept. 30, did not take place until Oct. 2. If possession could have been obtained of the traitor, the life of André would have been spared. His remains, which were buried on the spot, were afterward removed to London, and now repose in Westminster Abbey.


Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

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