Benedict Arnold

BENEDICT ARNOLD was one of the most distinguished generals in the American army during the earlier part of the contest of the colonies with Great Britain, and subsequently infamous as a traitor to his country, was born in Connecticut, of obscure parentage, and received an education suitable to an humble condition. The occupations of his youth were not fitted to prepare him for the functions which he was called upon to exercise in the sequel. At first a dealer in horses, he sustained losses in his trade. Eager for renown, greedy of money, the troubles of his country inspired him with the hope of acquiring fame and fortune by the profession of arms: accordingly, on the breaking out of the revolutionary war, he embraced the cause of his countrymen with enthusiasm, and took the command of a company of volunteers at New Haven. He soon won a high military reputation. Washington, encouraged by secret advices that the Canadians were inclined to make part of the Union, projected the surprise of Quebec. This hazardous undertaking required leaders at once active, vigilant, bold, and inflexibly patient. He committed it to Montgomery and colonel Arnold, as the most capable. He exhorted them, with extreme earnestness, to treat the Canadians as friends, as fellow-citizens, and to punish severely the least irregularities of the soldiery. Arnold began his march in the month of September. He conducted his small force through deserts which man had never before penetrated. The river of Kennebeck had overflowed its banks; he crossed it by swimming, or on rafts. Unknown streams presented a new obstacle: he diverted their course. The snow fell in abundance; a few hours of sun during the day were insufficient to thaw the ice formed in the long and severe nights of the northern autumn; but nothing could arrest his progress. He was always in the van with the pioneers, who cut a passage through this wild country, and, at the end of each march, had arrived before the enemy knew of his approach. He thus put in practice a maxim which he was fond of repeating: 'In war, expedition is equivalent to strength.' The last division, conducted by a man less resolute and persevering, returned; while he, at the head of the two first, sustained the courage of the soldiers, who were exhausted by fatigue, hunger and every species of suffering. After two months of toil, all impediments were overcome, and he encamped before the fortress, but with a band so much enfeebled, that he was obliged to await the arrival of Montgomery, who approached by another route. Montgomery died gloriously in an assault, December 31, 1775. Arnold was severely wounded in the leg, and forced to convert the siege into a blockade. He was not, however, to be daunted by any reverse. From the bed to which his wound confined him, he infused into the little army, the command of which had now devolved upon him, his own spirit of determination and confidence. The enterprise failed: the courage and intelligence which he exhibited throughout, placed him, nevertheless, in the first class of American officers. He served with better fortune, and still greater distinction, in the subsequent campaigns, and bore a considerable part in that in which Burgoyne and his army were made prisoners. He fought with his usual intrepidity in the engagement which immediately preceded the capitulation. The first to throw himself into the intrenchments of the enemy, he was animating his men by his example, when a ball shattered the leg already wounded at the siege of Quebec. As he was borne from the ranks to his tent, he still issued orders for the continuance of the assault. The boldness of Arnold was so great, that he was accused of a disposition to entangle himself rashly in perilous situations; b ut it could not be denied, that his rapid discernment supplied him, in the midst of danger, with the surest expedients, and that success always justified his daring. The admiration of his fellow-citizens kept pace with his services. His love of glory was accompanied with an equally strong love of pleasure and dissipation, and he was very unscrupulous about the mode of obtaining the means of gratifying it. His ill-gotten wealth he squandered in frivolous expenses, or mere ostentation. Montreal, the second city of Canada, was, under his command, a scene of injustice and rapacity, and the Canadians soon abandoned the design of joining the confederation. The attempt on Canada was abandoned, and, the wounds of Arnold being not yet healed, he could be invested only with some stationary command. Washington, though he detested his vices, did not wish to leave his talents idle. The English having evacuated Philadelphia, he directed. Arnold to take possession of that city with some troops of the Pennsylvania line, - a delicate charge for a man so prone to extend his powers, and define them according to his interests. It was not long before he displayed in this city a magnificence as foreign to the habits of the country, as it was unseasonable in the midst of the calamities of war. He even lodged in his house the French envoy and all his suite on their arrival. From this time, too, he began to profess an extraordinary attachment to the French, and great zeal for an alliance with them. To relieve himself from the difficulties into which his extravagance had plunged him, he resorted to the same oppression and extortion which had rendered his authority odious to the Canadians. Under pretense of the wants of the army, he forbade the shopkeepers to sell or buy; he then put their goods at the disposal of his agents, and caused them afterwards to be resold with a profit. He prostituted his authority to enrich his accomplices, and spabbled with them about the division of the prey. The citizens applied for redress to the courts of justice. But, with his military authority as his shield, he set at defiance both justice and the laws. At length, however, a representation of the grievances which the state was suffering, was made to congress by the president of the executive council of Pennsylvania, a man of firm and upright character, who had endeavored in vain to repress the overweening and predatory spirit of Arnold, and a committee was appointed to inquire into the subject. Arnold replied to the charges with arrogance. Some members of congress were of opinion that he should be suspended from his military functions until the investigation of his public conduct was brought to an issue; but the accusation had become an affair of party, and he had influence enough to cause this proposition to be set aside. Congress at length resolved to lay the complaints against him before the commander-in-chief.

As soon as Arnold saw that the resolutions of congress would be of this tenor, he resigned the command which he held in Philadelphia. He was tried before a court martial, and condemned, January 20, 1779, to be reprimanded by the commander-in-chief. Congress ratified the sentence, and Washington, having caused the culprit to appear before him, performed the task with the considerate delicacy which he thought due to so distinguished an officer. Arnold, however, quitted the army, and, thenceforth, nourished an implacable hatred towards the cause which he had so brilliantly defended. The embarrassment of his affairs was at this time such, that private aid would not suffice to extricate him. He had, some time before, formed a partnership with some owners of privateers, who paid his share of the expenses of equipment, and expected to be compensated for their advances by his countenance and protection; but the chances were adverse, and, instead of profits to be divided, there were losses to be borne. Arnold, now without credit or authority, was no longer regarded by the owners as any thing more than an ordinary partner. They exacted his proportion of the loss, and their knowledge of his difficulties only served to render them more urgent in their suit. In this extremity he tried a last resort.

Congress, at the commencement of the revolution, committed an error which proved of great detriment to the finances. It entrusted some officers with agencies which had no immediate connection with the business of command or military service. Arnold, the least proper for such trusts, was charged with considerable ones, and had large claims for moneys and stores furnished in the expedition to Canada. The commissioners to whom they were referred for settlement, reduced them very considerably. He appealed from their decision to congress, who pronounced that the commissioners had shown more lenity than rigor in the liquidation of his accounts. Disappointed in all his expectations, Arnold at last determined to betray his country, and to make his treason in a high degree useful to England, that it might procure him a full pardon for his share in the revolt of the colonies. He wished to be regarded as a subject returned to his allegiance, and worthy of the honorable rewards due to faithful and virtuous citizens. As a first step, the British commanders were to be made acquainted with his discontent, but in so guarded a manner as to leave a retreat open in case the offers which might be made to him should not prove satisfactory. Particular circumstances facilitated the communications between them.

As soon as the English commander was apprized of the disposition of Arnold, he despatched emissaries charged with such offers as were most likely to determine a man whose hesitation was only about the means and conditions. Some of Arnold's proceedings, about this period, warrant the supposition, that he at first meant to tamper with his brother officers, but relinquished this design on more mature reflection. He took good care that nothing of his real intentions should be divined by the subaltern English agents; but there was, at New York, a man whom he thought he could trust without risk. This was Charles Beverley Robinson, an American by birth, and a colonel in the British army, whose property all lay within the United States. His mansion, situated on the Hudson, was included in the American lines, and three miles lower than the forts upon the opposite bank. The commanding officers of West Point, having found it deserted, had made it their quarters. Arnold wrote to this officer, that the ingratitude of his country, and other considerations to be afterwards disclosed, had produced a change in his political sentiments; that he aspired to merit, thenceforward, the favor of the king; that he could render signal services; and wished to enter into a correspondence on the subject with Sir Henry Clinton. This overture was well received, and, a direct communication with the English general being established, it was agreed that Arnold should dissemble, with the utmost care, his discontent; that he should make every effort to obtain a command from general Washington; that, as soon as he succeeded, he should consult with Sir Henry Clinton as to his future movements, and be guided by the instructions which would be given by him. From this time, he entirely altered his manner and language. He affected to have forgotten the affront of the reprimand, and pretended to feel a more lively attachment than ever to the cause of independence.

The country through which the Hudson flows was the principal theatre of the war. A station in this quarter would, he thought, best answer his purpose. He was well acquainted with the localities. He examined, with minute attention, in what spot, by what operations, he could most beneficially second the enterprises of the British, and which was the most important position to betray into their hands. New York was, at this time, in the hands of the British, who had assembled there the greatest part of their troops. The fortress of West Point, a military station of very great importance, is distant twenty leagues from this city. Arnold aimed at the chief command of this post, with a view of betraying it into the hands of the British, with the garrisons, and the arms and immense stores which were deposited there; for Fort Clinton contained, besides the ammunition necessary for its own defense, the stock of powder of the whole army. The command of the fort had been entrusted to general Howe, an officer of tried courage, but of limited capacity, who could be employed elsewhere without inconvenience to the service. The wounds of Arnold did not as yet allow him to mount on horseback; they did not disqualify him, however, for conducting the defense of a citadel. He had early secured the patronage of some of the leading men of the State of New York, and Washington was prevailed upon to consign West Point to him. Being a traitor to his own country, he was apprehensive lest those to whom he was about to sell himself, might prove treacherous to him. He felt anxious to receive the price of his ignominious bargain at the moment of its ratification; but he could extort nothing more than a promise of 30,000 pounds sterling, and the assurance that he should be maintained in the British army in the rank of brigadier-general, which he already held. About a month previous (July 10, 1780,) the first division of the French army arrived at Newport, in the State of Rhode Island. The situation of the English became every day more and more critical. Sir Henry Clinton had relinquished his projected expedition. He urged Arnold to fulfill his engagements, and supposed the thing easy for a general who was master of the forts and the river; but there were, in fact, numerous obstacles in the way, and of these the presence of the commander-in-chief was the most serious. Arnold knew his vigilance and activity. He insisted, therefore, with Clinton on the necessity of deliberation, adding, however, that all should be in readiness to improve the first favorable opportunity. A young officer of foreign extraction served in the British Army. He was endowed with all the qualities which render a man useful to his country, and dear to society. This was JOHN ANDRE, adjutant-general of the British army. General Sir Henry Clinton had taken him as his aid-de-camp, and did not disdain him as a counselor. To him Clinton committed the business of negotiating with Arnold. A correspondence ensued between Arnold and Andre, under the names of Gustavus and Anderson. Mercantile relations were feigned, to disguise the real object, and an American, whose dwelling stood between the lines that separated the two armies, served as a common messenger. At this period the rumor began to spread of a second division of the French army having sailed, and that Washington only awaited its arrival to begin the siege of New York. The marshal de Castries, who then administered the department of the marine with so much reputation, had, in fact, advised the French envoy of the approaching departure of a second expedition. Clinton caused Arnold to be told that it was time to act; that a day must be fixed for the surrender of the forts; and that, if time were given to the allies to effect a junction, it might no longer be in the power of Arnold himself to fulfill his engagements. He asked, also, plans of the forts, and the instructions necessary for the safe guidance of the British troops when they were sent to take possession of West Point. Arnold replied to these new importunities in the language concerted with Andre: Our master goes away the 17th of this month. He will be absent five or six days. Let us avail ourselves of this interval to arrange our business. Come immediately and meet me at the lines, and we will settle definitively the risks and profits of the copartnership. All will be ready; but this interview is indispensable, and must precede the sailing of our ship.' It was thus that Arnold apprized Clinton of the approaching departure of the commander-in-chief. Washington had, in fact, given a rendezvous to count de Rochambeau, general of the French land forces, and to the chevalier de Ternay, commander of the squadron. They were to meet at Hartford, in Connecticut, to confer about the operations of this and the ensuing campaigns. But Arnold was not correctly advised as to the period of Washington's departure, and the mistake led to important consequences. He had, in other letters, solicited an interview with Andre, and he now exacted it as a condition indispensable for the prosecution of the enterprise. Hitherto, everything had succeded beyond his hopes. There had been a total absence of those mysterious rumors, and vague surmises, which accompany, and seem to portend, a great conspiracy. Never had so momentous a plot been more felicitously brought so near to its execution. This profound secrecy was owing to the precaution of Arnold, in not having unbosomed himself to any of his own countrymen, and in admitting only Andre and Robinson as correspondents. He took credit for this policy, and his urgency for an interview with Andre arose chiefly from his resolution to confide to the hands of this officer alone the maps and particular information which Clinton demanded.

The 17th of September, the day specified for the departure of Washington, passed, and he was still at West Point. Arnold advertised Clinton of the delay, and explained his mistake by mentioning a circumstance which had not been before noted. The 17th fell on a Sunday, a day which the Americans consecrated entirely to the duties of religion, and on which most of them abstained even from journeys, which, elsewhere, would be thought indispensable. Clinton admitted this explanation the more readily as he knew that Washington respected the scruples of others, and was himself very religious. To obviate untoward accidents, it was agreed that Andre should leave New York only on the 19th of September, and reach the American forts about the 20th. He accordingly embarked in the night on board the Vulture sloop-of-war. Clinton sent with him Beverly Robinson, the colonel through whom Arnold had made his first overture. He expected that the prudence of this officer would moderate the ardor of Andre. Moreover, Arnold occupied Robinson's house, and the private affairs, which he, as a refugee, had to adjust with congress, furnished a plausible pretense for his approaching the American lines and posts. September 20, they arrived almost opposite to fort Montgomery, situated on the same side as West Point, five miles lower down. They cast anchor in sight of the nearest American redoubts, but beyond the reach of some small cannon, the only artillery of those redoubts. The Vulture got aground at low water. The movement on board, and some signals which she made, alarmed the vigilance of colonel Livingston, who commanded at Verplanck's Point. He ascertained, on reconnoitering, that the sloop might be sunk by one or two pieces of heavy cannon and as those of the forts which he commanded were of too small a calibre, he requested larger from Arnold. The general refused them, to the great surprise of Livingston. But tacit obedience is the life of discipline, and he acquiesced in some idle excuse. Two days elapsed after the Sunday, and still Washington had, apparently, made no preparations for departure. Arnold was himself uneasy at this disappointment; but the apprehension of exciting suspicion by too frequent communications prevented him from making it known to Clinton. The English general was informed of it through another channel. He knew the unprincipled character of Arnold, and could comprehend the probability of a snare masked by a counterfeit scheme of treason. He was the more disquieted as Andre and Robinson were already far on their way; and there was equal inconvenience in leaving them ignorant, or advising them of their danger. If Arnold were sincere in his defection, his return to New York would disconcert all Arnold's measures, and expose him to serious risks. If he deceived the British, all the risks were for Andre and Robinson. They had not, as yet, been able to communicate with the shore, but, persuaded that Washington must have set out for Hartford, they put in execution a stratagem, arranged beforehand with Arnold, to facilitate the rendezvous. Robinson wrote to the American general, Putnam, as if to transact with him business relating to his property, and proposed an interview. In this letter was enclosed another to general Arnold, wherein Robinson solicited a conference with him, in case Putnam should be absent. The packet, being directed to Arnold, would be opened only by him; but if, perchance, it fell into other hands, the whole could be read without exciting suspicion of a plot. This letter was despatched to the shore by a flag of truce as soon as the sloop had cast anchor. It happened to be on the very day fixed by Washington for his departure. He had never meant to set out earlier, and had neither sanctioned nor contradicted the various rumors current on the subject. He left his quarters in the morning, and, on reaching the bank, found Arnold there with his barge, ready to transport him to the other side. In crossing, Washington remarked the sloop with the English flag, and took a spy-glass to observe her more narrowly. Some moments after, he gave to an officer near him, in a low voice, according to his usual manner, an order probably of no consequence, which Arnold was unable to overhear. Arnold was guilty, and whatever he could not immediately penetrate, alarmed his fears. He supposed that the general could not remain ignorant of the circumstance of the flag of truce, and, doubtful even whether he might not be already acquainted with it, he thought it well to show him the two letters which he had received, asking him, at the same time, what course he ought to pursue. Washington, in the presence of several per sons, dissuaded him from seeing Robinson, and directed him to give for answer to this officer, that his private business appertained exclusively to the jurisdiction of the civil authority. They touched the shore just as this conversation ceased. The commander-in-chief, whose presence kept Arnold in the greatest perplexity, landed, and pursued his journey to Hartford. Thus was the main obstacle removed, and the plot could proceed. The opinion uttered by Washington, in such positive terms, concerning the conference with Robinson, - the order heard by several persons present, - became, however, a law for Arnold, with respect to his ostensible conduct. It was, in this way, the first obstacle that thwarted the measures concerted between him and Andre. They could not meet publicly under the auspices of a flag of truce, and, though Andre had used this means to reach the lines, they were obliged to arrange a secret interview.

On the morning after the departure of Washington, Arnold sought out a man called Joshua Smith, well known to be devoted to the English, although he resided within the American posts. He made him the bearer of two passports to be carried on board the Vulture, one for Andre, under the fictitious name of Anderson; the other for Charles Beverley Robinson, who had not the same reason for practicing disguise. He charged him with a letter also, in which he urged them to repair to him on shore. Smith waited until nightfall, and then proceeded to the English sloop in a boat which Arnold had provided for him. Andre and Robinson expected that Arnold would himself visit them, and they were surprised when his emissary, Smith, appeared before them alone. Robinson declared that he would not go on shore, and used every effort to deter his companion; but the young man, full of impatience and ardor, saw only the chances of success, would listen to no remonstrance, and could not brook the idea, either of returning to New York without having executed his mission, or of exposing the main enterprise to miscarriage, by a caution which his rivals would infallibly stigmatise as cowardice. He put on a gray surtout, to hide his uniform, and accompanied Smith on shore. Arnold was waiting to receive him at the water's edge. They discoursed there for some time; but, as they were liable to be surprised, Arnold led him towards the house of Smith, when he immediately laid before him plans of -the forts, a memoir, composed (for a better use) by the chief engineer, Duportail, on the means of attacking and defending them, and minute instructions with respect to the measures to be taken by the British for the occupation of them, when he (Arnold) should have done his part in opening the way. They presumed that Washington had already reached Hartford, and they were right; for he was there, at the same hour, in consultation with the French commander.

Arnold and Andre, calculating anxiously the probable length of Washington's absence, supposed he would return in three or four days, that is, on the 25th or 26th of September, and one or other of these days was fixed for the execution of the plot. It was settled that Andre should go back in all haste to New York; that the English troops, which were already embarked, under pretense of a distant expedition, should be held ready to ascend the river, and sail at the first signal; that to facilitate the reduction of West point, Arnold should march out of the forts all the troops destined for the defense, and entangle them in gorges and ravines, where he would pretend to await the English assailants, while these were to debark on another side, and enter by passes left unguarded; and, at all events, the garrison and troops were to be so distributed, that, if they did not surrender at the first summons, they must be immediately cut in pieces. He inform ed Andre that the chain which was stretched across the river from West point to Constitution island, forming, when perfect, an effectual bar to the passage of the river, was now no lon g er an impediment. He had detach ed a link, ostensibly to have it mended; the smiths would not return it for some days; and the two ends of the chain were held to g ether by a fastening too weak to bear even a slight concussion. The English would know at what moment they were to advance, by the kindling of fires, in the night, under the directions of Arnold, on the adjacent eminences. A single cannon fired from their ships, to be followed by a similar discharge from the shore, would proclaim that they had perceived the signals. Other tokens agreed upon were to furnish, successively, information of the several distances of the British forces in their approach. When they had arrived within three miles of the fortress, two English officers, in American uniform, were to ride full gallop to Arnold's quarters, to learn how matters stood and to hasten with the intelligence to the British naval commander. Then only was Arnold to put in motion that portion of the garrison which remained in the works, and station it at posts which would not be attacked. They agreed upon the countersign to be given on the 24th and 25th. Arnold delivered to the Englishman drafts of all the works, and of the passes leading to them, several memoirs, written with his own hand, and full returns of the garrison and the forces of each division of the army. He had never before allowed a single paper to go out of his hands, which might expose him to detection. But he now saw no danger in confiding these to Andre, who was to reembark directly on board the sloop, and make sail for New York. Andre returned alone to the beach, whence a boat was to convey him to the Vulture. But this arrangement was defeated . by an obstacle wholly unexpected. At an early hour, Livingston, still disturbed at the proximity of the sloop, had, of his own authority, caused a four-pounder to be dragged from his redoubt to a point of land from which the shot could reach the vessel. She was aground, and had already sustained some damage from the piece of the American officer, when she began to float again at the rising of the tide. Robinson took advantage of this circumstance to weigh anchor, and remove some miles lower down, beyond the reach of similar attack. This change of station attracted the notice of the master and rowers of the boat in which Andre expected to regain the sloop. They were Americans. The movements which they had witnessed for the two last days were unusual; and although men of their description, accustomed to ferry all persons indifferently from one side of the river to the other, did not affect to be of any party, they were unwilling to commit themselves. When Andre proposed to them to convey him to the sloop, they told him that it was too far, and peremptorily refused to go. He went back immediately to Arnold, and urged him to exert his authority in so serious a predicament. But the latter, perplexed at his unlooked-for-appearance, and already harassed with various disappointments, durst not attempt to compel the men, and told him he must submit to return by land; to lay aside his uniform altogether, and assume another dress. Andre changed his coat for one which Smith provided. Arnold now wished to withdraw the papers which he had entrusted to him; he thought it hazardous to send them by land. But Andre was very desirous of showing to Clinton with what punctuality he had executed his mission. These papers were a trophy of which he would not, therefore allow himself to be dispossessed. He observed to Arnold, that danger of any kind could now no longer be in question, except so far as to show that they both despised it; and added, that he would keep the papers, which brought him into greater peril than Arnold, and, to allay his fears, would secrete them in his boots. Arnold submitted, and, leaving Andre in Smith's house, returned to his quarters, from which he had been absent since the day before. The Patrol, spread through the whole neighborhood, made it imprudent for Andre to begin his journey before twilight. He was accompanied by Smith: each had a passport from Arnold, 'to go to the lines of White plains, or lower, if the bearer thought proper; he being on public business.' They were accosted, at Compond, by an American officer of militia, who told them that it was too late for them to reach, that evening, any other quarters. In order not to awaken his suspicions, they resolved to pass the night there. The next day, 23d, they crossed the Hudson to King's ferry, pushing forward when they were not observed, and slakening their pace to conceal their eagerness, wherever they were likely to be seen. By means of their passports, they traversed all the American posts without molestation. They arrived, uninterrupted, a little beyond Pine's bridge, a village situated on the Croton: they had not, however, crossed the lines, although they could descry the ground occupied by the English videttes. Smith, looking all around, and perceiving no one, said to Andre, 'You are safe - good bye,' and retook, at full speed, the road by which they had come. Andre, on his part, believing himself out of danger, and all further precaution superfluous, put spurs to his horse. He had proceeded four leagues onward with the same good fortune; he could see the Hudson once more, and was about entering Tarrytown, the border village, when a man, armed with a gun, sprung suddenly from the thickets, and seizing the reins of his bridle, exclaimed, 'Where are you bound?' At the same moment, two others ran up, who were armed in like manner, and formed, with the first part of the patrol of volunteer militia that guarded the lines. They were not in uniform, and Andre, preoccupied by the idea that he was no longer on enemy's ground, thought that they must be of his own party. It did not, therefore, occur to him to show him his passport, which was sufficient to deceive Americans, and could not alter his destination, if those who arrested him were of the English side. Instead of answering their question, he asked them, in his turn, where they belonged to. They replied, 'To below,' - words referring to the course of the river, and implying that they were of the English party. 'And so do I,' said Andre, confirmed in his mistake by this stratagem. 'I am,' continued he, in a tone of command, 'an English officer on urgent business, and I do not wish to be longer detained.' 'You belong to our enemies,' was the rejoinder, 'and we arrest you.' Andre, struck with astonishiment at this unexpected language, presented his passport; but this paper, after the confession he had just made, only served to render his case more suspicious. He offered them gold, his horse, and promised them large rewards, and permanent provision from the English government, if they would let him escape. These young men, whom such offers did but animate the more in their duty, replied, that they wanted nothing. They drew off his boots, and detected the fatal papers. They no longer hesitated to carry him before colonel Jameson, who commanded the out-posts. When questioned by that officer he still called himself Anderson, the name mentioned in his passport, and evinced no discomposure he had recovered all of his presence of mind, and, forgetful of his own danger, thought only of Arnold's, and of the means of extricating him. To apprise him of it safely, he begged. Jameson to inform the commanding officer of West Point that Anderson, the bearer of his passport, was detained. Jameson thought it more simple to order him to be conducted to Arnold. He was already on the way, and the thread of the conspiracy was about to be resumed in the interview of the accomplices, when the American colonel, recollecting that the papers found upon the prisoner were in the hand-writing of Arnold himself, and adverting to the several extraordinary features of the business, sent, in all haste, after the pretended Anderson, and had him conveyed, under guard, to Old Salem. He despatched, at the same time, an express to Washington, charged with a letter containing a circumstantial account of this affair, and with the drafts and other papers taken from the prisoner. But the commander-in-chief, who set out on the same day, the 23d of September, to return to his army, had pursued a different route from that by which he went to Hartford, and the messenger was compelled to retrace his steps without having seen him. This delay proved the salvation of Arnold.

Jameson was a gallant soldier, but a man of an irresolute temper, and no great sagacity; moreover, treachery on the part of Arnold appeared impossible to one of an ingenuous and honorable character. He began to view his first suspicions as an outrage to an officer distinguished, as Arnold was, by so many noble exploits, and, wishing to reconcile the deference due to him with the performance of his own duty, he wrote him, that Anderson, the bearer of his passport, had been arrested on the 23d. Arnold did not receive this intimation until the morning of the 25th. It was on a Monday; and the same day, or the one following, had been selected for the consummation of the plot. Until that moment, he had believed success infallible. The exhilaration which this belief produced was even remarked, and he ascribed it to his expectation of the speedy arrival of his general, for whom he had pleasant news.' He was busy with the appropriate arrangements for the reception of a body of more welcome visitors, when he received the letter of Jameson. Those who were present on the occasion recollected, afterwards, that he could not, at first, conceal his dismay and extreme agitation; but that, recovering himself quickly, he said, in a loud voice, that he would write an answer; and, dismissing all about him, withdrew, to reflect on the course which it was best to adopt. The entrance of two American officers, however, interrupted his musings. They were sent by the commander-in-chief, and informed Arnold, that he had arrived that morning at Fishkill, a few leagues from West Point; that he was to have set out a few hours after them, and could not be far distant. Thus did the most alarming circumstances rapidly succeed each other. The traitor had no resource but a precipitate flight. Suppressing his emotion, he told the two officers that he wished to go and meet the general alone, and begged them not to follow him. He then entered the apartment of his wife, exclaiming - ' All is discovered: - Andre is a prisoner: - The commander-in-chief will know every thing: - The discharge of cannon, which you hear, is a salute, and announces that he is not far off: - Burn all my papers: - I fly to New York.' He embraced her, as well as their infant child, whom she carried in her arms, and, solely intent on his escape, left her, without waiting for her reply, mounted the horse of one of the two officers, and rushed towards the Hudson, which was not far from his house. He had taken the precaution to have always ready a barge well-manned: he threw himself headlong into it, and caused the boatmen to make for the English sloop, with all possible dispatch. The barge, bearing a flag of truce, was still visible from the heights when Washington arrived. The two officers related to him what they had witnessed. Arnold had absconded. His wife, in the agonies of despair, seemed to fear for her infant, and maintained an obstinate silence. No one knew how to explain these extraordinary incidents. The commander-in-chief repaired, without delay, to the fort of West Point, where, however, he could learn nothing of a decisive import. But some orders, issued by Arnold the day before, redoubled his suspicions: he returned to the quarters of the general, and at this instant Jameson's messenger presented himself, and delivered the packet with which he was charged. Washington seemed, for a few minutes, as it were, overwhelmed by the discovery of a crime which ruined the fame of an American general, and wounded the honor of the American army. Those who were near him anxiously interrogated his looks in silence, which he broke by saying,-' I thought that an officer of courage and ability, who had often shed his blood for his country, was entitled to confidence, and I gave him mine. I am convinced now, and for the rest of my life, that we should never trust those who are wanting in probity, whatever abilities they may possess. Arnold has betrayed us.' Meanwhile, the precautions required by the occasion were every where taken. General Heath, a faithful and vigilant officer, was substituted for Arnold at West Point; the commanders of the other posts were admonished to be on their guard. Greene, who had been invested with the command of the army during the absence of Washington, recalled within the forts the garrisons which the traitor had dispersed, and marched a strong division near to the lines. Hamilton lost not an instant in repairing to King's Ferry, the last American post on the side of New York. He had the mortification to learn, that a very short time before his arrival, Arnold's barge had glided by with the swiftness of an arrow, and was then getting along side the Vulture, some miles lower down, opposite Teller's Point, an anchorage situated at the head of the great basin of the Hudson, which is called Tappan bay. Livingston had remarked the barge that carried the fugitive, and, his suspicions being roused by the strange movements of the two or three days previous, would have stopped it, had not the sailors of his spy-boats been ashore when it passed. Messengers were sent to all the states of the Union, and to the French general, to inform them of this event. The express which bore the news to congress traveled with such rapidity, that he reached Philadelphia on the same day that the discovery was made in the camp. The magistrates were immediately directed to enter the house of Arnold, and to seize and examine his papers. They found nothing there relating to the conspiracy; but he had left memoranda which furnished ample proof that lie was guilty of the extortions and peculations of which he had been accused two years before.

Jameson caused his unknown prisoner to be strictly guarded. The latter at first suppressed his true name, from consideration for Arnold; but, the day after his capture, supposing that the American general had had time to make his escape, he said to Jameson,--' My name is not Anderson; I am major Andre.' The death of Andre, though ignominious, was happiness in comparison with 'the life of Arnold. Upon his establishment in the army of Great Britain, he found it necessary to make some exertions to secure the attachment of his new friends. With the hope of alluring many of the discontented to his standard, he published an address to the inhabitants of America, in which he endeavored to justify his conduct. He had encountered the dangers of the field, he said, from apprehension that the rights of his country were in danger. He had acquiesced in the declaration of independence, though he thought it precipitate. But the rejection of the overtures made by Great Britain, in 1778, and the French alliance, had opened his eyes to the ambitious views of those who would sacrifice the happiness of their country to their own aggrandizement, and had made him a confirmed loyalist. He artfully mingled assertions, that the principal members of congress held the people in sovereign contempt. This was followed, in about a fortnight, by a proclamation, addressed ' to the officers and soldiers of the continental army, who have the real interest of their country at heart, and who are determined to be no longer the; tools and dupes of congress and of France. To induce the American officers and soldiers to desert the cause which they had embraced, he represented that the corps of cavalry and infantry, which he was authorized to raise, would be upon the same footing with the other troops in the British service; that he should with pleasure advance those whose valor he had witnessed and that the private men, who joined him, should receive a bounty of three guineas each, besides payment at the full value for horses, arms, and accoutrements. His object was the peace, liberty and safety of America. These proclamations did not produce the effect designed, and in all the hardships, sufferings and irritations of the war, Arnold remains the solitary instance of an American officer who abandoned the side first embraced in the contest, and turned his sword upon his former companions in arms. He was soon despatched, by Sir Henry Clinton, to make a diversion in Virginia. With about 1700 men, he arrived in the Chesapeake in January 1781, and, being supported by such a naval force as was suited to the nature of the service, he committed extensive ravages on the rivers, and along the unprotected coasts. It is said, that, while on this expedition, Arnold inquired of an American captain, whom he had taken prisoner, what the Americans would do with him, if he should fall into their hands. The officer replied, that they would cut off his lame leg, and bury it with the honors of war, and hang the remainder of his body in gibbets.

After his recall from Virginia, he conducted an expedition against New London in his native state of Connecticut. He took fort Trumbull, Sep. 6, with inconsiderable loss. On the other side of the harbor, lieutenant-colonel Earyre, who commanded another detachment, made an assault on fort Griswold, and, with the greatest difficulty, entered the works. An officer of the conquering troops asked who commanded. 'I did,' answered colonel Ledyard, but you do now,' and presented him his sword, which was immediately plunged into his own bosom. A merciless slaughter now commenced of the brave garrison, who had ceased to resist, and the greater part were either killed or wounded. After burning the town, and the stores which were in it, Arnold returned to New York in eight days. He survived the war but to drag on, in perpetual banishment from his native country, a dishonorable life amid a nation that imputed to him the loss of one of the brightest ornaments of its army - the lamented Andre. He transmitted to his children a name of hateful celebrity. He obtained only a part of the debasing stipend of an abortive treason. His complaints soon caused it to be known, that all the promises by which he had been inveigled were not fulfilled. But baffled treason appears always to be over paid, and the felon is the only one who thinks he experiences injustice. He enjoyed, however, the rank of brigadier-general; but the officers of the British army manifested a strong repugnance to serve with him. He possessed their esteem while he fought against them; they loaded him with contempt when treason brought him over to their side. He resided principally in England after the conclusion of the war, was in Nova Scotia, and afterwards to the West Indies, where he was taken prisoner by the French, from whom he escaped, and, returning to England, died in Gloucester place, London, June 14, 1801.