صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

for him to travel in that uniform, he requested the loan of one of my coats. Being nearly of my size, I leut him a coat: the other part of his dress, he said, did not require change. General Aruold then proposed returning to his command at West Point, leaving Mr. Anderson very disconsolate with me. I endeavoured to amuse him by sbewing him the prospect from the upper part of my house, from whence there was an extensive view over the capacious bay of Haverstraw, to the opposite shore; he cast an anxious look towards the Vulture, and with a heavy sigh wished he was on board. I endeavoured to console him by the hope of his being at the White Plains, or New York, before her. Finding himself better, I proinised to accompany him on his way. I could not help remarking to him, that I thought the General might haye ordered a flag of truce from Stony Point, to have returned him to the Vulture, without the fatigue of his going to the White Plains, that appearing a circuitous route, unless he had business to transact at that place. From this time he seemed shy, and desirous to avoid much conversation; he continued to urge preparations for his depar, ture, and carefully avoided being seen by persons that came to the house.

« Previous to his quitting it, General Arnold had prepared a passport for him to go to the White Plains, and a flag of truce for ine to go thither and return. Finding myself better, and refreshed with the rest I had taken, I ordered my servant to get the horses in readidess, and we reached the ferry at Stony Point before it was dark, intending, if the weather should be fine, to proceed as far as Major De la Van's thąt night, at a place called Crum Pond, the distance of about eight or ten miles from the ferry, where I knew we should be well entertained, and take the dawn of the morning to proceed with more satisfaction. Between my house and the fort at Stony Point, our conversation was principally about the taking and re-taking of that place; I found my fellow-traveller very backward in giving any opinion, or saying much about it. We were met on the road by several officers belonging to this post, with whom we conversed very freely, and stopped at the sutler's at the ferry to drink with them. When we arrived on the opposite side, we rodę up to the tent of Colonel Livingston, the commanding officer at Verplanks Point; I being well acquainted with him, he having served his clerkship and studied the law with my brother, the late Chief Justice of Canada, and being also a relation of Mrs. Smith; he pressed us to stay to supper with him, but this Mr. Anderson seemed desirous to decline. As we proceeded, I thought he grew more cheerful, and as our road became better, we rode on with an increased speed, and had reached about five or six miles when we were challenged by a patrole party.. On advancing, the commanding officer, a Captain Bull, demanded a countersign before we should pass, and drew his corps about us ; he enquired who we were, the reason of our travelling in the night, and from whence we came? I told him who I was, and that we had passports from General Arnold, the commanding officer at West Point, which we had received from the general that day; that we were on the public service, on business of the highest import, and that he would be answerable for our detention one moment; he insisted on seeing the passports, and conducted us to a house in the vicinity where there was a light: on approaching the house Mr. Anderson* seemed very uneasy; but I cheered him up by saying our papers would carry us to any part of the country to which they were directed, and that no person dare presume to detain us. When we came to the light I presented the passports, which satisfied the captain; but he seemed better pleased when I told him I intended to quarter that night at Major De la Van's, who, he said, was a staunch friend to the cause of his country, would treat us well, and render every aid in his power that tended to promote the welfare of America; he soon began to be more pleased, and in the most impressive manner intreated us not to proceed one inch further in the night, as it was very dangerous, for the Cow Boys had been out the pres ceding night, and had done much mischief, by carrying off cattle, and some of the inhabitants as prisonsrs, Alarmed at this intelligence, I was hesitating what to do, when my companion expressed his wish to proceed; but the captain suggested many prudential reasons why he would not advise our progress at night. He particularly remarked that we had little chance of defending our, selves aguinst both parties then out, as he had heard them firing some little time before he met us. All this determined me to take the captain's advice, which seemed to direct the surest step for our safety. ” accord

The name assumed by Major Andre.

ingly returned a short distance, to look for pight-quarters, and my companion reluctantly followed.

“ With no small difficulty we therefore returned several miles, and gained admittance into a house for the night; while such was the caution and danger of admitting nocturnal inmates, that we were obliged to take to bed, or keep the family up, who would not retire until they saw us safely lodged. We slept in the same bed; and I was often disturbed with the restless motions, and uneasiness of mind exhibited by my bed-fellow, who, on observing the first approach of day, summoned my servant to prepare the horses for our departure. He appeared in the morning as if he had not slept an hour during the night; he at first was much dejected, but a pleasing change took place in his countenance when summoned to mount his horse.

« We rode very cheerfully towards Pine's Bridge without interruption, or any event that excited apprehension ; here I proposed to leave my companion ; but I observed that the nearer we approached the bridge, the more his countenance brightened into a cheerful serenity, and he became very affable; in short, I now found him highly entertaining; he was not only well informed in general history, but well acquainted with that of America, particularly New York, which he termed the residuary legatee of the British government, (for it took all the remaining lands not granted to the proprietary and chartered provinces.) He had consulted the Muses as well as Mars, for he conversed freely on the belles lettres : music, painting, and poetry, seemed to be his delight. Hè displayed a judicious taste in the choice of the authors he had read, possessed great elegance of sentiment, and a most pleasing manner of conveying his ideas, by adopting the powery colouring of poetical imagery. rle lamented the causes which gave birth to and continued the war, and said, if there was a correspondent temper on the part of the Americans, with the prevailing spirit of the British ministry, peace was an event not far distant; he intimated that measures were then in agitation for the accomplishment of that desirable object, before France could establish her perfidious designs. He sincerely wished the fate of the war could alone be determined in the farr, open, field contest, between as many British in number as those under the cominand of Count Rochambeau at Rhode Island, whose effective force he seemed clearly to understand; he descanted on the richness of the scenery around us, and particularly admired, from every eminence, the grandeur of the Highland - mountains, bathing their lofty summits in the clouds

from their seeming watery base at the north extremity of Haverstraw Bay. The pleasantry of converse, and mildness of the weather, so insensibly beguiled the time, that we at length found ourselves at the Bridge, before I thought we had got half the way; and I now had reason to think iny fellow-traveller a different person from the character I had at first formed of him.--This bridge crosses Croton river, a branch of the Hudson

I pointed out to him the road to the White Plains, whither his passport enabled him to go, or lower if he thouyht proper, he being on public business, as was mentioned in his pass; but he thought the road by the way of Dobbs' ferry, having the river as his guide, would be much the nearest route, having a good horse, he boldly ventured to take that road: had not proceeded more than six miles, when he was stopped by three of the New York militia, John Paulding, David Williams, and Isaac Van Vert, who with others, were on a scouting party, between the outposts of the two armies.These men stopped Major Andre at a place near Tarry and seized his horse by the bridle in a narrow part of the road. Andre, instead of immediately producing his pass, asked where they belonged to ? They answered, “ to below."'--Not suspecting deception, he replied, “ So do I,AND DECLARING HIMSELF A BRITISH OFFICER, THAT HE MIGHT NOT BE DETAINED, being on pressing business! The law of the state gave to the captors of any British subject, all his property, and, of course, his horse, saddle, and bridle, were in the first instance a temptation to stop him on the least ground for suspicion, while he being alone, they were the more bold against an unarmed man. Finding himself thus taken by surprise, and detained, he offered a very valuable gold watch, this led to farther suspiciou; upon which they took him aside in the bushes and searched him, until they found his papers lodged in his hoots; another circumstance of suspicion was the coat I had lent him, which was crimson, with vellum button holes, bound with Prussian binding: the captors then conducted him to Lieutenant-Colonel Jameson, a continental officer,

who had the command of about nine hundred men, mostly militia. When Major Andre was brought before him, he passed under the name of Anderson, choosiog to hazard the greatest danger rather than let any discovery be made which could involve Arnold, before he had time to provide for his safety. With this view, to effect Arnold's escape, he requested that a line might be written to him, to acquaint him with Anderson's detention, which Jameson granted. The papers which were so found in the major's pocket-book, were in Arnold's hand-writing, and contained exact returns of the state of the forces, ordnance, and defences, 'at 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 defend them, and a copy of a state of affairs that had been laid before a council of war, by the commander in chief, on the 6th of the month. These papers were enclosed in a packet to General Washington, accompanied with a letter from Major Andre, avowing himself to be the adjutantgeneral of the British army, and was forwarded by Jameson."

These extracts will be sufficient to shew that the reader is not to expect to find in this volume a mere dry detail of military and political event, but a relation of interesting facts drawn up with much simplicity, and bearing every appearance of truth. The following is his account of Major Andre's death :

At length the awful period arrived ; and on the morning of the 2d of October, this unhappy victim of the errors of others, was led out to the place of execution. As he passed along, the American army were astonished at the dignity of his deportment. and the manly firmness, and complacency of countenance, which spoke the serene composure of his mind; a glow of sympathy pervaded the breast of the soldiers, and tears of sensibility were visible in every eye. He bowed himself, with a smile, to all he knew in his confinement. When he approached the fatal spot, and beheld the preparations, he stopped, and paused, as if absorbed in reflection ; then quickly turning to the officer next him, he said “ What! must I die in this manner?” Being told it was so ordered, he instantly said, “ I am reconciled, and submit to my fate, but deplore the mode ;-it will be but a momentary pang; and with a calmness that,

« السابقةمتابعة »