extended to Tarrytown. 1 Once more Andre's fate hung in the balance,2 but he
had just avowed himself a British officer,8 displaying as a proof a gold watch, an
article possessed by but very few Americans at the time—and Paulding, the master spirit of the three, whose acquaintance with British officers was recent and probably painful, was not satisfied, and said, doubtfully, " I hope you will not be offended, we do not mean to take anything from you, but there are many bad
people on the road, and I don't know but you may be one. What is your
name?" "John Anderson," was the reply.4 Still unsatisfied, Paulding told him
he must dismount and accompany them into the thicket, where they would be out
of sight of passers-by.6 This was done, Williams bringing up the rear and replacing the fence rails behind them.6 Paulding told Williams to search him, which was done, and even his outer clothing removed, but to no purpose. Then
he was told to sit down and take off his boots, " which," naively adds Williams,
" he seemed to be indifferent about, but we got one off and found nothing in it."
Van Wart says: " We found his stocking sagged a little, and, taking it off, found
three unsealed letters within. Paulding hastily read them, and exclaimed, ' He 's
Williams continues: " We found three more papers in the other stocking,
then made him dress himself, and I asked him what he would give us to let him
go."7 " Any sum you want," was the prompt reply—if money could save him,
the fugitive had no fear of the result. "A hundred guineas, with the horse,
saddle, bridle and your watch?" queried Williams. "Yes, and the money shall
be sent here if you want." " Will you not give more ?" pursued the relentless
1 As Sheldon's regiment, on duty as low as White Plains, was under Arnold, I infer that his authority extended
to Tarrytown. Yet on August 3, Washington, in appointing him commander at West Point, made out his
notice: "West Point and its dependencies, in which all are included, from Fishkill to King's Perry."
Possibly this refers only to the fortifications.
' We were about allowing him to pass, and he was reining his horse into the road, when Paulding exclaimed, in
an undertone, " D-----n him! 1 don't like his looks."— Williams,
8 " I would have let him go, had he shown his pass before he said he was a British officer," Paulding afterwards
A curious story may be found in the "Life and Observations of Rev. B. F. Newell" (C. W. Ainsworth,
Worcester, Mass., 1849,) t0 *-his effect: In 1799 he was told by Rev. Duncan McColl, a well-known
Methodist clergyman, in Connecticut, and an associate of Rev. Jesse Lee, the founder of New England
Methodism, that during the Revolution he was employed as a clerk by the British "field-officers " (Head-
quarters?) and in such capacity was aboard the Vulture when she lay in the Hudson awaiting the return
of Andre, " who bad gone ashore to ascertain whether Burgoyne had reached Albany, and to secure
information about the American troops." That he (being then recently converted) desired to prevent
further hostilities and, with another man on the Vulture (whose name he did not give), prayed to that
effect—and that the two believed Andre's capture was an answer to their prayers.
The story comes so directly that it may receive more consideration than it would otherwise, considering the
variance in time between Burgoyne's campaign (1777) and Arnold's treason.
6 A singular circumstance is that on July 4, 1807, at the '' Old South " Theatre, Philadelphia, a play concerning
Andre1 was produced, in the course of which was used a drop scene which he had painted for the theatre
used by the officers of Howe's army during the occupation of Philadelphia. It was introduced as repre-
senting the scene of his capture.
a Williams' account, as printed, says they went about seventy rods into the thicket—an almost manifestly
impossible distance. It is probably a typographical error for seven, or twenty—most likely the latter.
Williams says Andre's underclothing was of fine quality —'' thread.'' His faculty for noticing details would
have made him a good newspaper reporter. f This admission, page 31.
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