may have proposed the capture of Arnold by means of a boat attack on the
Vulture. At any rate, such an inference is warranted from the letter he wrote
to Colonel Nathaniel Wade,1 commanding one of
the Massachusetts militia regiments at the Point,
and his successor in the command of the post. This
has never before been published, and was evidently
written very soon after the return of Washington to
25th Sept'r, 1780.
Dear Sir,—Immediately on Receipt of this, send Ten
Boats properly Manned, to Nelson's Point, where they are
to remain till further Orders. You will pay particular
attention to this matter, as it is indispensably necessary.
I am, dear Sir, your obedient servt,
f p*r\ ,, The Vulture's sailing down the river
-^7^W>tW<a? t&°f •------> prevented any attack on her, and Lamb's letter
&*€*. ^-^^S—-~~ was soon followed by a letter from the Chief
himself to Wade :2
Sir,—General Arnold is gone to the Enemy. I have just received a line from
him, inclosing one to Mrs. Arnold, dated on board the Vulture. From this circumstance,
and Colo. Lamb's being detached on some business, the command of the garrison for the
present devolves upon you. I request you will be as vigilant as possible, and as the
Enemy may have it in contemplation to attempt some enterprise, even to-night, against
these Posts, I wish you to make, immediately after receipt of this, the best disposition you
can of your force, so as to have a proportion of men in each work on the west side of the
River. You will see or hear from me further to-morrow.
I am, Sir,
Your most obt. servt.,
3 There is in the possession of a gentleman in New York an interesting letter of Varick's to his sister Jane. It
is dated soon after these events, and gives a graphic description of Mrs. Arnold's pitiable condition.
As to her possible complicity with her husband, I own to disbelieving it. Burr is the only authority for
crediting it, and if it were a fact, would Arnold have left her alone—or would he have allowed her to be
at the Robinson House at all, instead of remaining in Philadelphia ?
3 When Washington had finished giving Livingston the orders which he had sent for him to receive in person,
he added: " It is a source of gratification to me that the post was in the hands of an officer so devoted as
yourself to the cause of your country."—Lossing.
1 Nathaniel Wade was a native of Ipswich, Mass., where he was born February 27, 1749, and where he died
October 26, 1826. He was a captain of the Ipswich minute-men at Bunker Hill, and saw service, as a
captain in the Twelfth Massachusetts, Colonel Little, at the siege of Boston, the battles of Long Island,
Harlem Heights, White Plains and Trenton. In February, 1778, he became colonel of a militia regiment,
raised in Essex and Suffolk counties, and served as such throughout the war. A singular fact in con-
nection with his West Point experience is his statement of a conversation with one of Arnold's aids—
apparently Franks—shortly before the 23rd. He was returning to the boat, after dining with Arnold.
The Major, accompanying him, said impressively: '' There is something going on here that I do not
understand and cannot find. out. I say this to put you on your guard at the Fort" (West Point) " I fear
there is something brewing about us, and all I can say is, look out! " With this, he abruptly left Wade.
Vet if this was really Franks, the treason was something very different from what he had anticipated, for it
almost upset his reason when the revelation really came. 3 On Lafayette's visit, * This letter, page 45.
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