This Week's Story

When Major André's boots were removed, a paper was found in his stocking. Then more papers were found.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Benedict’s Treachery, part four from Revolutionary War Spies

Benjamin Tallmadge had mysterious tips from members of his American Culper Spy Ring that new activity was happening in New York. British ships were being prepared for engagement.

In September 1780 American General Benedict Arnold went to meet a secret contact with the phony name Anderson. British gun boats fired on his boat. He returned to West Point Fort, which he commanded.

Again, he tried to reach Anderson, who was actually Major André, British spymaster in the United States. No success!

He sent a local man, Mr. Smith, in a rowboat. General Arnold ordered, “Bring Mr. Anderson to me from the HMS Vulture. When you reach the boat, be sure you have a truce flag hoisted.”

The men met. Then Smith guided Major André through American territory on horseback with a pass from Arnold.

After a night at a house André was on his way to safe territory held by the British. He lost his gloom, was witty, and offered a gold watch to Smith.

As he travelled happily, he was stopped by three American soldiers.

“Stop! Where are you going?”

“I am a British officer with a pass from General Arnold.”

The three men were puzzled. “Do you have papers with you?”


When his boots were removed, a paper was found in his stocking. More papers were found.

The soldiers took Major André to Lieutenant Colonel John Jameson who was horrified that a pass from General Benedict Arnold had not been honored. The captured papers were rushed to Commander-in-Chief George Washington.

Major André requested calmly and courteously, “Please have me escorted to General Arnold and he will explain my business.”

American spymaster Benjamin Tallmadge overheard the conversation and realized this was a strange situation.

He reviewed the smuggled papers found on André, new mail, and other papers. One note from Benedict Arnold was a request for a horse for a John Anderson so Arnold could meet him.

Benjamin Tallmadge wanted to see André, but he had been sent to General Arnold at West Point.

A letter from Lieutenant Colonel Jameson was delivered to Arnold. To Arnold’s terror, the letter indicated that a man named Anderson with passes from Arnold had been captured. Papers found on him had been sent to General Washington.

The British would not have time to come and take over the fort prepared by General Arnold to give British control of traffic on the Hudson River and in New York State. Now, Arnold was guilty of treason to his country.

He called for men to transport him by boat with a truce flag to the British ship HMS Vulture. His wife and baby were left behind at West Point Fort.

Major André was arrested. He wrote an honest letter to General Washington identifying himself and his mission. He impressed Tallmadge with his dignity and how he treated his American captors with respect, and honored his country.

Arnold escaped to England and won no respect. André was hung by the Americans.

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