answer, has received one as early as it could be given with propriety, transmitted by a
flag this morning. As to messages, I am uninformed of any that have been sent.
The necessaries for Major Andre" will be delivered to him,1 agreeable to your request.
I am, Sir, etc., etc.,
That night the prisoner made a sketch of the Hudson, showing Smith
and himself going ashore from the Vulture, and also one of West Point from the
river,2 and gave them to Laune to take to New York. The guard officer who was
constantly in the room with him, told Dr. Thacher that when the sentence and
the hour fixed—noon—were announced to him3 he received the news without
emotion, merely replying: "I avow no guilt, but am reconciled to my fate."
"While all present were oppressed with silent gloom, he retained a firm
countenance, with calmness and composure of mind."4
It is not clear who hinted to him that he might suggest to Clinton to
surrender Arnold, but the suggestion was instantly repelled.6
But his friends were not idle. Thacher records:
October i. I went this afternoon to witness the execution—a large concourse of
people had assembled and the gallows was erected, but a flag of truce arrived from Clinton,
in consequence of which the execution is postponed till to-morrow at noon.
The suggestion about Arnold was carried further. Captain Aaron Ogden,
of Lafayette's light infantry corps, was sent on the preceding day—September
thirtieth—to Paulus Hook — now Jersey City—with a package of papers for
Clinton. This contained an official account of the trial, the report of the Board,
and a letter from Andre. Ogden, following his orders, communicated to the
commander at Paulus Hook, where he spent the night, his belief that Andre
might be saved by the surrender of Arnold.6 This was instantly transmitted to
Clinton, but, as might have been expected under the circumstances, he refused to
entertain the idea. Ogden reached Tappan again on the morning of October
first/ accompanied by a British flag of truce bearing this letter from Clinton:
i That day Tallmadge wrote to Colonel Webb, who was out on parole, either at Flat bush or Wethersfield: "I
never saw a man, whose fate I foresaw, whom I so sincerely pitied. Though he knows his fate, he seems
to be as cheerful as if he were going to an assembly."
8 Anburey. Of the second sketch I can find no trace, but the other, which was about 12 x 7 inches, was sent to
New York, and engraved in mezzotint. The self-control which would enable a man within a day of death
to sketch with such ease and dexterity, has no parallel in history so far as I know.
8 Two officers came the first day for the purpose, one being Major Robert Burnet, Aid to Greene. While the other
is not named, it was probably Scammell. Major Burnet was the last survivor of the original members of
the Society of the Cincinnati, dying in Newburgh in 1854.
* This may have been on the morning of October second. The various authorities differ about events of the
B Hamilton wrote on this point: "The moment he had been guilty of so much frailty I should have ceased to
esteem him. It was proposed to me to suggest it, but I knew I should have forfeited his esteem by doing
it, and therefore declined it. As a man of honor he could not but reject it."
6 A very interesting but indefinite statement is made by some authorities, on the strength of statements by some
unnamed British officers, on their return to England, after the war, that Arnold offered to go to the
American camp and surrender himself for Andre1. Clinton's reply is said to have been: "Your offer, Sir,
does you great honor, but if Andre' were my own brother, I could not consent to it." It is to be regretted
that so interesting an item is not definite enough to be available as history. 7 That night, page 65.
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