SPY FACT OF THE DAY

Major John Andre

British Army officer in the 54th Foot, serving as adjutant general to the British commander in New York, Gen. Sir Henry Clinton, during the American Revolution. Andre was also in charge of spy operations.

Andre had been a suitor of 17 year-old Peggy Shippen before her marriage to Benedict Arnold, a leading continental officer. Andre entered into correspondence with Arnold in 1779 and in September 1780 arranged for him to surrender the West Point territory and fortifications to the British. Andre was captured after meeting with Arnold and trying to return to British lines on September 24, 1780. Following his capture, the British commander attempted to bargain for his release, but Gen. George Washington would accept only one person in exchange: Arnold.

He was tried as a spy and hanged at Tappan, New York on Oct. 2, 1780. Calm and collected, Andre placed the noose around his own neck and tied his own handkerchief as a blindfold. His remains were reinterred in Westminster Abbey in London on Nov. 28, 1821. (He is one of only two acknowledged spies to be interred at Westminster).

The three Americans who helped capture Andre were awarded specially struck medals and a cash award by the Continental Congress.

Andre used the code name John Anderson when dealing with Arnold.

You Can Find More of These Interesting Spy Facts in

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The Encyclopedia of Espionage
by Norman Polmar and Thomas B. Allen


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