George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Lieutenant Colonel John Jameson, 25 September 1780

To Lieutenant Colonel John Jameson

Hd Qrs Robinson’s House Sepr 25. 1780 [7] OCLock P.M.


I wish every precaution & attention to be paid to prevent Major André, from making his escape. He will without doubt effect it if possible—& in order that he may not have it in his power, You will send him under the care of such a party & so many Officers as to preclude him from the least opportunity of doing it. That he may be less liable to be recaptured by the Enemy, who will make every effort to gain him, He had better be conducted to this plaice by some upper road rather than by the route thro Crompond.1 I would not wish Mr André to be treated with insult, but he does not appear to stand upon the footing of a common prisoner of War and therefore he is not entitled to the usual indulgencies they receive—and is to be most closely & narrowly watched.

General Arnold before I arrived home went off to day to the Enemy, and is on board the Vulture Sloop of War.2 I am Sir Yr Most Obedt st.

André must not escape.

Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The Varick transcript supplies 7:00 P.M.

Joshua Hett Smith, also held in Beverly Robinson’s house on 26 Sept., later recalled after Maj. John André arrived under guard at the same place: “From the conversation which took place between Washington, the Marquis de la Fayette, and Major Andre, which I could plainly hear in the room wherein I was confined, Major Andre urged, that he came on shore under the sanction of a passport or flag of truce, transmitted to him by General Arnold, who was, at the time of granting it, a major-general in the American army, and, of course, had sufficient authority so to do” (Smith, Narrative description begins Joshua Hett Smith. An Authentic Narrative of the Causes which Led to the Death of Major Andrè, Adjutant-General of His Majesty’s Forces in North America. 1808. Reprint. New York, 1969. description ends , 92).

1For André’s conveyance under guard, see Document II, source note, and Document VI.

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