The Fate of Major André: A Letter from Alexander Hamilton to John Laurens - PDF free download eBook

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Introduction

John André (1750 – 1780) was a British Army officer hanged as a spy by the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War for assisting Benedict Arnold's attempted surrender of the...

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Details of The Fate of Major André: A Letter from Alexander Hamilton to John Laurens

Original Title
The Fate of Major André: A Letter from Alexander Hamilton to John Laurens
First Published
2007 year
Edition Format
Kindle Edition
Number of Pages
22 pages
Book Language
English
Ebook Format
PDF, EPUB

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The Fate of Major André: A Letter from Alexander Hamilton to John Laurens

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Some brief overview of this book

John André (1750 – 1780) was a British Army officer hanged as a spy by the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War for assisting Benedict Arnold's attempted surrender of the fort at West Point, New York to the British. The character and the last moments of Andre are well depicted by Colonel Hamilton, aide-de-camp to Washington, in a letter to John Laurens, an John André (1750 – 1780) was a British Army officer hanged as a spy by the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War for assisting Benedict Arnold's attempted surrender of the fort at West Point, New York to the British. The character and the last moments of Andre are well depicted by Colonel Hamilton, aide-de-camp to Washington, in a letter to John Laurens, and is considered one of Hamilton's best known productions.

Of Hamilton's numerous historical sketches, the most celebrated is this letter to Colonel Laurens giving an account of the fate of Major André, in which refinement of feeling and inflexible impartiality of view are alike conspicuous. Hamilton was with Washington when he was first apprized of the flight of that traitor Benedict Arnold and the arrest of Andre. In reference to the fall of the British officer who was thus involved in the punishment which Arnold deserved, Hamilton, moved by a generous sympathy for the fate of one so young, so chivalrous, and so promising, exerted his utmost efforts to discover some legal and honorable expedient to save him.

When all proved unavailing, he felt deeply for the unfortunate officer, and published a narrative of the facts in the case, in a letter to his friend Laurens, which reflects equal credit, both upon his intellect and his heart. It was a model of elegance, clearness, simplicity and force in the art of narration. The fate of Major Andre made a profound sensation in England, though as little as possible was said about it publicly.

The King made such poor amends as he could; he conferred a baronetcy on Andre's brother, and erected a monument to him in Westminster Abbey, with an inscription in which the nature of the service in which Andre perished, and the fate which befell him, are alike concealed beneath a decent veil of words. It was many a long year before the question of whether or no he came under the description of a spy could be approached with even the appearance of calmness, and many more before his death ceased to be called "the only blot on Washington's fame". His enemies had wept for him; his friends might be excused if they found it hard to be just.

Many of us have stood before his monument in the Abbey. As one stands there and thinks of Andre's story, those great words, Duty, Glory, and Honour, take a more solemn meaning, and treachery and infidelity are seen in all their hideous nakedness. It is said that Benedict Arnold was once seen standing there.

Hamilton was against the harsh decision, and it is well known that a majority of these officers themselves, catching the wide-spread sympathy of the hour, were inclined to revoke the sentence, had it not been for the counter and too ascendant influence of Greene and Lafayette.


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