Letter written by Joshua Smith, 1780

A letter written by Joshua Hett Smith to his brother, Thomas, while the former was imprisoned at the Robinson House Headquarters. Smith had been charged by American Major General Benedict Arnold with escorting British Major John André over American lines during the American Revolution. Smith was captured for his possible knowledge of Arnold’s plan of treason. In the letter Smith mentions “a British uniform Coat”, which had belonged to Major André, but was exchanged for civilian clothing.

André was working with Arnold, who was attempting to help the British capture the fort at West Point. As André was heading towards the British lines with documents given to him by Arnold tucked in his boot, he was captured, near Tarrytown, on September 23, 1780.

André was hanged as a spy, at Tappan on October 2, 1780.

Benedict Arnold escaped to New York City, eventually commanding British troops in the American Revolution. He died in exile in London, on June 14, 1801.
Date Original
September 25 1780
New York State Archives. New York (State). Governor (1777-1795 : Clinton). Papers found on British spy Major Andre ("Andre Papers"), 1780. Series A4681-99, Smith Letter.
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Geographic Locations

Westchester County