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General Greene on the Treason of Arnold

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II.  Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

September 26.—Treason of the blackest dye was yesterday discovered. General Arnold, who commanded at West Point, lost to every sentiment of honor, of public and private obligation, was about to deliver up that important fort into the hands of the enemy. Such an event must have given the American cause a deadly wound if not a fatal stab. Happily the scheme was timely discovered to prevent the fatal misfortune. The providential train of circumstances which led to it, affords the most convincing proofs that the liberties of America are the object of divine protection. At the same time the treason is so regretted, the General cannot help congratulating the army on the happy discovery.

Our enemies, despairing of carrying their point by force, are practising every base art to effect, by bribery and corruption, what they cannot accomplish in a manly way. Great honor is due to the American army, that this is the first instance of treason of this kind, where many were to be expected from the nature of the dispute, and nothing is so high an ornament to the characters of the American soldiers as their withstanding all the arts and seductions of an insidious enemy.

Arnold the traitor has made his escape to the enemy, but Mr. Andre, Adjutant-General to the British army, who came out as a spy to negotiate the business, is our prisoner.

His Excellency the Commander-in-chief has arrived at West Point, from Hartford, and is now doubtless taking proper steps to unravel fully so hellish a plot.1


1 Extract from General Greene’s orders the day after the detection of Andre, published in the Pennsylvania Packet, October 10.