Over a week had passed since Major John Andre became the Continental Army’s prisoner near Tarrytown, New York, captured by three ragged militiamen who were probably more interested in robbing him than uncovering his intentions. For a time he had been incarcerated at Robinson House, the now defector Benedict Arnold’s former Hudson Highlands headquarters, and was eventually taken to the main American camp at Tappan, New York. There, Andre awaited his trial as a spy and eventual fate.
During his time held as a prisoner in Tappan, Andre accumulated an impressive group of intrigued and sympathetic followers, including Alexander Hamilton. Later describing his impression of the British officer to Colonel John Laurens, Hamilton wrote,
There was something singularly interesting in the character and fortunes of André. To an excellent understanding well improved by education and travel, he united a peculiar elegance of mind and manners, and the advantage of a…
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