A Spy is Hanged

Today in History, September 29: 1780 – 

British Major John Andre is sentenced to death by hanging by Gen. George Washington. Andre had been the spy who met with the traitor Benedict Arnold in Arnold’s attempt to give the fort at West Point, New York to the British in exchange for a commission in the British Army. 

 Washington first offered to trade Andre for Arnold, who had fled to the Royal Navy ship Vulture. When he received no response from Britsh General Henry Clinton, Washington ordered the spy’s hanging.

The hanging was also carried out because the British had set the precedent four years earlier when they had hanged American spy Nathan Hale. 

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