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Story of John Champe
Part Eleven
Published By
The Historical Society of Hudson County, NJ


Edited by GET NJ, COPYRIGHT 2003

He also proposed to Champe to join his Legion, telling him he would give him the same station he had held in the rebel service and promising further advancement when merited. Expressing his wish to retire from war, and his conviction of the certainty of his being hung if ever taken by the rebels, he begged to be excused from enlistment, assuring the General that should he change his mind, he would certainly accept his offer. Retiring to his quarters, Champe now turned his attention to the delivery of his letters, which he could not effect until the next night, and then to only one of the two incogniti to whom he was recommended. This man received the Sergeant with extreme attention and, having read the letter, assured Champe that he might rely on his faithful co-operation in everything in his power consistent with his safety, to guard which required the utmost prudence and circumspection. The sole object in which the aid of this individual was required regarded the General and others of our army implicated in the information sent to Washington by him. To this object Charnpe urged his attention, assuring him of the solicitude it had excited and telling him that its speedy investigation had induced the General to send him to New York. Promising to enter upon it with zeal, and engaging to send out Champe's letters to Major Lee, he fixed the time and place for their next meeting, when they separated.

Lee made known to the General what had been transmitted to him by Champe and received in answer directions to press Champe to the expeditious conclusion of his mission, as the fate of Andre would be soon decided, when little or no delay could be admitted in executing whatever sentence the court might decree. The same messenger who brought Champe's letter returned with the ordered communication. Five days had nearly elapsed after reaching New York before Champe saw the confidant to whom only the attempts against Arnold were to be intrusted. This person entered with promptitude into the design, promising his cordial assistance. To procure a proper associate for Champe was the first object, and this he promised to do with all possible dispatch. Furnishing a conveyance to Lee. we again heard from Champe, who stated what I have related, with the additional intelligence that he had that morning (the last of September) been appointed one of Arnold's recruiting sergeants, having enlisted the day before with Arnold, and that he was induced to take this afflicting step for the purpose of securing uninterrupted ingress and egress to the house which the General occupied, it being indispensable to a speedy conclusion of the difficult enterprise, which the information which he had just received had so forcibly urged. He added that the difficulties in his way were numerous and stubborn, and that his prospect of success was by no means cheering. With respect to the additional treason, he asserted that he had every reason to believe that it was groundless, that the report took its rise in the enemy's camp and that he hoped soon to clear up that matter satisfactorily. The pleasure which the last part of this communication afforded was damped by the tidings it imparted respecting Arnold, as on his speedy delivery depended Andre's relief. The interposition of Sir Henry Clinton, who was extremely anxious to save his aide-de-camp. still continued, and it was expected the examination of witnesses and the defense of the prisoner would protract the decision of the Court of Inquiry. now assembled, and give sufficient time for the consummation of the project committed to p Champe. A complete disappointment took place from a quarter unforeseen and unexpected.

e The honorable and accomplished Andre, knowing his guilt, disdained defense, and prevented the examination of witnesses by confessing the character in which he stood. On the next day (the 2nd of October), the court again assembled, when every doubt that could possibly arise in the case having been removed by the previous confession, Andre was declared to be a spy and condemned to suffer accordingly. The sentence was executed on the subsequent day in the usual form, the Commander-in-Chief deeming it improper to interpose any delay. In this decision he was warranted by the very unpromising intelligence received from Champe – by the still existing implication of other officers in Arnold's conspiracy, by a due regard to public opinion, and by real tenderness to the condemned.


Part One

Hudson County Facts by Anthony Olszewski
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