London: Mathews and Leigh, 1808. Hardcover. To which is added a Monody on the Death of Major André by Miss Seward.
First edition of one of the best authorities for this dramatic affair. An account written by one of the key players in the Revolutionary War treasonous activities of Benedict Arnold and Major André, involving Benedict Arnold turning over the plans of West Point to the British.
Joshua Hett Smith (1749 – 1818) worked for General Robert Howe's (commander of West Point) secret service, although he spied for the British as well, and became a participant in the Arnold plot. Although acquitted in 1780 of any part in the Arnold-Andre plot, Smith was nevertheless imprisoned as a suspected Loyalist. Smith wrote this account in his own defense.
Smith assisted Arnold when the general stayed overnight at Smith's house in early September 1780, south of West Point, in order to meet with Major André. The Andre-Arnold meeting took place at Smith's on September 22, with the conspirators talking through the night. André was shortly after captured, tried as a spy and handed, while Arnold escaped to New York City.
Bookplate of Samuel Barger in front, who was clearly very familiar with the story as he corrected printed names on 6 occasions in the text.
8vo, red three quarter morocco with marbled boards, spine gilt, teg, with the engraved portrait, plate and folding map; final advertisement leaf present. Front board cracked, internally clean and bright. Howes S631; Sabin 83421. Good + overall. Item #25951