Nearly 250 years ago, the Hudson Valley played host to a number of significant events surrounding to the Revolutionary War and the founding of our nation. From general headquarters to fortifications to battles, the lands along the Hudson River were traversed by many of the famous characters whose names populate our history books today, the most infamous of which undoubtedly being Benedict Arnold.
By 1780, five years into the Revolutionary War, Benedict Arnold had made the fateful decision to betray the United States. Having recently been put in charge of West Point, Arnold’s plan was to offer this strategically advantageous military post to the British. It could decide the war.
Arnold's liaison for this conspiracy was one Major John André, Adjutant General of the British Army. In order to successfully orchestrate their ambitious plot, Arnold wanted to meet in person. In the early hours of September 22, 1780, under cover of darkness, Arnold and André met in Haverstraw, New York, to solidify every detail. Once their scheming had been finalized, André was tasked with making his way back to British lines to begin preparations, traveling under an alias and with incriminating documents hidden in his stocking. It is this passage south, wrought with the risk and uncertainty that abounds in a country actively at war, that decided André’s fate.
While John André’s name may not be as well known as his American counterpart, it was ultimately André whose actions and movements likely changed the course of American history forever.
In "Conspiracy on Hudson," the latest installment of her Youtube channel "The Curious World," Bridget Barbara retraces John André’s journey from Haverstraw, onwards to Tarrytown, and, finally, to Tappan.
Bridget Barbara is a New York City-based video producer and history enthusiast. She has produced content in over 15 countries worldwide, presented at live speaking engagements, and been interviewed on live television and radio. Her YouTube channel “The Curious World” focuses on travel, history, and all things unusual. Subscribe to her channel and follow her on Instagram.