Asher B. Durand. "The Capture of Major André."
New York: American Art Union, 1846. 13 x 17 3/4. Figures engraved by Alfred Jones; landscape engraved by James Smillie & Hinshelwood. Later hand color. Large margins. Light mat burn in upper and right hand margins. Faint water stain left hand margin, just into image. Else, very good condition. Ref.: Mann, p. 42.
By mid-nineteenth century the story of John André's arrest as a spy in the Benedict Arnold treason plot had reached mythic proportions along with the deification of Washington and Horatio Alger fiction. The plans for West Point were found in the British officer's boot. André had offered his captors a bribe, but as American patriots, the three irregulars refused and turned him in to the American army. Later debunkers of American history would say they were ruffians and Andre had not offered them enough, but at this time, 1846, the capture was a lesson in patriotism.