1845 illustration of Andre caught with secret plan in his boot.
1845 illustration of Andre caught with secret plan in his boot.

Where Benedict Arnold's Pal was Hanged

Field review by the editors.

Tappan, New York

Smack in the middle of a suburban street, a five-ton gray granite monument marks the spot where Benedict Arnold's charming crony, Major John Andre, was hanged. A handsome and popular British officer during the Revolutionary War, Andre was drawn into Benedict's plot to turn over West Point to the enemy. After meeting and scheming with Arnold, Andre left with incriminating papers stuffed into his boot. Disguised as a civilian, he was stopped by American soldiers near Tarrytown -- and Arnold's treachery was revealed.

Arnold fled to British-occupied New York City. Andre was imprisoned in Mabie's Inn, which is now called the Old 76 House (110 Main St., Tappan, NY). This is a popular place to brunch in Tappan, in a dining room with engravings of key events in the Arnold conspiracy, along with a framed pencil self-portrait of Andre, who was apparently quite creative and gifted in the art of cutting out paper silhouettes. The actual room where he was held is now used for banquets.

A plan to swap Andre for Arnold was proposed, but the Brits refused. Andre was apparently well-liked, even by his captors. A quote on the monument reads: "He was more unfortunate than criminal," words written by George Washington.

Andre Monument.

Andre was hanged on the monument spot (then a peach field) on October 2, 1780. Wealthy merchant Cyrus Field provided the funds for this particular monument in 1878 (The original stone marker of 1847 had been swiped). The second version was equally a target for patriotic ire; someone attempted to blow it up in 1885. That's why it used to be seven-and-a-half-feet-tall but, after losing its base, it's currently closer to three. Today the memorial sits on a patch of grass surrounded by a circular fence and does not appear to be disturbing the neighbors.

Andre's body is not here. His remains were eventually returned to England and buried in a far more prestigious setting, centrally located and much more popular with tourists -- Westminster Abbey.

Where Benedict Arnold's Pal was Hanged

Address:
Andre Hill Rd, Tappan, NY
Directions:
Palisades Pkwy exit 5S. Drive south on Hwy 303 to Tappan. Turn right onto Kings Hwy. Drive to Old Tappan Rd and turn right. Drive to Andre Hill Rd (on the left past Central Ave.; look for the historical marker). Turn left and drive until you see the circular green fence.
Admission:
Free
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