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a change is delicate; but it is believed to be indispensable, and that the temporary evils of a change, can bear no proportion to the permanent and immense evils of a continuance in the error.



From the known humanity of your Excellency, I am inducol to ask your protection for Mrs. Arnold, from every insult and injury that a mistaken vengeance of my country may expose her to.

General BENEDICT ARNOLD, Sept. 25, 1780.

I receive the greatest attention from his Excellency, General Washington, and from every person under whose charge I happen to be placed.

Major JOHN ANDRE, Sept. 29, 1780.


Though I shall always think it a sacred duty, to exercise, with firmness and energy, the constitutional powers with which I am vested, yet it appears to be no less consistent with the public good, than it is with my personal feelings, to mingle, in the operations of government, every degree of moderation and tenderness which the national justice, dignity, and safety, may permit.


Lenity will operate with greater force, in some instances, than rigor. It is, therefore, my first wish, to have my whole conduct distinguished by it.


I shall always be happy to manifest my disinclination to any undue severities, towards those whom the fortunes of war may chance to throw into my hands.


In behalf of the United States, by virtue of the powers committed to me by Congress, I grant full liberty to all such as prefer the interest and protection of Great Britain, to the freedom and happiness of their country, forthwith to withdraw themselves and families within the enemy's lines.



Where acts of Providence interfere to disable a tenant, I would be lenient, in the exaction of rent. But, when the cases are otherwise, I will not be put off; because it is on these my own expectations depend, and

because an accumulation of undischarged rents is a real injury to the tenant.


With respect to the Tory, who was executed by your order; though his crime was heinous enough to deserve the fate he met with, and though I am convinced you acted in the affair with good intention, yet I cannot but wish it had not happened.

In the first place, it was a matter that did not come within the jurisdiction of Martial Law; and, therefore, the whole proceeding was irregular and illegal, and will have a tendency to excite discontent, jealousy, and murmurs, among the people.

In the second place, if the trial could properly have been made by a Court-Martial, as the Division you command is only a detachment from the army, and you cannot have been considered as in a separate department, there is none of our articles of war, that will justify your inflicting capital punishment, even on a Soldier, much less on a Citizen.

I mention these things, for your future government; as what is past cannot be recalled.

The temper of the Americans, and the principles on which the present contest turns, will not countenance proceedings of this nature.

* Brigadier-General Deborre.



Severe examples should, in my judgment, be made of those who were forgiven former offences, and are again in arms against us.



Retaliation is certainly just, and sometimes necessary, even where attended with the severest penalties. But, when the evils which may and must result from it, exceed those intended to be redressed, prudence and policy require, that it should be avoided.

Americans have the feelings of sympathy, as well as other men. A series of injuries may exhaust their patience; and it is natural, that the sufferings of their friends in captivity should, at length, irritate them into resentment, and to acts of retaliation

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