October 2, 1780 --
Thirty-one-year-old British Major John Andre is hanged as a spy by U.S. military forces in Tappan, New York
, on this day in 1780. Andre, an accomplice of Benedict Arnold
, had been captured by Patriots John Paulding, David Williams and Isaac Van Wart on September 23 after they found incriminating papers in his boot. The papers revealed that Andre was returning from a secret meeting with U.S. General Benedict Arnold, commander of West Point, who had offered to surrender the strategic Hudson River fort to the British for a bribe of £20,000. Upon hearing of Andre's capture, Arnold fled to the British warship Vulture
and subsequently joined the British in their fight against the Patriots.