On September 23, 1780, three American soldiers arrested the British spy, John André, as he tried to escape to Canada. André’s arrest helped expose, Benedict Arnold’s switching of loyalties. André and Arnold, along with Arnold’s wife Peggy Shippen, had been communicating and plotting together since the beginning of that year. John Paulding, David Williams, and Isaac Van Wart, the three soldiers, who arrested André, were given pensions of $200 a year and awarded the André Medal, “the first medal bestowed upon enlisted men by the colonial, and later U.S., government.”
In a letter written to General George Washington on October 1, 1780, Arnold requested the release of André and threatened that if André was executed, “your Excellency will be justly accountable for the torrent of Blood that may be spilled in consequence.”
John André was hanged 2 October 1780.