One more thing on Major John André. His life was celebrated in two, hour-long programs at the Historical Society on September 20th: Cookies with Andre; and Wine with André. Local actor David Neilsen played André.
I went to the Cookies with André, which was really for children, but there were far more adults than children. (Five children to twenty adults.) English tea-time is around 3:30-4 pm, and the program started at 4 so it was perfect. The HS volunteers had baked some cookies and made some iced and hot tea, so we got our drinks and snacks and settled into our chairs.
André, from what I know of him, was a ladies’ man, and he was hung when he was 30. Neilsen got into character and did a fine job of playing André. Neilsen (as André) discussed his intense dislike of Benedict Arnold; André and Arnold only met once, but once was enough. Apparently few people who worked with Arnold actually liked him. André was sure that General Henry Clinton, the British commander whom he served as adjunct general and who had promoted André to major, would accept an exchange, him for Arnold. (Arnold had escaped to New York City, which was then occupied by the British.) André was a popular officer, but George Washington’s terms of exchange were not accepted, so André was led to the gallows. It was never mentioned that André’s execution was in retaliation for how the British had treated Nathan Hale.
Afterwards, Neilsen solicited feedback from the children in attendance. He plans to take the play to the schools around the area to educate students about local history.
I heard later that the Wine with André event had also sold out and that it was also well-received.