"On This Date in History" Calendar
1780: British Major John André Hanged As a Spy
2 October 1780: British Major John André was hanged as a spy at the age of 31 for his role in supporting Benedict Arnold's treason during the American Revolution.
Most Americans believed that Benedict Arnold should have been the one to die because of his treason. André was just in the proverbial "wrong place at the wrong time." George Washington even communicated to General Clinton that he would trade André for Arnold so Arnold could be hanged instead, but such an exchange did not take place. André was hanged and was mourned, even by his enemies.
A monument was erected in 1879 on the site of André's execution in New York, where the following quote by George Washington is inscribed: "He was more unfortunate than criminal, An accomplished man and a gallant officer." —George Washington