Major John Andre was of French Huguenot descent, but was born in England after his father had emigrated from Switzerland. John was educated in Switzerland, engaged in the family business for a time, then joined the British army, rising quickly from lieutenant to captain, and taking part in several engagements before being placed on Sir Henry Clinton's staff as his aide. It was while acting in this capacity, as Clinton's Chief of Intelligence, that he entered into secret negotiations with Benedict Arnold for the surrender of West Point for 20,000 pounds. While returning to New York City after meeting with Arnold, Andre was captured by American militia men, tried as a spy by a board of officers appointed by George Washington, found guilty, and condemned to death by hanging. Negotiations between Clinton and Washington to save Andre proved fruitless when Clinton refused to turn over Arnold to the Americans after he had escaped to the British lines. Major John Andre was executed on 2 October 1780 and buried nearby. In 1821 his remains were removed and interred in Westminster Abbey. He was mourned by both the British and the Americans because of his ability, personal charm, and considerable literary and artistic talent.
Reel 1 contains the Journal kept by Major Andre, beginning in June 1777 during the campaign that led to the capture of Philadelphia when he was a captain in the 26th Regiment and aide-de-camp to General Charles Grey. The Journal contains a considerable amount of detail regarding the disposition of troops, orders, details of engagements, and sketches showing the terrain and the relative position of each regiment. Similar information is recorded for engagements at other locations later in the same year and during 1778 after Sir Henry Clinton took command. Also included are lists of vessels; Hessian regiments; Provincials; soldiers killed, wounded and missing; and detail describing the deployment of British regiments.
Reel 2 contains the maps which were removed from the Journal by the Huntington Library and placed in a separate file for conservation purposes. The maps have been microfilmed and are available on this reel. They are as follows: Battle of Brandywine; Progress to Philadelphia, 1777; Battle of Germantown; Reduction of Mud Island; Attack of an Advanced Corps of Rebels, 6 December 1777; Redouts near Philadelphia; Progress of the British Army in the Jerseys, 1778; Battle of Freehold, 1778; Bedford and Fair Haven; Long Island; Martha's Vineyard; Hackinsack River Valley; The Island of New York, 1778; Middle Colonies; Forts Clinton and Montgomery, 1777.