The Rye Historical Society will present “This Man’s A Spy!,” a family friendly concert inspired by the fateful encounter between American General Benedict Arnold and British Major John André, set for Wednesday, August 17th at the Timothy Knapp House, the oldest house in Westchester County.
“This Man’s A Spy!” will commemorate the role of Yorktown in the American Revolution with the debut of a family-friendly program of history through songs. The concert will be performed in Railroad Park by local award-winning duo, Carla Lynne Hall and Jim Keyes. Carla and Keyes will introduce the André and Arnold story in an interactive discussion with the audience, introducing the characters through music.
Carla and Keyes perform in costume and will be available afterwards for questions, discussion and photographs. The lyrics tell the story of the plot to deliver West Point to the British. The importance of the Arnold and André plot is remembered to this day. Had their plan succeeded, the British could have won the Revolutionary War.
The songs introduce other important players of the story, Peggy Shippen, Benedict Arnold’s wife, local Patriot militiaman, John “Jack” Peterson, a free African-American man who helped thwart Major André’s escape back to the British lines and the three patriot militiamen, Isaac Van Wart, David Williams, and John Paulding, who captured Andre in Tarrytown.
This show was originally commissioned by the Yorktown Heritage Preservation Commission / Yorktown 250, in partnership with Revolutionary Westchester 250, to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution.
This program will take place at 7 pm and is free and open to the public. The Timothy Knapp House is located at 265 Rye Beach Avenue, in Rye. For more information visit the YHPC website.
Illustration: 1874 painting “Treason of Arnold” by Charles Blauvelt depicting Benedict Arnold directing Major Andre to hide papers in his boot.