John André (May 2, 1750 – October 2, 1780) was a British army officer hanged as a spy during the American Revolutionary War. This was due to an incident in which he assisted Benedict Arnold's attempted surrender of the fort at West Point, New York to the British Army.
André was born on May 2, 1750 in London to wealthy Huguenot parents, Antoine André, a merchant from Geneva, Switzerland, and Marie Louise Girardot, from Paris, France. At age 20, he entered the British Army and joined his regiment, the 23rd Foot, in Canada in 1774 as a lieutenant. He was captured at Fort Saint-Jean by General Richard Montgomery in November 1775, and held a prisoner at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, until December 1776, when he was exchanged. He was promoted to captain in the 26th Foot on January 18, 1777, and to major in 1778.
He was a great favourite in society, both in Philadelphia and New York, during their occupation by the British Army. During his nearly nine months in Philadelphia, André occupied Benjamin Franklin's house, where it is claimed he took items from Franklin's home when the British left Philadelphia. He had a lively and pleasant manner and could draw and paint and cut silhouette pictures, as well as sing and write verses. He was a fluent writer who carried on much of General Clinton's correspondence. He was fluent in English, French, German, and Italian. He also wrote many comic verses.