Benedict Arnold

October 10, 2010

Born: 14 January 1741

Birthplace: Norwich, Connecticut

Died: 14 June 1801

Best Known As: The great traitor of the American Revolution

Although he fought with skill and courage in many campaigns during the American Revolution, General Benedict Arnold (1741-1801) is best known as the man who betrayed his country.

Benedict Arnold, was born in Norwich, Connecticut on January 14, 1741. He was an American Revolutionary general and Americas most infamous traitor.

At the age of 14, Arnold worked as an apprentice in a pharmacy, but left twice to serve in the colonial militia during the French and Indian War (1754-63).

As soon as the American revolution broke out, Arnold marched his Connecticut militia to Massachusetts, where he was made a Colonel. His force along with Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys, captured Ticonderoga on May 10 1775.

Arnold then led a force of 1,100 Men through Main in the Winter to invade Canada. His march remains a military classic. The attack on Quebec turned out to be unsuccessful, and Arnold was severely wounded. For his courage he was promoted to brigadier general in January 1776.

Before his defection, Arnold had a brilliant career in the Continental Army. In October 1776 he fought a series of naval battles on Lake Champlain, that helped delay a British invasion from Canada.

He particularly distinguished himself during the second Battle of Saratoga on October 7th, in which he led a headlong charge, and make the British surrender. One of his soldiers called Arnold “as brave a man as ever lived”.

He suffered many disappointments that embittered him. Arnold was accused of overstepping his authority. His second marriage in 1779 to Margaret Shippen, the daughter of a Loyalist, also aroused suspicion. His bitterness, along with the need of money to pay heavy debts, led Arnold to negotiate with the British. In July 1780, he sought and obtained command on West Point in order to surrender it to the British.

Arnold’s scheme was exposed when American forces captured British Major Jhon Andre carrying papers that revealed the plot. Upon learning of André’s capture, Arnold fled down the Hudson River to the British sloop-of-war Vulture, narrowly avoiding capture by the forces of George Washington, who had been alerted to the plot. Arnold received a commission as a brigadier general in the British Army an annual pension of £360, and a lump sum of over £6,000.  In the winter of 1782, Arnold moved to London with his second wife.

He was well received by King George III and the Tories but frowned upon by the Whigs. Worn by depression and suffering from a nervous disease, he died in London on June 14th, 180.

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BY: David + Carla