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Benedict Arnold

Posted by King George III on August 24, 2001 at 03:17:11:

Benedict Arnold (1741-1801), the notorious American Revolutionary general and turncoat. During the American Revolution, he served the American rebels, leading a successful expedition to capture the British Fort Ticonderoga among other things. Later in the war, he began a correspondence with the British Commander-in-Chief; Sir Henry Clinton in New York City. He arranged to betray West Point to the British, but the plot was discovered and Arnold escaped.

In 1781, in the British service, he led two savage raids against Virginia and against New London, before going into exile in Britain and Canada. Scott, what do you think motivated Arnold's actions? Did he think the American cause was lost? Was he simply bitter at being passed over for promotion? Any personal opinions you have would be interesting...

Posted by Scott on August 25, 2001 at 16:22:17:
In Reply to: Benedict Arnold posted by King George on Aug. 24, 2001 at 03:17:

As you can tell by Arnold's current absence from the website, I am not comfortable with my knowledge of him. My first impression (and this is easily subject to change upon more research) is that personal glory drowned out "The Cause." He was frustrated by the promotion system, but he also really never had glory on the field... he lost at Quebec; he never got credit for his efforts at Saratoga.

What turned him was the partying in Philadelphia. Why suffer horrible winters like Washington's force when the British partied away in style. He probably also thought.. whether led on or convinced himself.. that there would be better chance for promotion and glory with the British, which would have been very difficult considering he was not from a old and wealthy British family.

I don't think he really considered it treason. He probably grew away from the Revolution through the rigors of war and the time in Philadelphia with the Tories softened him. You asked and that's my current take on Arnold and his actions. original content and design Copyright © 1999-2019; Scott Cummings, All Rights Reserved. Privacy Statement