Bennidict Arnold

Bennidict Arnold

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My name is Benedict Arnold. I was born on January 14, 1741 in Norwich Connecticut. I led a very daring life, for I was a spy. My entire familial lineage was based in New England and was long established and well respected. As a child I worked with an apothecary, but that wasn’t what I planned to do for my life. During the French and Indian War, I enlisted in the militia and fought from 1754 to 1763. My father died toward the end of the war, and so I had no way of making money afterward, so I used my knowledge of potions and became a druggist in New Haven, Connecticut. My business soon expanded, and I began a trading company that shipped to Canada and the West Indies in 1764. After eleven years in this business, my success brought about my election to militia captaincy. Soon after I was made captain, I was once again upgraded to the status of colonel.
At the start of the American Revolution in 1775, I joined Ethan Allen to capture Fort Ticonderoga from the British. After the great success I had in New York, I decided to make an assault on Quebec. I was promoted to brigadier general after this invasion, even though I had to retreat to Lake Champlain.
I was actually defeated there at Lake Champlain in 1776 by a British naval attack. This did diminish my perseverance somewhat, but I came back into full force in April 1777 when I was promoted to major general after the Battle of Ridgefield. If I do say so myself, I would definitely have you know that had I not relieved Fort Stanwix in the fall of 1777, an American victory at the Battles of Saratoga would not have been possible.
By battlefield leadership allowed me to become the commander in Philadelphia in 1778, where I met my wide, Margaret Shippen. I became a bit obsessed with money once I became commander, and for a good reason! I served my country for many years, and I still feel that I had a right to some money. Well, that wouldn’t be too much of a problem had I not gone into debt. At that point, I had to begin begging for money. I came in contact with a British commander in chief named Sir Henry Clinton. This is where my devious actions began.

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For sixteen months, corresponded with he who was once my enemy. Then, in 1780, when I was the commandant of West Point, I agreed to surrender my fort to Britain in return for a royal commission in the British army and a sum of money.
All was going well, until Major John André captured Clinton’s envoy. Of course, people talk, and someone eventually exposed my scheme. To escape the penalty of treason, being death, I fled to Britain’s soldiers for their backing.
I have good reasons for my act of treason. First of all, many junior officers were being promoted to positions that I was more qualified to hold. Secondly, I was court-martialed by the Pennsylvania authorities. After all that I had done for America, I was court-martialed and publicly embarrassed! As if that were not enough, I was broke and couldn’t live without all of the frills that I had become accustomed to.
Once a brigadier general in the British army, I left a bloody trail wherever I went. I raided Virginia along the James River to Richmond in 1780, and the next year I diverted a French and American attack on the British forces residing in the south. Later that year went north to Connecticut, were I burned 150 buildings and massacred American militia at Fort Graswold.
In December of this same year, 1781, I took my family and sailed to England to advise the British officials on the conduct of war. Then, my political supporters in England were ousted from office. Since not that many people trusted me, despite my diligent work, I was removed from active military service in the British army. Because of my treasonable acts, I received only one-third of the money that I had been promised. On top of that, the British scorned me until my dying day. On June 14, 1801, I died in London, at the age of 60.
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