ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Benedict Arnold: From Founding Hero To Traitor

Updated on September 18, 2011
Benedict Arnold: Wanted For Treason
Benedict Arnold: Wanted For Treason

Benedict Arnold: From Founding FatherTo Traitor

The name Benedict Arnold in American lore is synonymous with being a traitor to the United States. And with good reason. Benedict Arnold for his own personal reasons and benefit committed crimes against the American Cause in the Revolutionary War while holding a position of power and prestige. Oddly, this act of disloyalty ruined what would have been one of the most celebrated and distinguished players in America’s fight for Independence.

Arnold Was A Member Of The Sons Of Liberty, A Secret Organization Designed To Defeat The British
Arnold Was A Member Of The Sons Of Liberty, A Secret Organization Designed To Defeat The British

Benedict Arnold – Before The Treachery

Arnold was born in Norwich, Connecticut in 1761 the second of six children.  Arnold was a descendant of John Lothropp, an ancestor of four future U.S. Presidents, including both Bush President and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Arnold showed great intelligence as a child but the death of most of his siblings and his father’s ill health kept him from going to college.  When Arnold was 14, he attempted to enlist with the militia in the French-Indian War.  His mother refused to give her permission.  Arnold eventually deserted the militia.

Arnold returned to Connecticut after the war and became a successful businessman.  Angered by the Stamp Act and other measures of the British Parliament, Arnold joined the Sons of Liberty in 1767, a secret group with aims at ousting the British Government.

 

In 1775 Arnold was chosen as Captain of the Governor’s Second Company of Connecticut Guards for the Revolutionary army.  During the early parts of the Revolutionary War, Arnold, along with Ethan Allen, led the expeditionary forces into Canada.  Arnold was unpopular with many of his peers but was a respected military leader.

 

Arnold Rallied The American Militia To Victory At The Battle of Saratoga
Arnold Rallied The American Militia To Victory At The Battle of Saratoga
Arnold Was Gravely Injured Injured At The Battle At Saratoga
Arnold Was Gravely Injured Injured At The Battle At Saratoga

The Battle At Saratoga

The famous Battle of Saratoga was one of the most important battles of the American Revolution.  In reality, it was two Battles that occurred in September and October 1777.  Both battles were fought nine miles for Saratoga, New York.

The September battle saw the British General, John Burgoyne, win a tactical victory over General Horatio Gates and the Continental Army.  In October, Burgoyne attacked to Continental Army again.  The American Troops were rallied by Colonel Benedict Arnold and were thrown back to the positions they held before the September battle.  Suffering huge casualties, Burgoyne was forced to retreat and surrendered ten days later.  Burhoyne’s surrender saw the end of any threat to come out of Canada.  The Battle of Saratoga is seen as the turning point in the war as it was a dramatic victory and finally convinced the French to intervene on the side of the Americans. 

Arnold was injured at the end of the battle.  The History Channel in telling Arnold’s story made the comment that Arnold would have been remembered as a hero had he died at Saratoga.  However, his injury did not kill him.  Instead, it left it out of service for a year and gave him a limp and need to walk with a cane the rest of his life.   

 

Arnold's Name Will Forever Tarnished
Arnold's Name Will Forever Tarnished

Benedict Arnold – Treachery

After Saratoga, Arnold recuperated first in a New York Hospital and then a hospital in Connecticut. In 1778, Arnold returned to service and arrived at Valley Forge to rejoin his troops where he was welcomed with thundering applause and participated in the first recorded Oath of Allegiance.

When the British Army evacuated Philadelphia, George Washington appointed Arnold the military commander of the City. However, Arnold had decided that he was going to financially benefit from the war. He engaged in numerous business deals regarding supply movements and protection. Arnold’s actions were uncovered by the powerful Joseph Reed.

Reed alleged that Arnold’s actions were illegal and unpatriotic and two began quarreling publicly. By 1779, charges were brought against Arnold. Arnold demanded a full trial in order to clear his name but it was delayed furthering angering Arnold.

Even though Reed was successful in delaying the Court Martial Arnold had his day in Court. In 1780, the Court Martial issued its verdict finding that Arnold was only guilty of trivial charges. However, in order to appease Reed, Arnold received a carefully worded reprimand from General Washington. Arnold was furious and decided to take action.

Arnold had begun a relationship with a British Loyalist and a British General. Arnold began executing a plan to give the British control of the Hudson River. By giving this service to the British, Arnold believed he would be rewarded with power and prestige. In order to achieve his goals, Arnold sought and obtained command of West Point. His plan was to surrender it to the British. However, his British contact was captured and Arnold fled to the British in New York and was properly branded a traitor. Arnold received a demotion in the British Army as a Brigadier-General and led a force into Virginia. Eventually Arnold left the United States for England where he was well received. He remained in England the rest of his life.

Arnold Sold Out His Country And Ensured His Negative Place In History
Arnold Sold Out His Country And Ensured His Negative Place In History

Benedict Arnold’s Place in History

Benedict Arnold will forever be remembered as a traitor, and for good reason. After the Battle of Saratoga, Arnold could have joined the other founding fathers in history as one of the great men who founded this Country.  However, for reasons of ego and financial benefit, Arnold sold out his countrymen and ensured that his name would be synonymous with treachery and disloyalty. 

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      2 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Wow. Very cool.

    • profile image

      Byron J. Durkee 

      2 years ago

      My ancestor, Capt. John Durkee was the replacement appointed by George Washington for Bennedict Arnold.

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      7 years ago from Sacramento, California

      ok, thanks for reading

    • profile image

      GHASEM YARAH(MADI)(BENEDICT) 

      7 years ago

      AL (MADI*****>>>>>>(BENEDICT*******>>>>>>>IS IN CANADA

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      7 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Sorry to hear that Joslyn

      Thanks for stoppign by.

      Thank you Burlesque, very nice of you to say.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      Burlesque 

      7 years ago

      I highly enjoyed this article about Benedict Arnold! I now have a better understanding of him. I recommend this to any teacher,parent, or even student who may use this for school,studying, or teaching to one-another! Thank you.

    • profile image

      Joslyn Howard 

      7 years ago

      I didn't undrstand it.....than agan i'm not very smat. I make Ds and Fs!!! whateva!

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      7 years ago from Sacramento, California

      I am sorry Pops, I don't understand your question?

    • profile image

      pops 

      7 years ago

      what some good questions about Benedict Arnold ?

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      8 years ago from Sacramento, California

      1780. Thanks for reading

    • profile image

      8 years ago

      What year did he surrender West Point?

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      8 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Thanks for reading

    • outdoorsguy profile image

      outdoorsguy 

      8 years ago from Tenn

      great hub thanks

    • grillrepair profile image

      grillrepair 

      8 years ago from florida

      not what i expected to find. good work.

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      9 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Thanks for reading.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Well done! Interesting, pithy snapshot of the Traitor. I enjoyed it.

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      9 years ago from Sacramento, California

      History is determined by those who tell it.  British History Books talk about the revolution war much differenlty than American History Books.  Americans were traitors against the British crown.

      But, rightfully so lol.  Of course had we lost, our founding fathers would have been hung by the King.  

      Thanks for reading

    • eovery profile image

      eovery 

      9 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      Nice hub,

      I find it funny that in England Benedict Arnold is considered the hero, and George Washington is the traitor.

      Keep on hubbing!

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      9 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Thank you very much. I heard about the traitor, but never knew from where he came from. Interesting how he was a patriot but then ego got in the way.

      Thanks for reading

    • Hawkesdream profile image

      Hawkesdream 

      9 years ago from Cornwall

      This has been the easiest , reading account of Benedict Arnold, that I have ever come across. Have learnt more and have a far better insight into this man , great writing.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)