Traitor: the Case of Benedict Arnold by Jean FritzBenedict Arnold always carried things too far. As a boy he did crazy things like climbing atop a burning roof and picking a fight with the town constable. As a soldier, he was even more reckless. He was obsessed with being the leader and the hero in every battle, and he never wanted to surrender. He even killed his own horse once rather than give it to the enemy.
Where did the extremism lead Arnold? To treason.
Americas most notorious traitor is brought to life as Jean Fritz relays the engrossing story of Benedict Arnold -- a man whose pride, ambition, and self-righteousness drove him to commit the heinous crime of treason against the United States during the American Revolution.
“A highly entertaining biography illuminating the personality of a complex man.” —Horn Book
“A gripping story. . . As compelling as a thriller, the book also shines as history.” —Publishers Weekly
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A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
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History Brief: The Treason of Benedict Arnold
Why Benedict Arnold Turned Traitor Against the American Revolution
Arnold, who was raised in a respected family in Norwich, Connecticut , apprenticed with an apothecary and was a member of the militia during the French and Indian War He later became a successful trader and joined the Continental Army when the Revolutionary War broke out between Great Britain and its 13 American colonies in Arnold distinguished himself in campaigns at Lake Champlain, Ridgefield and Saratoga, and gained the support of George Washington. However, Arnold had enemies within the military and in , a group of lower-ranking men were promoted ahead of him. Over the next several years, Arnold married a second time and he and his wife led a lavish lifestyle in Philadelphia, racking up substantial debt. Money problems and the resentment Arnold felt over not being promoted faster were factors in his decision to become a turncoat.
On September 21, , Revolutionary War hero Benedict Arnold turned his back on his country in a secret meeting with a top British official. Historians have several theories about why Arnold became a traitor: greed; mounting debt; resentment of other officers; a hatred of the Continental Congress; and a desire for the colonies to remain under British rule. Arnold was descended from a Rhode Island founding family. The major general led and served with honor at Ticonderoga, Quebec and Saratoga. But Arnold often fought with other officers and Congress. Arnold was wounded seriously at Saratoga, and Washington put Arnold in charge of the city of Philadelphia after the British ended their occupation. Andre was a top aide to British commander Sir Henry Clinton.
The name Benedict Arnold has become synonymous with the idea of betrayal, but how, exactly, did that happen? What did he do, and why did he do it? Benedict Arnold was born in , to a family whose ancestors were among the first to come to Rhode Island. Young Arnold was desperate to escape the onus of being the son of such a man, and he left the family home in Norwich for the town of New Haven, where he worked to build an independent life and reputation, according to Smithsonian Magazine. He became both a seagoing merchant and an apothecary, and by his mids had established himself well and built a fine house, and a reputation to match.
Benedict Arnold was once a patriotic war hero valued by George Washington and admired by his men. But now his name is synonymous with traitor.
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This monument was erected under the patronage of the State of Connecticut in the 55th year of the Independence of the U. AD , when the British, under the command of the Traitor Benedict Arnold , burnt the towns of New London and Groton and spread desolation and woe throughout the region. Benedict Arnold January 14, [ O. George Washington had given him his fullest trust and placed him in command of the fortifications at West Point, New York. Arnold planned to surrender the fort to British forces, but the plot was discovered in September and he fled to the British. His name quickly became a byword in the United States for treason and betrayal because he led the British army in battle against the very men whom he had once commanded.
He was handsome and charismatic, with black hair, gray eyes and an aquiline nose, and he carried himself with the lissome elegance of a natural athlete. He was born in , a descendant of the Rhode Island equivalent of royalty. By his mids he had had enough success as an apothecary and a seagoing merchant to begin building one of the finest homes in town. But he remained hypersensitive to any slight, and like many gentlemen of his time he had challenged more than one man to a duel. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, he convinced Dr. As it turned out, others had the same idea, and Arnold was forced to form an uneasy alliance with Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys before the two leaders strode side by side into Ticonderoga. While Allen and his men turned their attention to consuming the British liquor supply, Arnold sailed and rowed to St.
As he rode back toward his army after a frustrating conference with his French allies at Hartford, Connecticut, on September 24, , George Washington felt the need of some gaiety to raise his melancholy spirits. Business, however, intervened. On the road he met the French ambassador, Chevalier Anne Cesar de la Luzerne, and had to pause for further involved negotiations. He spent the night at Fishkill, New York. Early the next morning, as soon as the autumnal sky began to lighten, Washington set out again on his interrupted journey. As he repeatedly turned off the highroad down lanes rutted by the wheels of cannon, his companions—the Marquis de Lafayette, the artillery general Henry Knox, and a flock of aides—became impatient.