Arnold, Benedict

Arnold, Benedict

biographical name


Benedict Arnold, engraving by H.B. Hall, 1865.—Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

(born Jan. 14, 1741, Norwich, Conn.—died June 14, 1801, London, Eng.) American army officer and traitor. He joined the American Revolutionary army in 1775 and contributed to American victories at the Battle of Ticonderoga, at Fort Stanwix, N.Y., and at the Battle of Saratoga, where he was seriously wounded. He was made a major general and placed in command of Philadelphia, where he lived extravagantly and socialized with wealthy loyalist sympathizers, one of whom he married in 1779. Reprimanded for fiscal irregularities in his command, he began secret overtures to the British. After receiving command of the fort at West Point, N.Y. (1780), he offered to surrender it to the British for £20,000. The plot was uncovered after his British contact, John André, was captured. Arnold escaped on a British ship to England, where he died penniless.

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