His name is synonymous with betrayal. Even now, over 200 years later, it is still remembered, passed down through history from generation to generation.
A home school dad sums up Arnold this way:
... in 1780, General Benedict Arnold of the Continental Army weakened the positions of his men at West Point and gave British Major Andre the plans to the fort. (Arnold's plan was to surrender the fort in exchange for 20,000 pounds.)Simplistic, yes ... but it gets the point across. Here is a more detailed description:
Now, if Arnold's documents would have been successfully delivered to Andre's commander, this traitorous act could have given the British a strategic advantage that could have split the country, leading to an American surrender. However, Andre was captured by three soldiers in the Continental Army; Benedict Arnold then fled to the protection of the English; and the defensive positions of the important fort along the Hudson River were not compromised.
In the end, America can be thankful for the THREE men who stopped Andre as he tried to go back to the English lines. Although Andre was dressed in civilian clothes and the plans were hidden in his boot, these three men had the foresight and desire to do what they believed was right.
Today, we hear on the news about the potential SHOE BOMBER that tried to destroy an airplane. Well, the "BOMB" in Andre's shoe would have been big enough to destroy the American Revolution.
Arnold suffered many disappointments that embittered him. When he was promoted to major general in February 1777, others he thought less deserving preceded him in rank. Gates received the credit for the victory at Saratoga.His name is synonymous with betrayal....
Named (June 1778) commander in Philadelphia, Arnold was accused of overstepping his authority. His second marriage (1779) to Margaret Shippen, the daughter of a Loyalist, also aroused suspicions.
His bitterness, along with a need for money to pay heavy debts, led Arnold to negotiate with the British. He conceived a plan to betray West Point, a post that he commanded.
His attempted treachery was revealed when John Andre, a British major, was captured in September 1780 carrying Arnold's message. Arnold escaped to the enemy lines and was commissioned a brigadier general in the British army. For his property losses, he claimed and was paid about $10,000.
He led two British expeditions, one that burned Richmond, Va., and the other against New London, Conn.