Benedict Arnold Research Paper

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Benedict Arnold A Focus on Motive At around 9:00 am on September 23, 1780 John Andre, a Major in the British army, in charge of the British secret intelligence and favorite aide to General Henry Clinton was detained and searched by armed militiamen near Tarrytown, New York. On his person were discovered detailed plans to aid the British in the capture of Fort Arnold, also known as West Point, a key American military stronghold. Andre had recently taken charge as head of the British secret intelligence. It was soon discovered that the papers found in Andre’s boot were provided by Benedict Arnold, a fearless General in the Continental Army recently appointed Commandant of Fort Arnold. The name Benedict Arnold has since become synonymous…show more content…
During his childhood the Arnolds were one of the wealthiest families in Norwich, Connecticut. Arnold’s father soon squandered the family fortune. Arnold had to quit school early and upon returning home discovered everyone gossiping about their financial reversals. Prone to pranks and wreck less behavior, as a youth his contemporaries described Arnold as “a thrill seeker, a natural athlete, a born show-off.”[3] As a merchant in New Haven, Connecticut Arnold was arrested, tried and convicted for beating a man, Peter Boles, who had worked for Arnold as a sailor on one of his ships. Arnold suspected Boles of reporting him to the customs commissioner for smuggling. The arrest warrant said Boles was beat by Arnold in “a shocking, cruel and dangerous manner.”[4] The incident with Boles made Arnold popular with his peers who were also upset with British taxation. Arnold was elected the leader of New Haven’s volunteer militia and when war erupted on April 19, 1775 Arnold was at the head of the line As Sheinkin writes, “War would be a heaven-sent chance to wipe out the marks against him, to soar up and over everyone who’d ever dared to judge…show more content…
This latest humiliation, a rebuke from his long time friend and supporter, his commander in chief, could have been the moment. His communication with Clinton began early in the spring of 1780. His letters to Andre, reportedly in Peggy Shippen’s handwriting also suggest her involvement. In a letter to Arnold, Andre offers a means of communication, “The lady might write to me. The letters may talk of the Meschianza or other nonsense.”[6] Again in a letter to Andre the author asserts that Arnold appears to incriminate Peggy, “Madame Arnold presents her particular complements-his way of signaling that Peggy was in on any future plans.”[7] In the same letter Arnold blatantly seeks assurance that his property will remain intact and he will be compensated with, “...revenue equivalent to the risk and service done.”[8] In another letter to Andre he reportedly asks for £10,000 compensation, an enormous amount equivalent to approximately $1.5 million

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