Benedict Arnold: A Traitor Essay

995 words - 4 pages

Benedict Arnold was born on January 14th, 1741 in Norwich, Connecticut. His father was a businessman and anticipated that his son would be equally as successful. Three of Arnold’s siblings died from diphtheria, so his father began drinking heavily and lost his job. The family fell on hard financial times (Benedict).
In the following years, Benedict’s mother died so he proceeded to take responsibility for his remaining sister and father. His dad, at the time, had been arrested for being drunk in public many times. Following his fathers death, Benedict and his sister moved to New Haven and Arnold worked as a pharmacist and bookseller. When the Stamp Act was passed in 1764, Arnold joined the Sons of Liberty (Benedict).
By joining the Sons of Liberty, Arnold hoped to resist the British tyranny that the country was starting to feel. He did not like all the taxes and policies that King George III was beginning to push. Soon, Arnold felt the need to enlist in the army. He was one of Washington’s best Major-Generals. The fact that the troops were so poorly equipped and trained made Arnold quite frustrated, so he spent his own money trying to properly equip and train them. When he won the battle of Ticonderoga in 1775, Washington was quick to appoint him as commander of a large force of men to take on the battle of Quebec. The men marched three hundred fifty miles through “rain, snow, and ice, reduced to eating candles, dogs, and shoe leather” (Creighton).
Arnold’s nickname soon became “America’s Hannibal” due to his braveness through the troops’ march in the wilderness. During the battle of Quebec, Benedict Arnold was shot in the leg with a musket ball and was noted in the continental army for his intense braveness (Creighton).
Many believe that the reason for Arnold betraying his country was that he never felt that he got the credit he deserved for fighting in the war. Time and time again he was denied promotions, while those he felt were lesser than him were raised higher and higher in the ranks (Creighton).
The Battle of Saratoga is seen by some as Arnold’s breaking point. He suffered a leg wound to the same leg as he did in Quebec, which would cause him to have a life-long limp. When Benedict Arnold was in the hospital, recovering from the shot, Major-General Horatio Gates took all the credit for the monumental British surrender (Creighton).
While all of this was happening, Arnold went broke and his wife, Margaret Shippen, passed away. Some say that Margaret is the real traitor. She came from a loyalist family and the legend has it that she wore him down so that he adopted their philosophies. Legend has it, Shippen the contacted her ex-lover, John Andre, and helped the men set the whole thing up. However, this is only a legend (Zinoman).
Arnold was as sour as...

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