People often talk about how “evil” Benedict Arnold was, how his name was often associated with the word “Traitor”. Then we hear how he was: brilliant, victorious leader, very successful, credited battle hero, and the list goes on. But do we really know if Benedict Arnold was as bad as his reputation proceed? Was Benedict Arnold a Traitor or a Hero?
There has been six Benedict Arnolds including the traitor of the United States of America. The first Benedict Arnold sailed from New England to New Port, Rode Island, the second became a barrel maker, the second became the colonies House Deputies several times, the fourth was a barrel maker, the fifth died as an infant, and the sixth was born on January 14, 1741, one of the coldest January in the Northeast and was not expected to live through the bitter cold winter. His parents were Benedict Arnold and Hannah Arnold (wife of Absalom King).
As Benedict Arnold grew he was a “Dare Devil” said a local resident in 1751. There is a well know story about Benedict Arnold from when he was waiting in line at a local mill waiting to have his corn ground into cornmeal. He grew very interested in the wheel outside the mill and jumped on it and rode it then he became submerged for a few seconds and then reappeared and this was the start of Arnold’s adventurous life.
Later, Benedict Arnold was sent to get a better education at Canterbury Boarding School and wrote to his mother often. In August 1753, Benedict Arnold’s sisters were stricken with the Yellow Fever during the Yellow Fever epidemic .When his mother wrote to him she wrote, “ For three or four days past we have look on Mary as one just stepping off the banks of time and to all appearances, Hannah just behind. Prepare for the worst. What God is about to do with us I know not, we have a very uncertain stay in this world.” – Hannah Arnold August 1753.
The economic shutdown in New England was destroying Benedict Arnold’s (number four) shipping business, putting the Arnold’s in Debt. The Captain was later incarcerated for failure to pay his debt; thus removing Benedict (number six) from Canterbury. After Arnold left school, he became an apprentice under Daniel Lathrop.
Hannah Arnold became ill from all of the family’s debt and died on August 15, 1758. Benedict Arnold’s Father when into an emotional downward spiral and suffering with alcoholism and depression and died in 1761. Arnold also joined the French and Indian War along side of George Washington as a Colonel during the Canadian Invasion. After the French and Indian War he resumed control of his family’s business along with his sister. It is rumored that Arnold caught his sister eating dinner with a French officer...