Born on the 14th day in the month of January 1741 in Norwich Benedict Arnold legacy has run for centuries. Generations after a generation, his life history continues to be taught and passed. Born to a successful businessman, Arnold was expected to be learned son just like the other children from rich families. However, the life of Arnold took another turn when his father got into alcoholism after two of his children succumbed to yellow fever. This got the family into a deeper financial problem which saw Arnold drop out of school.
Arnold’s life took another turn after these episodes and he found himself trying to find a way to survive. He apprenticed at a chemist before he got recruited into a militia in 1757 and left to fight the French at New York. His father's drunkenness saw him assume the responsibility of taking care of his after the demise of their mother. Before he died in 1761 his father had been arrested severally for his drunkenness. The death of their father made them orphans something made Arnold to be more focused and determined in life.
Having gone through so much at such a tender age Arnolds life was not like that of any other teen. Life presented him with much more serious issues that shaped him into a very influential man. He was an entrepreneur minded man and he invested so much in business. After settling in New haven, he worked as a bookseller and pharmacist as well. After some time, in 1764 he partnered with Adam Babcock a great merchant and together they bought ships for trading and started a connection in the West Indies. However their venture was short lived after an act that restricted trade of the colonies was implemented. Arnold was unhappy with the decision since it interfered with a very expensive investment of his lifetime.
The ban of the West Indies trade hungered Arnold so much which forced him to join a secret organization named the Sons of Liberty which advocated for freedom of trade. However this got Arnold into trouble after he was convicted for disorderly conduct after participating in a presumed informant assault. He later got married in 1767 to Margaret Mansfield and they were blessed with three sons.
The character of Arnold was that of revolutionist, has a militia captain, he began a war which they seized a fort in New York which they succeeded. The invasion of Quebec was as a result of his proposal after the Continental Congress excluded him from its primary missions. He was so influential that he was able to influence the president of America George Washington for a second expedition of attacking through a wilderness route.
Arnold has been seen as a very divisive person despite the successes he had in his military wars. He always emerged has a hero in every battle he led his comrades. The most successful one being that one of the Saratoga Battle, which made him an enemy to make. He had faced a lot of criticism and was once accused of indulging in corruption acts of misappropriation of finds which landed him in a martial court.
In 1778, Arnold was appointed the military commander by the then president of the United States, Mr. Washington. That is when he met and married the daughter of a Loyalist sympathizer, miss Peggy Shipen. Their relationship sparked during the British occupation which Peggy maintained contact with British soldiers in their battles. The British Major John Andre and Arnold started a kind of a correspondence which used Peggy as an intermediary at times. It is from these circumstances that Arnold remarried after many years of his wife’s death.
Judging from the description stated herein, Arnold character was that of a rebel. He never took anything that affected his life while lying down. He influenced leaders into wars against other countries something most people his age could not do. His life was full of tribulations and this might have influenced his character and nature of doing things. Since his childhood life presented him with very challenging times, which he always managed to withstand. The death of his loved ones by his mother, father and even worse enough his dear wife was a very big blow to him. However unlike his peers such difficult times made him a stronger being and that is when the characteristics of a leader started to show up. He was respected and envied with the same measure by people around him. This saw him face opposition and even betrayed by the people he worked with and trusted. It is from such events in his life that started to unfold another destiny for him in leadership. This has gotten him recognized all over the world and his history remains to be read decades after his life.
However the glory of war did not last long after Arnold was able to access the most sensitive information in 1780 when he became the command of West point. His zeal of defending the fort weakened and the defense force became so lenient. The usual supplies were drained and repairs were left unattended. Arnold seemed to be getting into some crisis as his assets were transferred to England. They seemed to be conspiring something with Andre as per their meetings and discussions. Andre was later captured and information revealing a siege plot to the West Point was found and Arnold’s role revealed as well.
Discovering of Andre’s capture, Arnold fled and asked Washington to give his family a safe passage to Philadelphia. Andre was hanged in New York days later and Washington sent people to kidnap Arnold which was unsuccessful. Arnold later showed up but this time he was fighting for the British Army. He led troops into Virginia in 1780 which saw them capture Richmond while destroying mills, supply houses and foundries.
Arnold character was so unpredictable and he was very cunning in nature. Over the many years of fighting for the United States he later conspired to go against the country. He had earned the trust of most leaders including the then president of the United States. The way he planned his things and how to execute them remained a mystery to many. He was a great commander in the wars and he never lost the battles he led his troops. He had strategies better ways to attack enemies and many regions were captured during his time. To many he was a hero and many people believed in him than any other person. His defection from the U.S army came as a surprise to many including Washington who ordered for his kidnap. Washington knew the many secrets he had and their enemies would be willing to recruit Arnold which would mean defeat.
He became commander of the British military for some time until Lord Cornwallis took over. However Arnold’s relevance did not end as he still had a lot of influence in the military. His ability to take troops for battles was needed by the army. Arnold devised a method and was able to lead an attack on the then New London. The British remained a stronghold for years during Arnold’s time and they were the most feared military in the world back then.
Arnold seemed to have a hand that turned everything he touched to gold. This could be observed from his early days as a young man. He remained relevant in his military career for the better part of his life. The rebellious nature in him never changed and whenever he was uncomfortable with the decisions of the top leaders he always influenced some people to defy any unfair policy. As a family man he made sure he protected his family by all means. He was willing to put his life on the line for the ones he loved at given the chance.
The turn of events did not however favor the British and they later admitted surrender. After this Arnold wanted to return to England together with his family in 1781 which he succeeded this time round. His will was granted and he moved to England where he settled with the family. However Arnold’s character did not change after all even after moving to this country. Severally he tried to get positions in the British military and the British East India Company as well, but never found a chance.
The life of Arnold did not end well after it all. After some time they started a business together with one of his sons in the West Indies in Brunswick, Canada. His family left him and returned to London while Arnold was left trading in the West Indies during the French Revolution. He was later arrested and imprisoned by the French Revolution after he was suspected of spying. Arnold’s health declined in 1801 and he died at the age of 60. He was buried at St. Mary’s Church London. To many Americans Arnold is accused of treason and his work is hardly recognized. His legendary is not accepted by many and omitting of his name in many Revolutionary War monuments is seen. The Arnold evokes memories of betrayal to the United States.
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