Sunday, August 31, 2008
American Minute - Aug. 30 - Benedict Arnold
One of America's greatest generals for capturing Fort Ticonderoga with Ethan Allen and leading the charge at Saratoga, he felt unappreciated, so AUGUST 30, 1780, General Benedict Arnold conspired with British General Clinton to surrender West Point for 20,000 pounds, equivalent to one million dollars today.
The British courier was Major John Andre, who had met Arnold's wife in Philadelphia.
As Andre tried to cross to the British lines, he was searched, found with the blue prints for West Point in his boot and executed.
Arnold escaped on the ship Vulture.
George Washington wrote September 26, 1780:
"Treason of the blackest dye was yesterday discovered! General Arnold who commanded at West Point, was about to...give the American cause a deadly wound if not fatal stab...
Its discovery affords the most convincing proof that the Liberties of America are the object of divine Protection."
On May 8, 1783, Yale President Ezra Stiles stated:
"A providential miracle at the last minute detected the treacherous scheme of traitor Benedict Arnold, which would have delivered the American army, including George Washington himself, into the hands of the enemy."