“Enemies foreign and domestic.”
He was one of America's most popular leaders for capturing Fort Ticonderoga with Ethan Allen, and leading the charge at the Battle of Saratoga.
But Benedict Arnold’s wife was a loyalist to Britain.
She felt the Americans did not appreciated her husband, so in 1779, she began to make contact with a British spy in Philadelphia, Major John Andre.
On AUGUST 30, 1780, General Benedict Arnold made his decision.
He conspired with British General Henry Clinton to surrender West Point for 20,000 pounds, equivalent to one million dollars today.
West Point was a fort which controlled the Hudson River Valley, extending from near Canada in the North to New York City in the south, thereby dividing colonial America in half, with the New England Colonies on the east and Middle and Southern Colonies on the west.
The British spy, Major John Andre, met with General Arnold. He then tried to return back over to the British lines dressed as a civilian.
The American sentries stopped him and searched him once, twice, and then, just before letting him pass, they decided to search his boots.
There, in a hollowed out space in the heel of the boot, they found
the map of West Point with instructions on where to attack.
The American sentries arrested Andre and innocently marched him back into the office of General Benedict Arnold.
Realizing that his plan was about to be revealed, Arnold escaped on the ship Vulture.
British Major John Andre was executed at a spy.
General George Washington, who was visiting West Point the very day it was to be betrayed, 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.
Happily the treason had been timely discovered to prevent the fatal
The providential train of circumstances which led to 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."
Washington, George. Sept. 26, 1780, General Orders from his headquarters in Orangetown. John Clement Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, from the Original Manuscript Sources 1749-1799, 39 vols. (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1931-1944), Vol. XX, pp. 94-95. Saxe Commins, ed., The Basic Writings of George Washington (NY: Random House, 1948), p. 410. Richard Wheeler, Voices of 1776 (Greenwich: Fawcett Premier Book, 1972), p. 382. Peter Marshall & David Manuel, The Light & the Glory (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1977), pp. 328-329.