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Dates That Matter

September 21, 1780

Benedict Arnold gives the British the plans to West Point and becomes America's most famous traitor.

 Why does it matter?

Today, the name Benedict Arnold has become synonymous with the word "traitor." Many don't realize that Benedict Arnold was one of the most successful Generals in the Continental Army. He had successfully led the Continental Army at Ft. Ticonderoga, but he never received the recognition he thought he deserved. He accumulated numerous debts he couldn't pay, and historians believe these frustrations led him to betray his country.

In particular, Arnold was given the command of the important American outpost at West Point, NY, and intended to turn it over to the British. His plot was discovered, however and was unsuccessful. Arnold escaped capture by the Americans, and lived the rest of his life in England. Ironically, the British were disgusted by Arnold's treachery and he was never really accepted there either.

For more information...

Benedict Arnold in Williamsburg
A brief biography of General Benedict Arnold from Colonial Williamsburg.

Benedict Arnold at Valley Forge
An account of Arnold's contributions at Valley Forge.