Thirteen Charges Against Benedict Arnold

The Accusations of Colonel John Brown Prior to the Act of Treason

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About the Book

Years before General Benedict Arnold betrayed the American cause, a young officer and attorney named John Brown brought 13 charges of misconduct against him and called for his arrest, Brown was shuttled from one general to another, and finally to George Washington, before powerful politicians decided in Arnold’s favor without hearing from Brown or any other witnesses. Historians have continued to ignore the accusations, finding Brown’s charges to be false, and even absurd. In fact, some are unquestionably true, and all are worthy of investigation.

John Brown was an early hero of the Revolution, a legislator, envoy, spy, and accomplished field officer. His charges and his many proposed witnesses are a starting point for a reevaluation of Arnold’s conduct in the war—on his storied march up Maine’s Kennebec River to Canada, during the winter siege of Québec, and at the battles of Valcour Island and Saratoga. What emerges from Brown’s charges is a story of deceit and misconduct, and of prominent leaders and historians turning a blind eye in order to maintain exciting myths.

About the Author(s)

After a career as a teacher, journalist, and college communications director, Ennis Duling of East Poultney, Vermont, has been engaged in research on the American Revolution in Vermont and along Lake Champlain. His articles appeared in Vermont History, Historical New Hampshire, and the Journal of the American Revolution.

Bibliographic Details

Ennis Duling
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 248
Bibliographic Info: 46 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8491-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4360-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Introduction: “I beg your Honour will order Brigadier-General Arnold in arrest” 3

One—“An intimate correspondence and connection” 7

Two—“An able counsellor, full of spirit and resolution” 17

Three—“He would not be second in command to any person” 28

Four—“Now, Sir, is the time to carry Canada” 38

Five—“The only field officer of any share of abilities” 45

Six—“A march not to be paralleled in history” 53

Seven—“I will have an eclaircissement with him” 67

Eight—“Mr. General Arnold & I do not agree very well” 74

Nine—“Some strange kind of conduct in General Arnold” 87

Ten—“Received much abuse from General Arnold” 100

Eleven—“I wish he may be as prudent as he is brave” 109

Twelve—“And every man of common sense” 118

Thirteen—“Sir, you are a dirty scoundrel” 128

Fourteen—“An army flushed with victory” 139

Fifteen—“The mighty army of the continent” 152

Sixteen—“The greatest conquest ever known” 161

Seventeen—“Give a thief a length of rope” 172

Eighteen—“Ah! hapless friend, permit the tender tear” 185

Conclusion: “A few gentlemen became acquainted with his true character” 193

Appendix: John Brown’s Thirteen Charges Against Benedict Arnold and Related Letters 199

Chapter Notes 203

Bibliography 221

Index 231