The Late Years of Benedict Arnold

Fugitive, Smuggler, Mercenary, 1780–1801


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About the Book

The life of Benedict Arnold, the American Revolutionary War general who attempted to surrender West Point to the British in 1780, didn’t end after he betrayed his American compatriots. In the newly formed United States, he was condemned as a conspirator and in Britain, he was suspected of the same. He quickly left America, spent a short time in London, and largely operated in Canada and the Caribbean as a smuggler, a mercenary and a pariah. Although much has been written about Arnold’s famous fall from grace, this book is the story of a charismatic man of vaulting ambition. With new research and photographs, it delves into his last twenty years. Arnold remains fascinating as a toppled hero and a flagrant traitor. Another American general wrote in the 1780s that Arnold “never does anything by halves”; indeed, he lived on a big scale. This study documents each of the various points of the globe where the restless Arnold operated and lived, pursuing wealth, status, and redemption.

About the Author(s)

Jane Merrill has published in 50 national magazines and has written books on fashion, lifestyle, and eighteenth century culture. She lives on the St. George Peninsula in Maine.

John Endicott has practiced law in New York and Connecticut. He lives in Litchfield, Connecticut.

Bibliographic Details

Jane Merrill

with John Endicott
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 285
Bibliographic Info: 68 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7653-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3864-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Preface 1
1. Growing Up Benedict 5
2. How the General Viewed His Treason 16
3. John Champe’s Ride 26
4. Peggy’s Nerves 40
5. Maneuvers in the James River Valley and New London, Connecticut 53
6. Ups and Downs in London 69
7. Sanctuary Province 77
8. Arrival in Saint John 91
9. Benedict’s Advance in the New Province 106
10. A Smuggling Culture 115
11. Elyseum: A Potential for the Gentry 130
12. The Benefit of Friendships 153
13. The Island of Welsh Squires 161
14. Benedict’s Depot 167
15. Breaking Point and Departure 188
16. Challenging a Duke 199
17. Guadeloupe 202
18. Correspondents 214
19. Last Years in London 228
Appendix: The Children and Hannah 239
Chapter Notes 259
Bibliography 271
Index 275