Benedict Arnold (1741-1801)
Benedict Arnold was born in Norwich, Connecticut, to a well-to-do family whose fortunes declined following the death of two of his siblings. He found early success as a partner in a shipping enterprise, but British trade restrictions soon threatened his livelihood, making him an ardent supporter of independence. Upon the outbreak of the Revolution, he was given a commission and sent to capture Fort Ticonderoga, which he accomplished with the unwelcome aid of Ethan Allen. The following year, however, he was defeated and captured during an ill-fated campaign to capture Quebec. Despite evidence of initiative and extreme personal bravery, he proved a prickly character and was widely accused of being more interested in money than in the Patriot cause, a charge that was born out when he spied for and then joined the British side. After the war, he struggled to gain acceptance in London and eventually moved to Ontario.