September 23 - 1780 - Benedict Arnold's Plot is Uncovered
Benedict Arnold was a significant Continental Army General in the early part of the Revolutionary War. He also had a knack for alienating and annoying most of his fellow officers. Arnold was a pre-war businessman, and many people felt he was always looking out to enrich himself. After leading the Connecticut militia at Fort Ticonderoga and playing a significant role in the invasion of Quebec, Arnold was placed in command of the military district of Philadelphia when that city was taken by the Continental Army. There, he moved in elite social circles and married Peggy Shippen, the 18 year old daughter of a prominent Judge. Peggy had also been courted by a British officer, Major John Andre, and she kept an open line of communication between her new husband and her former suitor. Once Benedict Arnold was placed in command of the strategic fortification at West Point on the Hudson, his discussions with Andre revolved around the relinquishing of the Fort to the British. Arnold's plan was foiled after Andre sought a face to face meeting and was arrested returning to New York carrying a fake passport and six papers detailing their plot in Arnold's hand. Andre would be promptly hanged, while Arnold would make it to the British lines. Nonetheless, Benedict Arnold's name would become a byword for traitor.