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"Thirteen Charges Against Benedict Arnold: The Accusations" Topic


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19 Sep 2021 6:55 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2021 3:32 p.m. PST

…of Colonel John Brown Prior to the Act of Treason

"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 Quebec, 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…"

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Armand

GamesPoet Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2021 4:04 p.m. PST

With the Helion published book, why not point folks in the direction of original publisher? ; )

John the OFM19 Sep 2021 10:46 p.m. PST

I've always thought that the character and ability of Arnold was built up perhaps a bit too much by historians "before the fall".
They wanted him to be a morality play character.l like Lucifer/Satan in Paradise Lost.
He must fall from a great height.
Working from that feeling, just a feeling, I had my doubts about the charges levied against him. Not doubts that they were false. But doubts that the dismissals were true.
Perhaps some of his financial shenanigans were close to the edge. But wealthy men of his time got away with a lot more than today. Maybe his deals were legit. Maybe not.

Regardless, his fall from grace had to be monumental. And perceptions of his peccadilloes could be adjusted to fit the narrative. Perhaps dismissing the charges made him a more saintly figure, thus his Fall was even more spectacular. Or… Perhaps he always was an SOB.
St George Washington had some shady land deals too. grin But he won the war, didn't he? And the same hagiographic historians built him up.
Let's just say that outraged denial of guilt is not necessarily proof of innocence. grin

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP20 Sep 2021 2:51 a.m. PST

"The first chapter of Arnold's Revolutionary history was an epitom e of the whole. As a soldier he was original and audacious, quick in forming plans, quick in putting them into vigorous execution. He led his soldiers, not drove them, and won and held the devotion of the rank and file. He had a gift of command when the objective was clear and his imperious will could be fully bent upon it…But in the conflict of instructions and of officers of rank equal or nearly equal with his, Arnold was restive and arrogant. He could not turn philosopher and patiently endure small irritations day by day. He was passionate and personal in almost all his judgments…At the same time, Arnold was a whirlwind hero who could not be bothered with keeping track of small expenses. Spend what had to be spent, and figure the amount up later.'-Carl Van Doren, The Secret History of the American Revolution, 150.

Arnold was court-martialed for graft in June 1779 because of his 'mishandling' of funds while commanding in Philadelphia after the British evacuation.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP20 Sep 2021 3:27 p.m. PST

Thanks!

ARmand

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