Benedict Arnold was born at Norwich, Connecticut on this day in 1741. He was a strong leader and brilliant tactician in the Connecticut militia in the French and Indian War and early in the Revolution. However, he was frequently on the wrong end of various rivalries and his contributions were not always recognized. Further, his pay, expenses, and promotions were often delayed by Congress. He eventually accepted an offer of cash, Canadian land, and a commission in the British Army for turning over the keys to West Point. His plan was detected, but he escaped to the British side and commanded troops against the revolutionary forces. Despite that, the British never really trusted or respected him. He died bitter and lonely as a result of his Treason.
In honor of the most famous traitor of them all, today’s quotes are on Treason. It’s hard to choose a favorite, as I like them all; however, if I had to, it would probably be by John Harrington; although TR’s quote definitely runs a close second.
“Treason doth never prosper. What's the reason?
Why, when it prospers, none dare call it treason.”
– John Harrington, 1561 – 1612
“The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave, and is a traitor to himself and to his fellow-men.”
– Robert Green Ingersoll, 1833 – 1899
“To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
– Theodore Roosevelt, 1858 – 1919
“We are a rebellious nation. Our whole history is treason; our blood was attained before we were born; our creeds were infidelity to the mother church; our constitution treason to our fatherland.”
– Theodore Parker, 1810 – 1860
“Rebellion must be managed with many swords; treason to his prince's person may be with one knife.”
– Thomas Fuller, 1608 – 1661
“Though those that are betrayed Do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor Stands in worse case of woe.”
– William Shakespeare, 1564 – 1616