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
That would be interesting, TV.
Next time I work with the BBC, I need to ask them in what light their history books show Mr. Arnold and his actions.
Thank you for the comment Libby, and yes, I do agree with you. I am familiar with the Churchill Biography on HBO. I enjoyed every minute.
Since you brought the subject up, I just finished watching the second segment of the Churchill biography that HBO made several years ago. Excellent. Are you familiar with it? If not, I recommend it to all history buffs–especially those who are obsessed with events surrounding WWII.
I agree with you, Jimr. T.R.’s quote is my favorite too. Of course I view it as apropos to all presidents and all administrations and not just the current one. I hope you agree.
Thank you so much for the comment EW. As Churchill said, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
You bring an appreciation of history to your endeavors which is unfortunately rare, and being rare, is as valuable as it is fascinating.