The name Benedict Arnold is synonymous with treason in the United States. During the American Revolutionary War, Arnold was initially a valiant member of the Continental Army, earning fame and honor during the Battle of Saratoga and the capture of Fort Ticonderoga. He gained the trust of General George Washington and in 1780, he was placed in command of West Point, a key American fort on the Hudson River in New York. But somewhere along the way, Arnold became disillusioned and shifted his focus to using his rank and command at West Point for treasonous purposes.
Arnold secretly plotted to surrender the fort to the British and defect, but his plans were discovered before he could seriously impact the Colonial war effort. After the failed plot, Arnold switched sides and led British forces in campaigns against the Continental Army in Virginia and his home state of Connecticut.
At the end of the war, Arnold left North America and established a residence in London. Today, the man many believe to personify treason is honored as an “American Patriot” at his former residence in London. The home where he lived until his death in 1801 now includes a commemorative plaque that states, “MAJOR GENERAL BENEDICT ARNOLD AMERICAN PATRIOT RESIDED HERE FROM 1796 UNTIL HIS DEATH JUNE 14, 1801.”
The plaque was funded by one of Arnold’s descendants, who conducted research on the family and came to the conclusion that Arnold acted on pure intentions. According to his descendent, Arnold was simply doing what he believed was in the best interest of the United States.
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The building is currently a dentist’s office, but the plaque is easily visible from the street.