BENEDICT ARNOLD ESCAPES (Illustration) American Revolution Biographies Famous People History Revolutionary Wars Social Studies American History

After his plot to sell-out West Point unraveled, because John Andre was caught, Benedict Arnold was able to escape to British lines on September 24, 1780.  He ultimately reached the Vulture, a British ship, and was able to avoid an American court martial.  This image, online courtesy Stephen Darley, depicts Arnold during his escape.


When the local commander (Lt. Col. Jameson) heard about the spy situation (involving John Andre), he immediately reported it to his commanding officer: Benedict Arnold (Andre's spy partner).  Jameson had no idea about Arnold's treason.

By the time the totality of events were reported to General Washington, Arnold had escaped. He boarded the Vulture and was taken to British lines.

Concerned about the safety of his wife, Benedict Arnold wrote to General Washington. Recognizing how his actions would appear, he tried to explain he did it for the love of country:

I have ever acted from a principle of love to my country since the commencement of the present unhappy contest between Great Britain and the Colonies.

With wounded pride still part of his psyche, Arnold raised the issue of “the ingratitude of my country” toward himself. He begged Washington, however, not to let “the mistaken vengeance of my country” fall on Mrs. Arnold when “it ought to fall only on me.”

He wanted safe passage for Peggy. Unaware of her role in the treason, the Commander-in-Chief had the necessary paperwork prepared. Following specific instructions, Mrs. Arnold joined her husband. One week later, the former American hero wrote to Washington, thanking him for his kindness toward Peggy.

In the meantime, however, John Andre faced a different reaction from Washington.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: May 01, 2003

Updated Last Revision: Nov 06, 2017

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"BENEDICT ARNOLD ESCAPES" AwesomeStories.com. May 01, 2003. Jan 18, 2020.
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