Hannah Arnold, also known as Hannah Waterman King, was the mother of Benedict Arnold.
She was born Hannah Waterman in Norwich, Connecticut circa 1708 to John Waterman and Elizabeth. Her first husband, Absalom King, was a wealthy merchant who had settled in the area. The couple had a daughter, also named Hannah. Not long after, however, King died at sea from small pox.
Hannah Waterman King married again, this time to Benedict Arnold III, descendant of an early governor of Rhode Island, also named Benedict Arnold. The Arnolds had six children. As was not unusual at the time, most of the couple's children died very young, many within months of one another due to a yellow fever outbreak, including Benedict Arnold IV. The future patriot and traitor Benedict Arnold V was born in 1741 and was named after his deceased older brother. Shortly thereafter, market downturns caused hardships in the family finances.
After years of heartbreak, Hannah Arnold died on August 15, 1758. She was buried in the Old Norwichtown Burial Ground. Hannah’s death fell hard on her widowed husband, Benedict Arnold III, who lingered some time and suffered with alcoholism and depression. He died in 1761.
Hannah Arnold was and is remembered in Norwich as a worthy woman and a model of "piety, patience, and virtue." Her gravestone is still visible in Norwichtown Burying Grounds, yet no one knows who paid for it.
- Caulkins, Frances Manwaring. History of Norwich, Connecticut: from its settlement in 1660, to January 1845. T. Robinson. p. 254.
- "Admirer adorns grave of Benedict Arnold's mother". www.norwichbulletin.com. March 29, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-29.
- Genealogical and family history of the state of Maine By George Thomas Little, Henry Sweetser Burrage, Albert Roscoe Stubbs