Talk:Benedict Arnold

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Good article Benedict Arnold has been listed as one of the Warfare good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
August 15, 2009 Good article nominee Listed

British vs. American English[edit]

Should Arnold's article be in British or American English? While its obvious in some cases what should be used, say William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe or George Washington, this is more problematic when it comes to Americans fighting for the Crown or British/Irish fighting for Independence (and there were a lot) as they could be claimed by either country.

IMHO, I've always considered it to be linked to their choice of nations. (eg. Charles Lee, John Paul Jones or Horatio Gates should be in American English despite their British birth given their obvious preference for independence while Joseph Galloway, William Franklin and Oliver De Lancey showed their support for the Crown and became fully British by their residence in that country. Its also possible Benedict Arnold is the exception to the rule: given that he is far better known in the US than in Britain, he could be considered a more American than British topic. On the other hand, he made a concious choice to fight for Britain during the war, and later settled there. Many of his children served in the British military and considered themselves indisputably British. It seems that some sort of criteria needs to be established in this and other similar cases.

Obviously, this is all complicated by the fact that the seperation of national identiy was a tricky issue at the time. Phineas Lyman, for instance, likely died considering himself both British and American. Lord Cornwallis (talk) 00:03, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

I'd say it's sufficiently ambiguous from a contemporary perspective that either would be acceptable (just like ARW events can be written either way). Slight bias toward American, however, because most of his legacy appears to reside here. Magic♪piano 12:27, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

I agree. Benedict was born in America, grew up in America, and spent a good portion of his career in America. Te article should be in American English. Some Random Whovian (talk) 23:29, 28 January 2016 (UTC)

  • Benedict Arnold is literally used to call someone a traitor in the US, which is the basis for his notability in the US. Elsewhere he's a footnote of history. "Common topic" logic suggests we use American spellings. That man from Nantucket (talk) 04:11, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

Legacy / monuments[edit]

It may be notable that there is at least one marker in the US that bears his name. A plaque in downtown Danvers, Massachusetts commemorates the stop that his expedition made there on their way to Canada. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:13, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

If there is a source for this then it could go into the Tributes section. HairyWombat 04:16, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Later. I found a couple of sources, and one of them points to a further four markers. I will add these to the Tributes section. HairyWombat 00:17, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
One thing not mentioned here (I added it to Benedict Arnold's expedition to Quebec) is the "Arnold Trail to Quebec" listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Magic♪piano 00:33, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

NPOV Components[edit]

Severfal choices of words seem to reflect a negative attitude towards Arnold that is decidedly inappropriate. I have removed the word "cunning" and replaced it wiht th emore neutral "intelligent". Also Arnold was first recommended for command at West Point before his negotiations with Clinton, so it seems NPOV to suggest that treason was his only reason for wanting commmand at West Point. Imersion (talk) 18:20, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Arnold opened communication with Clinton in June 1779. The discussion in which Schuyler mentions the idea of giving Arnold West Point takes place in April 1780, well after Clinton's interest is established. Is there some other discussion of it (not mentioned here) that you are referring to? Magic♪piano 19:04, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
Further to this, the article still refers to Arnold's "plot", "scheme" etc — language that, in describing a less controversial figure, might be reasonably regarded as fair, but here smacks of editorialisation. — Muckapedia (talk) 12e nov. 2014 11h23 (−4h)

"The Fifth"????[edit]

Is there any evidence whatsoever that the subject was ever known in his own time as "Benedict Arnold V"? I have removed this anachronistic syntax, and I don't think it should be replaced without clear evidence that it is appropriate to Arnold's time. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 01:00, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

   I construe that as a note from a genius-in-one's-own-mind who thinks random others besides King George V deserve a number in their names.
--Jerzyt 19:37, 11 September 2017 (UTC)


I don't see any evidence that the signature image that's been used is actually his signature. His true signature is on this oath he signed, and it looks quite different. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:54, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Good eyes! Looking at the image included it appears to have been traced from this page which makes it seem like a label rather than his signature. I'll ask the user who originally traced it to make the image here, but it seems safe to say that the signature you found is the correct one. If I have a chance I'll try to trace it in the next few days. a13ean (talk) 17:55, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
The decoration under the signature was something common from what I know back in those days, and IMO the one I traced is pretty close minus that. But feel free to add the other one, I'll admit that my image was a but poorly done. – Connormah (talk) 23:55, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
I think the svg looks good, we're just not sure if the text in the source image is a signature or just a label. a13ean (talk) 06:20, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

Harvard's Benedict Arnold papers collection have numerous specimens of authenticated Arnold signatures, if anyone has the skills and time to convert these to a nice image file. Examples:

My favorite of these four is the last one. There are another 20 or so documents from Arnold there in addition to these; I just grabbed the first four. TJRC (talk) 23:12, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

weird sentence[edit]

Arnold received a commission as a brigadier general in the British Army, an annual pension of £360, and a lump sum of over £6,000.[4] He led British forces on raids in Virginia, and nearly captured Thomas Jefferson, and against New London and Groton, Connecticut, before the war effectively ended with the American victory at Yorktown. In the winter of 1782, Arnold moved to London with his second wife, Margaret "Peggy" Shippen Arnold. He was well received by King George III and the Tories but frowned upon by the Whigs. In 1787, he entered into mercantile business with his sons Richard and Henry in Saint John, New Brunswick, but returned to London to settle permanently in 1791, where he died ten years later.

JKshaw (talk) 13:44, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for noticing, fixed. Magic♪piano 19:37, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
wrong the date was wrong  he was born 1741 and died on 1801 so all the dates were wrong.

The surname Arnold should be removed from the Peggy Shippen link. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:27, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

This Link Should be Allowed ([edit]

I keep posting links to because I believe it's at least as informative as 90% of the Arnold sites on the web. For example, the link is allowed, yet that page looks like a fan site, is hosted by the "Independence Hall Association" which doesn't guarantee a lack of bias and takes advertising money, and doesn't provide more or better information. Yes, is a pro-Arnold site, but why should that disqualify it as a *link*? I'm not trying to post any of the actual material from the site--just a link. What is so horrible about a link with a different point of view?

Although one editor who deleted my link reached out to me, four other editors deleted without comment, and until now I didn't know how to plead my case. Deleting the link simply because of the sub-head "The Story You Were Never Taught in School" is unfair. The fact is: all that is taught about Arnold in high school and lower grades is his treason. People are largely ignorant of his important contributions to the American revolution. Without him, it would have failed. It's that simple, but never taught, and is the result of many months of research. I've read every book on's "Books" page (which I could have listed as a bibliography), and many articles. If you'd read all the books on the "Books" page, I'd bet you'd allow the link. is not a fan site.

Thank you. MrPal1 (talk) 03:07, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

The Independence Hall Association, which operates, is non-profit organization affiliated with Independence Hall in Philadelphia, so it's not just a fan site some random person set up. A better extant link to attack would have been, which (like your site) has no obvious affiliation. I have scrubbed that and a number of other unsuitable and/or stale links from the list.
Your link is not being rejected because you're a supporter of Arnold, or because it has a "different" point of view; it's being rejected because it is editorially inappropriate (as you notice, in the opinion of several regular editors here), and doesn't (in my opinion) add something new and distinctive of value that isn't already here. Wikipedia has (largely because of me) a fairly thorough treatment of Arnold's positive contributions to the war effort. (And yes, I've read most of the non-fiction books on your book list, plus some that aren't on it.) Magic♪piano 18:34, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

Mea culpa. I thought that since "Wikipedia's articles provide links designed to guide the user to related pages with additional information," you would include mine as a matter of integrity. Then, too, Wikipedia claims that "anyone with Internet access can write and make changes to Wikipedia articles, except in limited cases where editing is restricted to prevent disruption or vandalism." Intriguing that you consider my contribution "disruptive."

MrPal1 (talk) 13:57, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

You might consider reading the guidelines relevant to your reply: WP:AGF and WP:NPA --TEDickey (talk) 14:17, 14 March 2015 (UTC) & Jerzyt 21:45, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
   Not all WP conventions are as well thot thru as the --~~~~ one for sigs, but right now, i can't recall a situation that cried out for my tampering with a defective sig, as i just did above. Hubristically compensating for your hubris, i remain --Jerzyt 21:45, 11 September 2017 (UTC)

There's no need to shout. I did not call your edits disruptive, User:North Shoreman did. I happen to disagree with him on that (snarky yes, disruptive no), but it's also off my point. Everyone is allowed to edit, but this does not mean that all material added is retained (see Wikipedia discussion pages and edit histories on any moderately controversial subject; what you're doing his hardly unique). External links are a recurring problem, because lots of them are added for promotional purposes. Since you have not yet made a case that your site is somehow distinctive per the external links guidelines, or that "the author" (you are this anonymous author claiming copyright on the site, yes?) is some recognized authority, there is no particular reason to include it. Magic♪piano 14:30, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

Your link has about a tenth of the material of Where has a paragraph, has ten, and they are just as well-researched. So, which is more "distinctive"? The answer is obvious, and the link should be replaced by the link.

MrPal1 (talk) 16:55, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Volume of content doesn't enter into it. There is also no evidence of the research that went into your site, since you don't actually credit your sources. (For example, I was unable to find even a statement saying that the books listed on the book page were used in preparation of the site.) For all we know, you may have just rewritten and repackaged much of the content of the site from Wikipedia. Magic♪piano 19:40, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

A kingdom ruled by little tin gods will not last.

MrPal1 (talk) 02:09, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Who is indebted to whom?[edit]

The third paragraph includes the following: "Congress investigated his accounts and found that he was indebted to Congress after spending much of his own money on the war effort." If Arnold spent his own money on the war effort, isn't Congress indebted to him, rather than the other way around?

John Link (talk) 17:08, 8 May 2016 (UTC)

Theoretically, that's how it works. In practice, if you can't prove to Congress you spent your own money, it might just come to a different conclusion (as in, you spent its money on things it didn't authorize). Magic♪piano 18:18, 8 May 2016 (UTC)

Court Martial[edit]

The article says he was convicted on two minor charges. Does anyone know of a source that goes into the court martial in more detail?That man from Nantucket (talk) 06:36, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 11 October 2016[edit]

In the Popular Culture section, please add a reference to the song "Real Niggaz" by N.W.A and No Vaseline by Ice Cube. The gangsta rap group N.W.A. put out a diss track including the line “We started out wit too much cargo, so I’m glad we got rid of Benedict Arnold.” calling Ice Cube (lyricist and rapper) a traitor after he left the group due to financial disagreement and put out solo album AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted. After hearing the track, Ice Cube fired back with the well known diss track, No Vaseline, which included a lyric aimed at Dr Dre, "Ay yo Dre, stick to producin'. Callin' me Arnold, but you Been-a-dick;".

[1] [2] (talk) 17:08, 11 October 2016 (UTC)


This possibly can be countered with WP:IINFO or WP:UNDUE. The page is watched by 250+ editors; if the edit has not been made, perhaps some folks can quantify. Toggling as answered — Andy W. (talk) 01:14, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
   While i don't care to grasp what's at issue, i find that the "Taa" response is excessively dismissively jargon. Toggle as a verb is engineering cant, for throwing a 2-position switch. In this case my colleague's opinion is that 198.'s request has gotten all the attention it IHO deserves (regardless of whether or not an objective, rather than subjective change of state, has been made). Without grasping the details, i'm inclined to assume Andy W. was offended by the request, and intended to give offense in return. (I've "got no dog in this fight", but i infer AW intended to give offense over a request AW felt had been unwarranted.)
--Jerzyt 20:23, 11 September 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Semi-protected edit request on 16 November 2016[edit]

Benedict Arnold came up with the idea of faking death after seeing a skunk play dead when he walked towards it. Source: WikiHow (talk) 16:51, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

Not done: as WikiHow is not a reliable source to back up your request, without which no information should be added to, or changed in, any article. - Arjayay (talk) 18:01, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

Defected ?[edit]

How could Arnold defect to the British Army when Arnold was infact a British citizen born in colonial America ? Britain did not recognize the United States until 1783 after the Revolutionary War ended. One could argue that Arnold regained his British citizenship by joining the British military after defecting to the Continental Army. Weren't American's in actuality rebelling against the British government ? Cmguy777 (talk) 01:44, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

According to Merriam-Webster, to defect is to "abandon one cause, party, or nation for another". Regardless of one's opinion on the citizenship status of the American Patriots (and, after 4 July 1776, Britain wasn't the only country that got a say in that), that's exactly what Arnold did. Also Britain didn't have citizens in the eighteenth century; she had subjects. Binabik80 (talk) 21:08, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes. Arnold defected from England when he sided with the Americans, for that matter so did Washington. Since Arnold repatriated back to being an English subject, how can he then be said to have defected from the Americans ? I suppose one could say Arnold defected from Britian to America and then defected from America to Britain. Cmguy777 (talk) 04:22, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
Here is another view. Washington could be considered a traitor to King George or committing treason against King George. And so could Arnold when he was in Washington's Army. One could say rather then defection that Arnold stopped committing treason. Cmguy777 (talk) 04:31, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
One could say that, yes. But the important question here is, do reliable sources say it?
I don't want to make a big deal out of this. I put in the article a sourced edit that Arnold was born a British subject. I did think it was worth discussion. I was trying to make the article neutral. I am not condoning Arnold's defection of Washingtion or the Revolutionary cause. I don't even know if historians have even discussed whether the colonists were "rebels", "traitors", or "revolutionaries". There were no birth certificates back then and so nationality seemed to be only determined by where you were born and who your parents were. Cromwell probably started the first "revolution". Washington started the second "revolution". This is only for discussion. Yes. Any edits in the article need to be sourced. Cmguy777 (talk) 01:36, 11 June 2017 (UTC)
There is a 2016 book out by Nathaniel Philbrick, Valiant Ambition George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution This might be a good source addition to the article. Cmguy777 (talk) 02:14, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

Simpsons Jury of the Damned[edit]

It should be noted that Richard Nixon was not dead at the time of that episode's first airing96.3.56.173 (talk) 05:54, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

   ... So the 2nd Southern belle replies, "Well, mah husband really loves me, too, so what he bought ME was etiquette lessons, where they taught me how to say 'My, my, my!' instead of 'Fuck you, bitch!' "
--Jerzyt 19:24, 11 September 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Semi-protected edit request on 7 September 2017[edit]

"eventually died in 1761" would not be in the past tense if "in 1761 he would die". also it would be in natural order since the year you have to be in before you can die in that year. 2605:E000:9161:A500:F8FF:295F:5705:F1CE (talk) 13:10, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. — nihlus kryik  (talk) 13:30, 7 September 2017 (UTC)


I just reverted a change in the birth and death dates in the sentence "His siblings were, in order of birth: Benedict (August 15, 1738 – April 30, 1739), Hannah (December 9, 1742 – August 11, 1803), Mary (June 4, 1745 – September 10, 1753), Absolom (April 4, 1747 – July 22, 1750), and Elizabeth (November 19, 1749 – September 29, 1755)." Lwoodiii had amended the dates for the first of these to Arnold's own birth and death dates. Since parents sometimes named subsequent children after a sibling that had already died (e.g. Salvadore Dali) I wonder if this was also the case here? A discussion here (though not a reliable source, which I'm the first to admit) suggests that this was not an entirely uncommon practice. (My apologies if I made a mistaken assumption!) JezGrove (talk) 19:36, 11 September 2017 (UTC)

   Kudos for what sounds like an admirable catch! Would anyone who learns whether we discuss, underanother topic, instances of such a practice, make note of that both here and at a more longterm-suitable place, please? (Shift of topic, but loving P. D. Q. Bach is not the only reason for attention to J. S. Bach and his many brothers also named Johann.)
--Jerzyt 21:14, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the PDQ reply! JezGrove (talk) 21:37, 11 September 2017 (UTC)