The Dark Treason of Benedict Arnold with Dr. Richard Bell - Context Travel

The Dark Treason of Benedict Arnold with Dr. Richard Bell


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Why did the best battlefield fighter of the American Revolution betray George Washington and the Continental Army and turn traitor? Benedict Arnold is the most famous turncoat in American history. He was a skilled officer in George Washington’s Continental Army, a general who led patriot forces to several important victories over the British, including the capture of Fort Ticonderoga. But while in command at West Point in 1780, Arnold began secretly communicating with British intelligence agents, giving them insider information, not just about the fort and its defenses, but about American strategy for the war.

When a patriot militia captured a British spy named John André, they discovered Arnold’s treachery—Alexander Hamilton said it was “the blackest treason” he could imagine. A manhunt ensued, but Arnold made it to the safety of a British ship (the aptly named Vulture). In the aftermath, George Washington had John André, the British spy tried. A board of Continental soldiers found him guilty and sentenced him to death by hanging. In the meantime, Arnold returned to the field of battle. Now wearing a British uniform, he led brutal attacks on patriot civilian communities in Virginia and Connecticut throughout 1781.

Join Dr. Richard Bell as we reconstruct the life and times of Benedict Arnold, the reasons for this treason, and the larger problems of betrayal and desertion that dogged the Continental Army throughout the war.

Richard Bell is Professor of History at the University of Maryland and author of the new book Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home which is shortlisted for the George Washington Prize and the Harriet Tubman Prize. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, and the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar award. He serves as a Trustee of the Maryland Center for History and Culture, as an elected member of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 12 reviews
100%
(12)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
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0%
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B
B.H.
Turncoat

Most of us have heard of Benedict Arnold, but few know the whole story of his treasonous actions in the American Revolution. Dr. Bell explains Arnold’s treachery as well as the chain reaction this set off for the Continental Army and the British forces. It’s a fascinating story of one man’s fall from the height of power and prestige in the colonial forces to being a failed spy who neither side trusted, and Dr. Bell tells the tale very well.

V
V.
Scintillating!

As usual, Dr. Bell was absolutely riveting as he presented the treason and tragedy of Benedict Arnold. So well-organized, such a good balance of detail and overview, great slides, and his boundless enthusiasm for American Revolutionary history made for a great experience.

K
K.

This was one of the best conversations I've watched. Richard Bell does such a good job of teaching us history, and this one was hearing a great story with lots of twists and turns and surprises!

S
S.S.
Excellent presentation

Made history come alive. Well done

C
C.F.
Another outstanding program by Dr. Richard Bell!

This is at least my 5th Dr. Richard Bell program, and each one has been an exciting learning experience. He's so incredibly knowledgable and passionate about his subject that he really makes you feel that you are living the experience. His programs are a real treat!

Customer Reviews

Based on 12 reviews
100%
(12)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
B
B.H.
Turncoat

Most of us have heard of Benedict Arnold, but few know the whole story of his treasonous actions in the American Revolution. Dr. Bell explains Arnold’s treachery as well as the chain reaction this set off for the Continental Army and the British forces. It’s a fascinating story of one man’s fall from the height of power and prestige in the colonial forces to being a failed spy who neither side trusted, and Dr. Bell tells the tale very well.

V
V.
Scintillating!

As usual, Dr. Bell was absolutely riveting as he presented the treason and tragedy of Benedict Arnold. So well-organized, such a good balance of detail and overview, great slides, and his boundless enthusiasm for American Revolutionary history made for a great experience.

K
K.

This was one of the best conversations I've watched. Richard Bell does such a good job of teaching us history, and this one was hearing a great story with lots of twists and turns and surprises!

S
S.S.
Excellent presentation

Made history come alive. Well done

C
C.F.
Another outstanding program by Dr. Richard Bell!

This is at least my 5th Dr. Richard Bell program, and each one has been an exciting learning experience. He's so incredibly knowledgable and passionate about his subject that he really makes you feel that you are living the experience. His programs are a real treat!