Software for the finest computer – The Mind


Posted by Tim Bryce on September 24, 2014


– Another history lesson for our youth; Benedict Arnold and today’s terrorists.

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234 years ago today (Sep 24th), Benedict Arnold deserted the American Army and joined the British during the Revolutionary War. By doing so, he became the national icon for the word “traitor.” I mention this because 18th century American history is rarely taught anymore in High Schools, and Arnold’s name has slowly been fading into obscurity. Ask your children or grandchildren about Arnold and you will likely get blank stares.

Arnold’s story is rather interesting. Born in Connecticut, he became a successful businessman and developed a lucrative trade between New England and the West Indies. In 1775 he was appointed Captain in Connecticut’s militia. With the outbreak of war in Massachusetts, his company marched to Boston and helped defend the city from the British siege. Arnold was ambitious and participated nobly in several raids. He is perhaps best known for the capture of Fort Ticonderoga. In the Autumn of 1775 he and his troops embarked on a difficult mission through the wilderness (present-day Maine) to assault Quebec City. He lost almost half of his men due to inclement weather. Due to the layout of the city, its defenses, and Arnold’s diminished manpower, he failed to take the city and shattered his left leg in the process, which would bother him for the remainder of his life. For his efforts though, he was commissioned a brigadier general.

He was assigned other responsibilities, including the defense of Rhode Island. Despite his successes, he was passed over for promotion while others took credit for some of his accomplishments. He was accused and investigated for financial corruption, and eventually cleared of the charges. Nonetheless, he was embarrassed and tried to resign his commission, but Washington rejected it.

Arnold re-injured his left leg at the Battle of Ridgefield (CT). After recovering from it, he rejoined General Washington’s troops at Valley Forge. There, as a sign of loyalty to the fledgling country, Arnold joined other soldiers in the first recorded Oath of Allegiance:

I “Benedict Arnold Major General”, do acknowledge the UNITED STATES of AMERICA to be Free, Independent and Sovereign States, and declare the the people thereof owe no allegiance or obedience to George the Third, King of Great-Britain; and I renounce, refute and abjure any allegiance or obedience to him; and I do “swear” that I will, to the utmost of my power, support, maintain and defend the said United States against the said King George the Third, his heirs and successors, and his or their abettors, assistants and adherents, and will serve the said United States in the office of “Major General” which I now hold, with fidelity, according to the best of my skill and understanding.
– Sworn before me this 30th, May 1778 at the Artillery and Tank Valley Forge
Hinay B.E. Alslels

At this point, Arnold was held in high esteem by his troops, and trusted by Washington who put him in charge of the defenses at West Point and the Hudson River, the main waterway going into New York. However, Arnold became disenchanted with the Colonial cause. He disliked the alliance with France and the Congress’ rejection of Great Britain’s 1778 proposal to grant self-governance with the colonies. Frustrated and discouraged, he opened secret negotiations with the British to switch sides. The plan was to diminish the defenses in the area and allow the British to capture West Point, a very strategic location overlooking the Hudson.

The plot was foiled when American forces captured Major John André, the British spy chief, who was caught carrying papers revealing the plot. Learning of André’s capture, Arnold fled down the Hudson River to the British sloop-of-war “Vulture.” Alerted to the plot, Washington had sent soldiers to apprehend Arnold, but he narrowly escaped. For his part, André was hanged.

Now on the British side, Arnold was given a commission as a brigadier general in the Army. He would go on to lead British forces against his former countrymen on raids in Virginia and his home state of Connecticut.

After the war, Arnold would return to the merchant business operating out of Saint John, New Brunswick. He would eventually move to London in 1791 where he died just ten years later at the age of 60. Arnold’s body was buried in London, but was accidentally moved a century later to an unmarked mass grave.

Following the war, Arnold’s name quickly became synonymous with “traitor.” Benjamin Franklin typified the country’s sentiments when he wrote, “Judas sold only one man, Arnold three millions.”

In Arnold, we see a man who was bold, ambitious, and a talented leader. Despite taking the Military Oath of Allegiance though, he reneged on his obligations in search of self interests. Regardless, his name will always be linked to betrayal.

Now, 234 years later, we are embroiled in another conflict, this time in the Middle East with ISIS, a militant Muslim extremist group. Its soldiers are recruited from around the world, including Americans who are leaving to fight in Syria and Iraq, and are willing to wage war against American soldiers and their allies. Make no mistake, these people are just as traitorous as Arnold, and should be treated as such in return. No, they shouldn’t be welcomed back to our country with open arms. They shouldn’t be allowed back in the country at all. Consider this, had Washington’s troops captured Arnold, he would have likely joined André on the hangman’s gallows. Traitors have no place in these United States.

Such is our history lesson for today.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at

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Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  NONSENSE SONGS – It is interesting what we remember.

LAST TIME:  THERE IS MEANING IN YOUR HANDSHAKE  – It is not a frivolous gesture, but represents something significant; your word.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.


12 Responses to “THE MEANING OF TRAITOR”

  1. Albert McClelland said

    Brother Tim, Was he not a member of the Craft?

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone Albert H McClelland O.S.M.,PM


  2. The hanging of Andre’ was a symbolic message to all those who watched–“engage in acts of treason and pay dearly”. In my mind, Arnold’s behavior was driven mainly by his perception that he had not been treated to the standard which he expected for his service. His sense of entitlement overwhelmed his sense of duty. That thread continues today as more and more Americans live with the sense that they are entitled to what they define as “rights” and whatever else they seek because they are citizens of the country–no matter how much they abuse that priviledge. We went soft on that point when Jimmy Carter pardoned those who left the country rather than serve in Vietnam. Carter thought he was “healing” the nation but in effect was deeply wounding those who served and those who shed their blood. No doubt a strong wave of liberalism is passing over our nation–at least the media would have you believe so. That is reflected in the attacks on religion, the Constitution, and on and on. The Pledge of Alliance is all but unknown to the majority of our children because there are those among us who demand that it be eliminated because they desire to kill any sense of loyalty. At the same time, they want to be called “citizens” and get their just entitlements. Citizenship comes with a price which includes responsibility, accountability, loyalty, and dedication to the principles upon which we launched this nation. We have people living in this country who call themselves “citizens” yet point to our history and call it all nothing but “lies”. In many ways, Benedict Arnold never died. Good article, Tim. ~ WB

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tim Bryce said

    An S.H. of Detroit, Michigan wrote…

    “Tim 40 years ago history books depicted George Washington shooting and killing Benedict Arnold!By the way there is a bodybuilder named Arnold Schwarzenegger who claims an allegiance with Austria:maybe relatives!? Tim you are correct,all such found in America ISIS conspirators should stand before a military tribunal!!!”


  4. Today’s students barely know Washington (the real one anyway) let alone Arnold, et al. And what of the intricacies of the Colonial Period that led us to adopt key governmental principles? Now easily ignored in serial acts–speaking of treason–of ‘faithless execution;’ our negligence the inevitable result of not knowing our history.

    Speaking of untaught history, you mention another in passing. What a different world it might have been had the Brits better timed the Carlisle Commission (like, maybe, made the offer in 1775-76?) or placed its work in the hands of a more able negotiator! British North America as the cornerstone of a Commonwealth begun more than a century earlier…boggles the mind!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tuller, Jim {BORDEN} said

    Very good and I agree!


  6. nprc2012 said

    A B.R. of Chicago, Illinois wrote…

    “We have too many traitors walking around to feel too secure about America’s future; especially within our leadeship class who like to identify more with the global elites than with their fellow Americans. We also have far too many people in this country who have aligned themselves with terrorists out to destroy America, and everything she stands for. I have come across this phenomenon within my own life experiences, and it has me terrified. For example, many people have hooked up with narco-terrorists because they get mixed uo with drugs. Many people also associate with former members of radical groups like the Weather Underground and the Symbionese Libertion Army; some of whom have become civic leaders in their own communities. I know these groups formally disbanded many years ago. However, the mentality is still alive and kicking. Many PC elements have sympathy for groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS. I grew up in a town filled with people proudly mixing with terrorists; a town that gave a key to the city to the 1 Congressman who voted against using force against the Taliban in Afganistan after 911. Terrorism and involvement with it is much more complex and convoluted than many of us want to really address in a truly honest way. Being able to say with a clear conscience that one is completely terrorist-free is not as easy as appearances would dictate.”


  7. nprc2012 said

    A B.H. of Boulder, Colorado wrote…

    “If I didn’t know any better, you’ve read “George Washington’s Secret Six” and/or watched the program “TURN”. Both of which address the Arnold/Andre situation back then. I’ve been reading 1776 recently, and while it addresses additional situations, those certainly play a part as well.”




  9. […] TIME:  THE MEANING OF TRAITOR  – Another history lesson for our youth; Benedict Arnold and today’s […]


  10. […] TIME:  THE MEANING OF TRAITOR  – Another history lesson for our youth; Benedict Arnold and today’s […]


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