Ed Barnard Profile picture
13 Jan, 62 tweets, 14 min read
1. So there was a guy named Benedict Arnold. His name is pretty famous within the USA. But the *reason* might be interesting. Do you recall? (Thread, cc @cookietpa)

General Arnold at Saratoga, being heroic.
2. We need to begin with the time period. Arnold lived 1741-1801. Quick quiz - what wars were conducted on now-US soil (meaning the region of the 13 colonies) during that time period? I'll check in with some answers below.
3. Great-grandmother Sarah Barnard was part of the Raid on Deerfield (aka Deerfield Massacre), but that was the winter 1803-1804, so that won't count but might offer some clues. Already a widow, she'd remarried, the captain of town militia, so lived in a fortified house.
4. Because she lived in a fortified house she survived the raid. Those captured (not including Grandma Barnard) were marched to Canada in the winter.

5. My point is that it's important to consider the context! So we'll check in with some answers below... please chime in :)
6. Within the USA - and within the past week - 1776 is a key date, right? So events that happened *before* 1776 are British colonial events, right? There's a sort of boundary here. Bear that in mind with our timeline.

7. Young Arnold was attracted by the sound of a drummer and attempted to enlist. Nope, Mom said no. That was 1755. (Which is before 1776, you will note.)

In 1757 he *did* enlist in the Connecticut Militia. This was the French and Indian War (and one of our answers).
8. He was age 16 when he enlisted. Ladies, he was single! As of 1757 age 16 anyway.

He married 1767, ten years later. Sorry ladies! Fast forward.
9. He elected a Captain of the Connecticut Militia in March 1775. Now this is a super-important point. This is before 1776, right? So... an officer in the militia *of what country*?

Think about it... yup. So, what does that *mean*?
10. He's a military officer *of England* in early 1775. That puts him subject to the High Treason law dating back to 1351. That's a lot of law!

But, just to make REALLY sure, the King had something to say.
11. The Royal Proclamation of Rebellion was issued in London on August 23, 1775. You will again note that this date is BEFORE 1776.

"For suppressing Rebellion and Sedition." Huh. I'd be grateful to just be a Captain and not a General who's in like Flynn, let me tell you.
12. This, of course, is the bit that led to 1776 being a significant year.

13. But Time magazine notes "The official punishment for treason was execution by hanging, drawing and quartering."

Huh. Is that really a thing?

14. Well, sure. It's the specific statutory penalty dating from 1351. First recorded during Henry III (1216-1272).

15. "The convicted traitor was fastened to a hurdle, or wooden panel, and drawn by horse to the place of execution, where he was then hanged (almost to the point of death), emasculated, disembowelled, beheaded, and quartered (chopped into four pieces)."
16. So, yes, I can absolutely see why somebody would commit treason because he's afraid of a mean tweet. Because a mean tweet could become LOTS of mean tweets. Yup.

Sure, heads on stakes on London Bridge is one thing, but... mean tweets.
17. We have some good news for the ladies, however.

"For reasons of public decency, women convicted of high treason were instead burned at the stake."

Mean tweets.
18. So, you see, a Captain of Militia was already guilty of High Treason once 1776 happened. That means being dragged to the spot, hanged until *almost* dead, and then mutilations begin.

But at least not the target MEAN tweets. Let's continue!
19. So Captain Arnold proposed seizing Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York, which he knew was poorly defended. He'd been elected Captain March 1775, and now early May 1775, he was commissioned Colonel.

So he was with Ethan Allen when they captured Fort Ticonderoga. Excellent.
20. Whoops. I missed a point. Captain of *Connecticut* militia, Colonel of *Massachusetts* militia. Always good to walk down the street and get hired at a higher rank by telling a good story.
21. So they did a raid on Fort Saint-Jean north of Lake Champlain.
22. But when the Connecticut militia arrived at Ticonderoga in June, Arnold had a dispute with the commander over control of the fort. So Arnold resigned his *Massachusetts* commission and headed home after deleting his LinkedIn profile.
23. He was on his way home from Ticonderoga, sans LinkedIn profile, when he learned his wife had died earlier in June.

That's why you never delete Facebook - to check and make sure your wife is still alive and passing memes of people being disemboweled as traitors.
24. So there was an invasion of Quebec. Arnold served as military commander of Montreal.

Lots more stuff happened. But Arnold made lots of enemies among the command structure.

That meant the mean tweets echoed around the camp fires.
25. War continued; Arnold tried to resign multiple times for reasons including Congress not promoting to General, but Washington refused to accept resignation.

Then came Saratoga - both Battles of Saratoga. It's a National Park.

26. Arnold so distinguished himself at the battles that we have a monument to him - sorta - at Saratoga National Historical Park. Nowhere on that monument is General Arnold actually named. It's a monument to his boot and injured foot.

27. He returned to Valley Forge once recovered from battle wounds, in May 1778. He there participated in the first recorded Oath of Allegiance to the United States.

Pretty cool, eh?
28. He met 18-year-old Peggy Shippen summer of 1778 while living in Philadelphia. They married 8 April 1779.

"Shippen and her circle of friends had found methods of staying in contact with paramours across the battle lines, despite military bans on communication with the enemy."
29. Margaret "Peggy" Shippen (July 11, 1760 – August 24, 1804)[1] was the highest-paid spy in the American Revolution,[2] and was the second wife of General Benedict Arnold.
30. As a newlywed, Peggy may have had contact with her "dear friend" Major André, who had become General Clinton's spy chief. She and Arnold also had close friends who were either actively Loyalist or sympathetic to that cause.
31. Some historians believe that Peggy Shippen instigated the correspondence between Arnold and André and sent military secrets to the British before her wedding.
32. Other suspects in Arnold's subsequent espionage ring with André were Loyalists Rev. Jonathan Odell and Joseph Stansbury.

33. Arnold hired Joseph Stansbury to initiate communications in May 1779, offering his services to the British not long after he married. General Clinton gave Major André orders to pursue the possibility, and secret communications began between André and Arnold.
34. The messages that they exchanged were sometimes transmitted through Peggy's actions; letters written in her hand also include coded communications written by Benedict Arnold in invisible ink.

He considered himself ill used and proceeded to weaken the defenses. To continue...
36. Enraged by his treatment in Philadelphia, General Arnold resigned his command there in March 1779. Pursuant to the secret communications with the British, he sought and obtained the command of West Point, a critical American defense post in the highlands of the Hudson River.
37. Peggy and their infant son Edward Shippen Arnold (born 19 Mar 1780) joined him there in a home on the Hudson two miles south of West Point. General Arnold systematically weakened the defenses of West Point with the intent of making it easier for the British to capture.
38. On Thursday, September 21, 1780, General Arnold met with André on the shores of the Hudson River and gave him documents and maps about the fortifications at West Point in anticipation of the British capture of that site.
39. On Saturday, September 23, André was arrested as he rode towards British territory, the documents were discovered, and the plot was exposed. On Monday, September 25, Arnold received a note announcing André's capture and possession of treasonous papers and maps.
40. That same morning, General George Washington was planning to meet Arnold at his home, two miles south of West Point. Arnold first dashed upstairs to Peggy, then fled, eventually reaching HMS Vulture on the Hudson River.
41. Now we get to the moral of the story. This shows why it it is so super important that you live stream your treason as you are committing it, under your own account in your own name.
42. And, by golly, when you do live-stream your own treason, make DARN sure you transmit through Washington DC because there is ZERO chance of any electronic monitoring.

So what happened?
43. Peggy Shippen Arnold was then dressing in anticipation of hosting a breakfast for Washington and his party. Possibly based on a brief discussion with her husband, she pretended hysteria in order to falsely convince General Washington and his staff that she had nothing to do
44. with her husband's betrayal. The delay caused by her histrionics may have allowed Arnold time to escape, leaving Peggy with their infant son. Fearing for her safety, she traveled to Philadelphia to stay with her family.
45. She also played the innocent when asked about her husband, even though she knew his whereabouts.
46. Philadelphia authorities soon found a letter from André to Peggy written from British-occupied New York—the so-called "millinery letter"—and seized upon it as proof that Arnold's wife had been complicitous in the treason.
47. That led the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania to banish her from Philadelphia. In November 1780, her father escorted Peggy and her infant son to the shores of the Hudson where she boarded a boat to New York City to join Arnold.
48. After a military trial, Major André was condemned to death as a common spy and was hanged at Tappan, New York. He was later re-interred in London's Westminster Abbey.
49. Now do you see why I showed you that gross disembowling on a ladder as part of the requirements for High Treason?

André was *only* hanged for being "a common spy." Merely being hanged as a spy is the *good* deal.
50. That was 1780. Here is the plaque in memory of the "brave patriots massacred near Fort Griswold on 6 Sep 1781, when the British under the command of the Traitor Benedict Arnold, burnt the towns of New London and Groton and spread desolation and woe throughout the region."
51. So that's why he's reviled as traitor. As a general officer he switched sides and "massacred brave patriots" as he burnt the towns spreading desolation and woe.

Okay, yeah, that's bad.
52. What was the motivation? Washington placed him as military commander of Philadelphia. The town was deeply divided. They called it patriot and loyalist. We call it something else these days, but you know the signs (and flags).

And those tweets were *mean*.
53. He married Peggy "honeypot" Shippen, at 18 already working as a spy (probably; historians vary). They had seven children. He met her in Philadelphia while he was living extravagantly and "a prominent figure on the social scene."

54. What wars were in this time frame? I was mainly thinking of the four French and Indian wars - King William's War (1688-1697), Queen Anne's War (1702-1713), King George's War (1744-1748), and "the" French and Indian War (1754-1763).

55. These were all outgrowths/furtherances of wars between the powers in Europe. My (many times removed) uncle John Barnard (1646-1675) was killed at the Battle of Bloody Brook, also at Deerfield, during King Philip's War.
56. So there you have the motivation... resentment at the mean tweets, the honeypot, and weakening the defenses of West Point so it could more easily be taken by the enemy.
57. I forgot... I did a thread on bone spurs a year ago. It really should be added to this thread - you'll see why. What will the monument be, I ask you? (cc @cookietpa)

58. Here are the Joseph and Sarah Barnard family in Deerfield. The upper right records Joseph's death, "killed by the enemy" in ambush. The left column reads "old book page 2" because Joseph Barnard was the first town clerk in Deerfield.

59. He began the birth/death/marriage log with his own family, and what we see is a hand-copied copy of the original book; photocopy machines were not yet in regular use.

We know the copy was made AFTER 1752 because there is an old-style/new-style combined date middle of the pg.
60. Thomas son to Joseph & Sarah Barnard was born the 13 day of March 1683/2. Under Old Style dating the year began 25 March, and changed to 1 January 1752. So the original record would have read 13 March 1682; but now, post-1752, that date was in 1683.
61. Here's the marriage record for widow Sarah Barnard to Jonathan Wells, he of the fortified house. It's tough to read; see next tweet. "Sarah Barnard" is just below the middle of the image, left side. Right side is who performed the ceremony.
62. The bottom two lines (detail from previous image) read "Capt Jonathan Wells" and "Widow Sarah Barnard". The right side reads "were joyned in marriage by the ?? Mr. ?? Williams September 23rd 1698".

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More from @ewbarnard

12 Jan
1. Let's do some Fun Facts from my high school days... for no particular reason (cc @cookietpa)!

I'm keeping in mind that the modern era, 2017-2021, has been known as the "Nixon Speed Run".
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The "Watergate Seven" of 1972 were a thing, of course.

But so were the "Watergate Seven" of 1974. Two different groups, both numbering (you guessed it) seven.

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Read 11 tweets
12 Jan
The timing is absolutely stellar. Guess what published *today*? Not before today - today. In the Trademark Official Gazette.

"You're going to prison, traitor."

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Kudos to Nancy for perfect use of maga red.

Read 4 tweets
11 Jan
1. Lt Col Brock (ret) was in the USAF Academy class of 1989. For perspective, so was astronaut Terry Virts.

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Read 20 tweets
15 Dec 20
1. In June 1965 an obscure family took home leave in Switzerland. He'd been Peace Corps director in Nepal. Now it gets good. Note Bill and Jolene's four children.
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14 Dec 20
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Read 22 tweets
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