Wait – Does Norwich Celebrate This?
Arnold Place, Norwich
November 1, 2008
After a visit to the Heritage Trail Vineyards, I told Hoang we were off to see Benedict Arnold’s birthplace. She was demonstrably surprised by this, as she had no idea he was born in Connecticut. To be fair, neither did I until recently.
I guess the reason is that this is not a guy to be celebrated? Maybe? The funny thing is, we’ve passed right by it several times in the past – it’s right along Route 2 on the slower-but-more-direct route to Foxwoods Casino. Just past Backus Hospital going east.
I feel badly for the poor people who live in the modest ranch house at the site now. Not only is their home associated with the most infamous traitor to the US in history, but the town (or state) has erected a handsome sign in their front yard for goofballs like us to stop and check out. And we’re not alone; in fact, there are YouTube videos of the sign. Enjoy.
It was dark at our arrival (as you can see), but we were able to soak it all in just as well. Arnold was born here in January 1741 and only one of his 10 siblings who survived childhood. He became a successful business-child at 14 as a druggist and merchant. He joined the Army and performed admirably at many early Revolution battles, namely Saratoga whereupon he was awarded a Major Generalship.
But as the war raged on, other lesser men passed him by in the ranks and he married a Loyalist. Mad, he defected and joined the British to lead attacks on revolutionaries in Richmond and then right down the road in New London and Groton. He led the British during the massacre at Fort Griswold in Groton and earned the enmity of his neighbors here.
He died in England in 1801, hated by Americans and Brits alike – for this punk abandoned his redcoat buddy Major Andre and left him to be hanged by the Americans. There is, of course, a lot more to Arnold’s story… but you didn’t come to this page for that.
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avgjoe saysJuly 10, 2009 at 12:16 pm
your ignorance is typical of Western CT morons Go back to Stamford
Steve saysJuly 10, 2009 at 1:45 pm
Wow, is there an “East vs. West” Connecticut gang war? I had no idea – showing my ignorance again I suppose.
What colors are we supposed to wear? Please help me as I don’t want to get shot next time I’m over in the East side.
PS. We live in West Hartford, genius.
(I just read the blog post again and I think your silly anger comes from the phrase “poor people.” And I guess you are too dense to discern my use of “poor” was not in reference to their financial situation, but rather their situation of having people like me taking pictures in front of their house at all hours. Typical Eastern Connecticut person.)
zzzzzz saysJuly 11, 2011 at 8:48 pm
the usa betrayed mr.arnold first, and heavily so. not an excuse, but something to think about.and research.
Adam saysJuly 7, 2013 at 9:19 pm
Arnold was a hero as well as a traitor
Steven Fern saysOctober 1, 2013 at 4:34 pm
I guess I should confess I grew up in Stamford. Never knew what a shameful secret that was until I read the ill-punctuated comment from AVGJOE. Average is something to which he should aspire. It will require considerable effort to achieve. Benedict Arnold has long been the Revolutionary War figure of most interest to me. It is arguable that, had he died after Saratoga and before Philadelphia, he would have challenged Washington’s place as the most notable military leader of the war, sort of the George Patton of his day. While he rightfully is loathed as a traitor, there is no question that he was repeatedly and shamefully wronged by his government. The pathos of the man may best be seen in the empty alcove where his image would have appeared in the monument to the victors of Saratoga located in the village of Victory, NY. A sad man badly used and acting even more badly.
Chris saysAugust 10, 2014 at 12:48 am
I’m in a quandary. While I love in Fairfield County, a county in Western Connecticut, the town I reside in is Easton. So I regard to the comment by Commentator #1, I don’t know if I am a moron or not. I don’t feel like one however the very fact that I don’t know if I am a moron or not seems slightly moronic. Steve, Help!
Paula saysSeptember 4, 2014 at 1:49 am
History is history. If there’s a lesson to be taught, teach it. If there’s knowledge to be shared, share it. We don’t pick an choose what we want to “celebrate” or teach.
Bob saysJuly 20, 2016 at 6:03 pm
Arnold was a great general. But he was of poor resolve. When the going got tough he got going. He was a poor sport. He didn’t get the promotion he wanted or the pay from the continental congress so he joined the other side. What a baby and a bitch.
Melissa saysAugust 21, 2016 at 10:48 am
I’m PROUD to say that Major General Benedict Arnold was my cousin. You, ignorant ‘spitter’, would not even have the FREEDOM to walk down the street and SPIT on his birthplace here in America, were it not for the bravery and military excellence of Arnold himself.
Fort Ticonderoga? The Battle of Valcour? The Battle of Saratoga? Do a little RESEARCH before you embarrass yourself with your own IGNORANCE, fool.
Tyrone saysAugust 30, 2018 at 2:37 pm
Seriously this girl is stupid – do your research and know that Arnold was a war hero before his own country betrayed him. I know y’all don’t crack open many books to learn these things but maybe you’ll come around one day. Who knows maybe someone will spit on your grave too
Kerri saysJanuary 3, 2020 at 10:40 am
I am cracking up at the comments on this post. Thanks for keeping this site going, Steve. It’s awesome.