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Benedict Arnold to Colonel Varick about Rewarding for Merit, October 30, 1776

Letter. Benedict Arnold to Colonel Varick regarding rewarding merit

Letter. Benedict Arnold to Colonel Varick regarding rewarding merit

Other, USMA_Arnold_Varick
 
Document Description
Letter from Benedict Arnold to Colonel Varick about rewarding for merit. Written from Ticonderoga October 30, 1776.
 
Transcription
Ticonderoga Oct. 30th 1776
My Dear Colonel
                Your agreeable favour of the 17th received the 20th, since which every moment of my time has been engrosed in preparing for the Enemy whom we have daily expected, you will excuse my not answering you sooner.  I am, very happy to find Congress have rewarded your long Services with an appointment, agreeable to you, I heartily wish they were more carefull in rewarding merrit, & merrit only. I am much obliged to you for the Concern  you express for me, thank God I am hearty & allmost recovered from any Violent Fatigue—which exercise has contributed much to[. W]e are obliged to be very Alert & Viggilent[. M]uch was to be done[. W]hen I returned, very few Guns were mounted, the work far from being compleated[. T]he people have been exceedingly Industrous[. W]e are now in a Condition to meet the Enemy, who I make no Doubt will be here the first fair wind.
                Two days since a large Party came within three miles of us to reconoitre & Sound the Channel. A Boom of large logs is laid a Cross the Lake,& a Bridge from Ty to Mt. Independence. Upwards of one thousand Militia have arrived & are daily coming In. I hope we shall soon have the pleasure seeing you here[.T]he season grows severe the Campaign must be short. I hope & bet It will be prosperous.
                Please to make my [illegible] Comp[liments] to Genl. Schuyler & the Ladies.
I am D[ear] Sir
Your affectionate Fr[iend]
& Humble Serv[ant]
B. Arnold
 
N.B. Some punctuation has been added or removed to enhance clarity.
 
 
Questions
Was the colonel that received this letter a patriot or a British officer? How do you know?
 
Which side (British or American) is Arnold’s allegiance to?
 
Explain Arnold’s point of view regarding Congress rewarding the Colonel.
 
How is Arnold feeling physically?
 
 
Historical Challenges
Writing- Write a historical fiction piece that demonstrates the hard work and effort that Arnold put forth while readying the minutemen.
 
 

Historical Context
In 1780, near the present day Tappan Zee Bridge, a major spy drama unfolded, changing the course of the American Revolution. General Benedict Arnold secretly attempted to help the British capture the fort at West Point. He had grown resentful of the American Army for not rewarding him for his many military victories. On the night of September 21, Arnold gave British Major John Andre documents detailing the fortifications and troop strengths at West Point. As Andre headed towards the British lines with the documents tucked in his boot, he was captured near Tarrytown on September 23. If he had reached the British command in New York City with the information that Arnold had given them, the British would likely have taken the fort at West Point. West Point was crucial to controlling the Hudson River, so a British capture could have changed the outcome of the entire war.
Thirty year old Andre was hanged as a spy on October 2, 1780. Benedict Arnold escaped to New York City, eventually commanding British troops for the remainder of the war. He died in London in 1801.
 
 
Essential Question
Who was Benedict Arnold and what role did he play in the Revolutionary War?
 
 
Check for Understanding
Students will answer the questions above using the text.