This Week's Story

Benedict had an appalling and traitorous plan!

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Something is not right,
part three from
Revolutionary War Spies

Major General Benedict Arnold was impressed with himself! He was a promising American military general with excellent skills in strategy. His wife was beautiful, and their parties sparkled with gossip and elegance.

He also was described as insecure, easily jealous, loved and despised, and dishonest in business. In 1780 the American Continental Congress ruled that he owed the government $66,671. The money was spent without receipts or records. His extravagant parties put him further into debt.

He considered: How can I be esteemed and safe? Could I be sure that the British would admire me if I helped them defeat the Americans? Can I receive admiration if I remain with the Americans and they lose? Can I receive admiration if the American Patriots defeat the British?

Benedict sent a question to British General Clinton. “Could I be of service to the British?”

General Clinton and his advisers discussed the surprising offer, “Why would a high American military officer offer to spy for the British? What does he want? Can he be trusted? His information could be of huge value to us. We could obtain American plans, perhaps information about their spying operations, especially the spy ring we have been trying to catch.” History revealed it to be the Culper Spy Ring. General Clinton sent spies to follow Benedict.

Major John André, the British chief of intelligence contacted Arnold. André knew Benedict’s wife. She was from a family strongly loyal to the British. She began carrying messages in code to and from Arnold and André.

The notes appeared to be about nothing significant, but between the visible lines of writing, the real message was written in invisible ink.

The Culper Spy Ring had the advantage of much greater secrecy. Their code and ink were superior. Not all the members knew each other, and messages could be changed as they passed through the network. Each member had unique contacts and places to overhear or directly get needed intelligence.

A British major intelligence officer stated, “Washington did not really outfight the British, he simply outspied us!”

As news came that the French government was sending ships and troops to help the Patriot Americans, the Culper spy ring noted much more British troop movement along the docks of New York.

As the French arrived in Rhode Island Benedict had maneuvered himself into becoming the new powerful commander of West Point Fort. The position allowed him much influence on the flow of ships up the Hudson River. That included soldiers, supplies, and goods for trade. It was a door to the entire state.

Benedict had an appalling and traitorous plan. Every step would take him closer to turning over West Point Fort with its soldiers and equipment to the British.

While Benedict was still planning treason, Benjamin Talmadge, the head of the Culper Spy Ring, knew from messages and his scouting that something was not right.

Very soon we shall follow Benedict’s treachery.

This is Nathan and Scott Thomas for Barbara Steiner with you at www.thisweek’s

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