In the latest episode of The History Twins podcast, storytelling duo Carla Lynne Hall and Jim Keyes discuss General Benedict Arnold, American Commander of West Point, as well as his wife Peggy Shippen, whose family was loyal to the Crown. Together they conspired with Major Andre to betray the American side during the American Revolutionary War.
Before his defection, General Benedict Arnold was said to be one of the best, if not the best, battlefield commanders in the America’s Continental Army during the early years of the Revolutionary War.
On multiple occasions, Arnold sustained several battle wounds, and one leg was slightly longer than another. He had a limp and walked with a cane. He led the Battle of Saratoga, which persuaded the French to join the American Revolution, and received little to no recognition for his heroism and exploits.
He met and courted the beautiful Peggy Shippen, a socialite from a Loyalist family. Some believe that she had been courted by British Major John Andre when the British had occupied Philadelphia.
After overcoming Peggy Shippen’s father’s resistance to the match, Benedict and Peggy married. As Arnold healed, he lobbied with Washington to place him in charge of West Point. On September 20th, 1780, Benedict Arnold met with British Major John Andre in Haverstraw, Rockland County, NY to hand over the plans for West Point.
Only in the 1930’s was it discovered that Peggy Shippen passed encrypted notes between Benedict Arnold and John Andre.
Carla and Keyes also discuss the creative process behind, “Here Comes The General!,” the song they wrote about Benedict Arnold, which appears in “This Man’s A Spy,” their musical retelling of the treasonous plot.
“This Man’s A Spy!” was originally commissioned by the Yorktown Heritage Preservation Commission / Yorktown 250, in partnership with Revolutionary Westchester 250, to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution.
The History Twins podcast teaches that New York history is more than just dates and dead people. It’s for people interested in history, and the creative process involved in bringing history to life through performance. It is a production of Gentle Giant Music Productions.
You will find more stories at CarlaandKeyes.com.