The topic of the latest The History Twins podcast is Peggy Shippen, the wife of American General Benedict Arnold. Storytelling duo Carla and Keyes discuss Shippen’s involvement in the Revolutionary spy plot in which Arnold sold the plans to West Point to British Major John Andre.
Margaret “Peggy” Shippen was the socialite daughter of a Loyalist family in Philadelphia. When the British occupied Philadelphia early in the American Revolution, she was a close friend of British Major John Andre, who is also said to have courted her.
After the British left Philadelphia, General Benedict Arnold was named Military Governor there, while he healed from wounds from the Battles of Saratoga. He courted the young Peggy Shippen, whose father Edward Shippen originally rejected the match. Her father later changed his mind, and Peggy married General Benedict Arnold.
After their marriage, Arnold reached out to the British, in order to change sides, and convinced General George Washington to give him command of New York’s West Point. Arnold could not deliver his messages to the British himself, so he utilized Peggy’s inner-circle of friends. The letters would be passed from person to person and then given to someone who was capable of getting into the city of New York.
It wasn’t until the 1930s that historians discovered that letters from Peggy Shippen contained secret messages written with invisible ink.
Carla and Keyes also discuss the research and creative process that went into the composition and arrangement of their song “A Woman’s Wiles.”
You can find The History Twins podcast on YouTube, Spotify, Apple and Amazon podcasts, as well as your favorite podcast catchers.
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.
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