Benedict Arnold Birthplace

Wait – Does Norwich Celebrate This?
Arnold Place, Norwich

November 1, 2008

ba.jpgAfter a great 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 two-fold: For one, this is not a guy to be celebrated and secondly, who knows anything about Norwich anyway? 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 way to Foxwoods Casino. Just past Backus Hospital going east, where Arnold Place is.

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.

ba1.jpgIt 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.

Patooie, we spit on the ground… And looked good doing it.


7 responses to “Benedict Arnold Birthplace”

  1. avgjoe says:

    your ignorance is typical of Western CT morons Go back to Stamford

  2. Steve says:

    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.)

  3. zzzzzz says:

    the usa betrayed mr.arnold first, and heavily so. not an excuse, but something to think about.and research.

  4. Adam says:

    Arnold was a hero as well as a traitor

  5. Steven Fern says:

    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.

  6. Chris says:

    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!

  7. Paula says:

    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.

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