Benedict Arnold: Two Sides of a Bitter Coin

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Part 1: Rise to Fame

Benedict Arnold was the product of a proud family upbringing, and this pride that was instilled in him by his family would temper his outlook and actions for the rest of his life. He built himself into a genuine war hero, then died penniless in exile from the country he once loved.

An intensely loyal and brave man, he made a brilliant battlefield commander but, once spurned, turned his back on the country that put its faith in him and is forever more remembered as a traitor.

Arnold was born in 1741 in Connecticut. He was one of six children, only two of whom survived to adulthood, the other four dying of yellow fever. His great-grandfather was an early governor of the Rhode Island colony.

Arnold's family life wasn't the greatest, primarily because of a lack of money. Young Benedict found work as an apprentice to an apothecary (a sort of pharmacist). He later had his own pharmacy business, in addition to being a bookseller.

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