Cover image for Benedict Arnold : a traitor in our midst
Benedict Arnold : a traitor in our midst
Wilson, Barry, 1948-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Montreal : McGill-Queen's University Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
xvii, 271 pages ; illustrations, : 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E278.A7 W54 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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While most biographies of Arnold concentrate on his revolutionary exploits and subsequent treason, Wilson explores his role in Canadian history and the routes that brought him to Canada. He takes the reader into rural Quebec in the 1760s and 1770s when Arnold toured the area as a Yankee trader and goes behind the scenes in 1775-76 when Arnold's American forces almost captured Quebec after an amazing trek through the Maine wilderness. Wilson explores Arnold's business exploits in Saint John, New Brunswick, the emerging Loyalist port town where for six years Arnold commanded an international trading network before returning to England. Written for those interested in unexpected tales from Canada's colourful history, Benedict Arnold follows Arnold's life from the battlefields of New England to the siege of Quebec, from the high seas to the day-to-day details of running a trading company in Saint John. Wilson offers a detailed, sometimes sympathetic, portrait of this controversial and complex man.

Author Notes

Barry K. Wilson, a journalist for thirty years, is a national correspondent for the Western Producer, a member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, and a frequent contributor to CBC Radio

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Benedict Arnold remains a synonym for treason to Americans. Wilson, a Canadian journalist, is likely more fair-minded than most Americans, and his account, while it sheds little new light on Arnold and fails to make use of all manuscript sources, is nonetheless a useful counterbalance to the standard accounts. He adds new wrinkles in his chapters on Arnold's attack on Quebec in 1775-76 and his residence in Saint John, New Brunswick, after the Revolution. Whatever else he was, Arnold was a first-class, brave, imaginative commander, and his march through the Maine wilderness had the chance of adding Canada to the rebel side. With even a modicum of luck he would have succeeded, but the wilderness, betrayal, and the ambivalent attitudes of the French Canadians were too much to overcome when added to British arms. After the war, after his own treason, Arnold ran businesses in New Brunswick, where, Wilson says, he was not hated by the Loyalist settlers, contrary to American historiography. Still, when he died in Britain, he left his wife deeply in debt. His descendents--one of whom still has Arnold's uniform jacket--live in Canada to this day. Most collections. J. L. Granatstein emeritus, Canadian War Museum

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. xiii
1 Young Trader, Canadian Connectionsp. 3
2 The Rustle of Revolutionary Windsp. 18
3 Arnold the Revolutionaryp. 32
4 Preparing to Invade Canadap. 42
5 The March through Maine Ip. 52
6 The March through Maine II: America's Hannibalp. 62
7 Quebec Awaitsp. 78
8 The Battle for Quebecp. 101
9 Siege and Retreatp. 111
10 Heroics and Enemies Withinp. 130
11 Politics and Treasonp. 145
12 The Streets of Saint Johnp. 164
13 Born-Again Traderp. 183
14 Arnold vs the Lawyersp. 191
15 After New Brunswickp. 217
Epiloguep. 237
Notesp. 239
Indexp. 265