Arnold’s Treason: 240 Years Later – August 30, 1780

Emerging Revolutionary War Era

On August 30, 1780, Benedict Arnold fully committed to treason by accepting the final terms presented by Sir Henry Clinton regarding the plot to turn over the fortifications at West Point to the British. Arnold’s reply to a letter written on July 24 by Clinton’s adjutant-general and chief intelligence officer, Major John Andre, was the result of over a year’s worth of on and off negotiations between the two parties. At times it had appeared to Clinton and Andre that Arnold’s defection would not be as useful as they had hoped. The American general could not obtain a field command and could only offer intelligence that was of little value or already known. However, when Arnold assumed command of the fortifications in the Hudson Highlands, including West Point, in early August, the possibility of using his services to strike a crushing blow to the American cause became a reality.

Andre Maj…

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