On this day in 1777, the Continental Congress voted to promote five junior officers ahead of Brigadier General Benedict Arnold. The Connecticut-born hero of Saratoga felt slighted, and threatened to resign from the Patriot army.
In 1780, Arnold betrayed the United States by offering to hand over the Patriot-held fort at West Point, New York, to the British.
In George Washington’s General Orders, in September of 1780, Washington said:
“Happily the treason has been timely discovered to prevent the fatal misfortune. The providential train of circumstances which led to it affords the most convincing proof that the Liberties of America are the object of divine Protection.”
According to national folklore, Benedict Arnold’s last words were: “Let me die in this old uniform in which I fought my battles. May God forgive me for ever having put on another.”
This is the artwork for our upcoming George Washington “Invisible Hand” t-shirt, to be released on April 30, the day of his inaugural address in 1798, from which the design’s quote was taken.