Benedict Arnold – Stop 23

    Hannah Waterman King Arnold’s Grave

    Hannah Waterman Arnold died on August 15, 1759, at the age of 51. Benedict organized her funeral arrangements and watched as his mother was laid in her grave, remembered as a woman of “piety, patience, and virtue” inscribed on her headstone. In the aftermath, Benedict was responsible for his sickly father and younger sister Hannah while still apprenticing with the Lathrop Brothers. His father’s alcoholism deepened and ultimately was arrested for public intoxication and threatened with excommunication. In 1760, Arnold began taking over his father’s affairs and advertised in the New London Summary on August 8, 1760, an ad for “A Likely Negro Boy 11 Years Old.” Given Captain Arnold’s profession as a ship captain who traded goods to the West Indies, it is unclear if the young boy was a part of the captain’s cargo or was owned by the Arnold family.

    The community’s pity towards the Arnold family morphed to contempt due to Captain Arnold’s alcoholism. After his father passed away in 1761, Benedict sold his family’s homestead, and moved to New Haven with his sister Hannah in 1762; he would never return to his native hometown of Norwich. In the burying ground are the remains of Hannah Waterman King Arnold, Captain Arnold, Oliver Arnold, the infant Benedict, Absalom, Mary, and Elizabeth. According to local legend, the head stones of Captain Arnold and the infant Benedict were removed by angry Norwich citizens when Arnold’s treason was discovered. The town did not want to have any association with Benedict Arnold, so the two stones were allegedly tossed in the Yantic River. Hannah Arnold is buried in Canada and Benedict Arnold is buried in St Mary’s Church, Battersea, in London with his wife Peggy and daughter Sophia.

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