Debate and Diplomacy

Benedict Arnold: Hero or Traitor?

Modern Debate

A plaque dedicated to Benedict Arnold located at Arnold Bay in Panton, Vermont. The plaque was dedicated after Arnold "displayed great boldness, gallantry, and sagacity" in battle. This plaque is an example of how Arnold is remembered as hero for his actions locally. 

Photograph taken by Quincy Sabick on January 16, 2022

Today, a debate exists over how Arnold should be remembered. Does this man deserve to be remembered as only a vengeful turncoat, or was he truly a patriot who was influenced by his surroundings? To help answer this question, I interviewed Chris Sabick of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum: “I don’t think he deserves the revilement that is the automatic knee-jerk reaction that most people have when you say the words, “Benedict Arnold”, I think it was a much more nuanced situation than he was obviously a traitor.” No matter how you look at it, it's obvious that the legacy of this man was neither black or white and shouldn't be treated as either one. 

"I believe that it’s a much more nuanced question, as I mentioned earlier than just saying very clearly that he was a traitor or he was a hero, because in fact he was both things."

​​​​​​​- Chris Sabick, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum