Letter: Not a spy, a traitor

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The Independent Online
Sir: Benedict Arnold, the most hated name in American history, was not a spy, as listed in your Anniversaries column (14 January); he was the arch-traitor to the cause of independence, who sold out to the British by secretly sending them the plans to West Point where he was in command. The unfortunate courier was the British officer Major Andre, who was captured and hanged as a spy.

Andre emerges somehow as the hero of the piece, with a marble tribute to him in Westminster Abbey. Benedict Arnold fared less well. As a turncoat, he was never popular with the British. He fled to England where he settled in Battersea and is buried there today in St. Mary's Church.

Yours sincerely,

DONALD WAYNE

Cambridge

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