The Hickey

Minutes of the
Committee for
Detecting Conspiracies

Enoch Crosby
Describes His
Career As A Spy


Dr. Edward


Other Spies


The Burr

Alien and
Sedition Acts—



End Notes


Enoch Crosby Describes His Career As A Spy

Southeast, Putnam County,

15 October 1832

In the latter part of the month of August in the year 1776, he enlisted into the regiment commanded by Col. Swortwaut14 in Fredericksburgh now Carmel in the County of Putnam and started to join in the army at KingsBridge. The company had left Fredericksburgh before the declarent started, and he started along after his said enlistment and on his way at a place in Westchester County about two miles from Pines bridge he fell in company with a stranger, who accosted the deponent and asked him if he was going down.

The stranger then asked if declarent was not afraid to venture alone, and said there were many rebels below and he would meet with difficulty in getting down.

The declarent perceived from the observations of the stranger that he supposed the declarent intended to go to the British, and, willing to encourage that misapprehension and turn it to the best advantage, he asked if there was any mode which he the stranger could point out by which the declarent could get through safely. The stranger after being satisfied that declarent was wishing to join the British army, told him that there was a company raising in that vicinity to join the British army, and that it was nearly complete and in a few days would be ready to go down and that declarent had better join that company and go down with them.

The stranger finally gave to the declarent his name, it was Bunker, and told the declarent where and showed the house in which he lived and told him that Fowler15 was to be the captain of the company then raising and Kipp16 Lieutenant. After having learned this much from Bunker, the declarent told him that he was unwilling to wait until the company could be ready to march and would try to get through alone and parted from him on his way down and continued until night when he stopped at the house of a man who was called Esquire Young, and put up there for the night.

In the course of conversation with Esquire Young in the evening, the declarent learned that he was a member of the committee for safety for the county of Westchester and then communicated to him the information he had obtained from Mr. Bunker, Esqr. Young requested the declarent to accompany him the next morning to the White plains in Westchester County as the committee of safety for the County were on that day to meet at the Court house in that place.

The next morning the declarent in company with Esqr. Young went to the White plains and found the Committee there sitting. After Esqr. Young had an interview with the committee, the declarent was sent for, and went before the committee, then sitting in the Court room, and there communicated the information he had obtained from Bunker.

The Committee after learning the situation of declarent, that he was a soldier enlisted in Col. Swrotwaut's regiment and on his way to join it if he would consent to aid in the apprehension of the company then raising. It was by all thought best, that he should not join the regiment, but should act in a different character as he could thus be more useful to his country.

He was accordingly announced to Capt. Townsend who then was at the White plains commanding a company of rangers as a prisoner, and the Captain was directed to keep him until further orders. In the evening after was placed as a prisoner under Capt. Townsend, he made an excuse to go out and was accompanied by a soldier. His excuse led him over a fence into a field of corn then nearly or quite full grown. As soon as he was out of sight of the soldier he made the best of his way from the soldier and when the soldier hailed him to return he was almost beyond hearing. An alarm gun was fired but declarent was far from danger.

In the course of the night the declarent reached the house of said Bunker, who got up and let him in. The declarent then related to Bunker the circumstances of his having been taken prisoner, and his going before the Committee at the Court house, of being put under the charge of Capt. Townsend and of his escape, that he had concluded to avail himself of the protection of the company raising in his neighborhood to get down. The next morning Bunker went with declarent and introduced him as a good loyalist to several of the company. The declarent remained some days with different individuals of the company and until it was about to do down, when declarent went one night to the house of Esqr. Young to give information of the state and progress of the company. The distance was four or five miles from Bunkers.

At the house of Esqr. Young, the declarent found Capt. Townsend with a great part of his company and after giving the information he returned to the neighborhood of the Bunkers. That night the declarent and a great part of the company which was preparing to go down were made prisoners. The next day all of them, about 30, were marched to the White plains, and remained there several days, a part of the time locked up in jail with other prisoners, the residue of the time he was with the Committee. The prisoners were finally ordered to Fishkill in the County of Dutchess where the State Convention was then sitting. The declarent went as a prisoner to Fishkill. Capt. Townsend with his company of rangers took charge of the company.

At Fishkill a Committee for Detecting Conspiracies was sitting composed of John Jay, afterwards Governor of N York, Zerpeniah Platt afterwards first judge of Dutchess County, Colonel Duer of the County of Albany, & a Mr. Sackett. The declarent was called before that committee, who understood the character of declarent and the nature of his services, this the committee must have learned either from Capt. Townsend or from the Committee at White plains. The declarent was examined under oath and his examination reduced to writing. The prisoners with the declarent were kept whilst declarent remained at Fishkill in a building which had been occupied as a Hatters shop and they were guarded by a company of rangers commanded by Capt. Clark. The declarent remained about a week at Fishkill when he was bailed out by Jonathan Hopkins. This was done to cover the character in which declarent acted.

Before the declarent was bailed, the Fishkill Committee had requested him to continue in this service, and on declarent mentioning the fact of his having enlisted in Col. Swortwaut's company and the necessity there was of his joining it, he was informed that he should be indemnified from that enlistment, that they would write to the Colonel and inform him that declarent was in their service. The Committee then wished declarent to undertake a secret service over the river. He was furnished with a secret pass, which was a writing signed by the Committee which is now lost and directed to go to the house of Nicholas Brawer near the mouth of the Wappingers creek who would take him across the river, and then to proceed to the house of John Russell about 10 miles from the river, and make such inquiries & discoveries as he could.

He proceeded according to the directions to said Brawers, and then to John Russells, and there hired himself to said Russell to work for him but for no definite time. There was a neighborhood of Loyalists and it was expected that a company was there raising for the British army. The declarent remained about 10 days in Russells employment and during that time ascertained that a company was then raising but was not completed. Before the declarent left Fishkill on this service, a time was fixed for him to recross the river and given information to some one of the committee who was to meet him.

This time having arrived and the company not being completed, the declarent recrossed the river and met Zepeniah Platt, one of the Committee, and gave him all the information he had then obtained. The declarent was directed to recross the river to the neighborhood of Russells and on a time then fixed, again to meet the Committee on the east side of the river.

The declarent returned to Russells neighborhood, soon became intimate with the Loyalists, and was introduced to Capt. Robinson, said to be an English officer and who was to command the company then raising. Capt. Robinson occupied a cave in the mountains, and deponents—having agreed to go with the company—were invited and accepted of the invitation to lodge with Robinson in the cave. They slept together nearly a week in the cave and the time for the company to start having been fixed and the rout designated to pass Severns, to Bush Carricks where they were to stop the first night.

The time for starting having arrived before the appointed time to meet the Committee on the east side of the river, the declarent—in order to get an opportunity to convey information to Fishkill—recommended that each man should the night before they started sleep where he chose and that each should be by himself for if they should be discovered that night together all would be taken which would avoided if they were separated.

This proposition was acceded to, and when they separated declarent not having time to go to Fishkill, and as the only and as it appeared to him the best means of giving the information, as to go to a Mr. Purdy who was a stranger to declarent and all he knew of him was that the Tories called him a wicked rebel and said that he ought to die, declarent went and found Purdy, informed him of the situation of affairs, of the time the company was to start and the place at which they were to stop the first night, and requested him to go to Fishkill and give the information to the Committee. Purdy assured the declarent that the information should be given. Declarent returned to Russells and lodged in his house.

The following evening the company assembled consisting of about thirty men and started from Russell's house which was in the Town of Marlborough and County of Ulster for New York and in the course of the night arrived at Bush Carricks and went into the barn to lodge after taking refreshments.

Before morning the barn was surrounded by American troops and the whole company including Capt. Robinson were made prisoners. The troops who took the company prisoners were commanded by Capt. Melancton Smith, who commanded a company of rangers at Fishkill. His company crossed the river to perform this service.

Col. Duer was with Capt. Smith's Company on this expedition. The prisoners including the declarent were marched to Fishkill and confined in the stone church in which there was near two hundred prisoners, after remaining one night in the church the Committee sent for declarent and told him that it was unsafe for him to remain with the prisoners, as the least suspicion of the course he had pursued would prove fatal to him, and advised him to leave the village of Fishkill but to remain where they could call upon him if his services should be wanted.

Declarent went to the house of a Dutchman a farmer whose name is forgotten about five miles from the Village of Fishkill and there went to work at making shoes. After declarent had made arrangements for working at shoes he informed Mr. Sacket one of the Committee where he could be found if he should be wanted.

In about a week declarent received a letter form the Committee requesting him to meet some one of the Committee at the house of Doct. Osborn about one mile from Fishkill. Declarent according to the request went to the house of Doct. Osborn and soon after John Jay came there, inquired for the Doctor—who was absent, inquired for medicine but found none that he wanted, he came out of the house and went to his horse near which declarent stood and as he passed he said in a low voice it won't do, there are too many around, return to your work. Declarent went back and went to work at shoes but within a day or two was again notified and a horse sent to him, requiring him to go to Bennington in Vermont and from thence westerly to a place called Maloonscack, and there call on one Hazard Wilcox, a Tory of much notoriety and ascertain if anything was going on there injurious to the American cause.

Declarent followed this instructions, found Wilcox but could not learn that any secret measure was then projected against the interest of the county at the place, but learned from Wilcox a list of persons friendly to the British cause who could be safely trusted, from that place quite down to the south part of Dutchess County, declarent followed the directions of said Wilcox and called on the different individuals by him mentioned but could discover nothing of importance until he reached the town of Pawling in Duchess County where he called upon a Doctor, whose name he thinks was Prosser, and informed him that he wished to go below, but was fearful of some trouble.

The Doctor informed him that there was a company raising in that vicinity to go to New York to join the British Army, that the Captains name was Shelden that he had been down and got a commission, that the Prosser was doctoring the Lieutenant, whose name was Chase, that if declarent would wait a few days he could safely go down with that company, that he could stay about the neighborhood, and should be informed when the company was ready. That declarent remained in that vicinity, became acquainted with several of the persons who were going with that company, was acquainted with the Lieutenant Chase, but never saw the Captain to form any acquaintance with him.

The season had got so far advanced that the company were about to start to join the enemy to be ready for an early commencement of the campaign in 1777. It was about the last of February of that year, when a place was fixed and also a time for meeting. It was at a house situated half a mile from the road and about three miles from a house then occupied by Col. Morehause a militia Colonel. After the time was fixed for the marching of Capt. Sheldens company the deponent went in the night to Col. Morehause and informed him of the situation of the company of the time appointed for meeting of the place and Morehause informed declarent that they should be attended to.

The declarent remained about one month in the neighborhood, and once in the time met Mr. Sackett one of the Committee at Col. Ludingtons, and apprised him of what was then going on, and was to have given the Committee intelligence when the company was to march but the shortness of the time between the final arrangement and the time of starting was that declarent was obliged to give the information to Col. Morehause.

The company consisting of about thirty met at the time and place appointed and after they had been there an hour or two; two young men of the company came in and said there was a gathering under arms at old Morehauses, the inquiry became general, what could it mean, was there any traitors in the company. The captain soon called one or two of the company out the door for the purpose of private conversation about the situation, and very soon declarent heard the cry of stand, stand.

Those out the door ran but were soon met by a company coming from a different direction, they were taken in the house surrounded and the company all made prisoners. The Col. then ordered them to be tied together, two and two, they came to declarent and he begged to be excused from going as he was lame and could not travel, the Col. replied, you shall go dead or alive and if in no other way you shall be carried on the horse with me, the rest were marched off and declarent put onto the horse with Col. Morehause, all went to the house of Col. Morehause and when the prisoners were marched into the house declarent with the permission of Morehause left them and made the best of his way to Col. Ludingtons and there informed him of the operations of the night, he reached Col. Ludingtons about day light in the morning, from thence he went to Fishkill to the house of Doct. Van Wyck where John Jay boarded and there informed him of all the occurrences on that northern expedition.

Said Jay requested the declarent to come before the Committee the next night when they would be ready to receive him he accordingly went before the Committee where he declared under his oath all that had occurred since he had seen them. The Committee then directed him to go to the house of Col. Van Ness in Albany County and there take directions from him. He went to Van Ness house and was directed by him to go to the north but declarent cannot tell the place the duty was performed, but nothing material discovered, further that the confiscation of the personal property of the Tories and leasing of their lands had a great tendency to discourage them from joining the British Army, declarent then returned to Pokeepsie, where Egbert Benson and Melancton Smith acted in the room of the Fishkill Committee.

There was no more business at that time in which they wished to employ declarent, and he being somewhat apprehensive that a longer continuance in that employment would be dangerous, and the time for which he enlisted in Col. Swortwauts regiment having expired he came home with the approbation of the Committee. This was about the last of May 1777, and in the course of the fall after, the declarent saw Col. Swortwaut at his house in Fishkill and there talked over the subject of the employment of the declarent by the Committee and the Col. told declarent that he had drawn his pay the same as if he had been with the regiment, that the Paymaster of the Regiment lived in the town of Hurley in Ulster County. Declarent went to the paymaster and received his pay for nine months service or for the term for which the regiment was raised. The declarent was employed in the secret service for a period of full nine months.

This declarent further says that in the year 1779 in the month of May he enlisted into a company commanded by Capt. Johah Hallett for six months declarent enlisted as a sergint in said Hallets company. The term of enlistment was performed on the lines in the County of Westchester, moving from place to place to guard the country and detect Tories, that the company continued in this service until after Stony Point was taken by Gen. Wayne and abandoned and also reoccupied and abandoned by the English troops.

When this company was ordered over the river and joined the regiment at Stony Point and continued there in making preparations for building a block house until the time of the expiration of the service when the company was ordered to march to Pokeepsie to be discharged by the Governor. When they arrived, the Governor was absent the company was billetted out and the declarent was billetted upon the family of Doct. Tappen.

After remaining a day or two and the Governor not arriving, they were discharged. During this service in Westchester County the following occurrence took place a British vessel of war lay at anchor near Tellers Point and a party of sailors or marines cam eon shore and wandered a short distance from the water when a party of our men got between them and the river and made them prisoners. They were marched to the place when the company then lay, a little east of Tellers point, the number of prisoners declarent thinks was twelve and the captors six. The prisoners were afterwards sent to Pokeepsie.

This declarent further says that in the month of May in the year 1780 he again enlisted for six months in a company commanded by Capt. Livingston in Col. Benschautens Regiment. He enlisted as a sergent in the Town of Fredericksburgh now the town of Kent in Putnam County. The Regiment assembled at Fishkill and marched to Westpoint and remained there a few days some ten or fifteen, a call was made for troops to fill up the Brigade or Brigades under the command of Gen. De La Fayettes, and they were to be raised by drafts or volunteers, a call first was made for volunteers and the declarent with others volunteered and made a company which was put under the care and charge of Capt. Daniel Delavan.

The declarent continued to be a sergent in Delavans company. Col. Phillip Van Cortland commanded the regiment to which Captain Delavans company was attached, soon after the company was formed they crossed the river from West Point and marched to Peekskill where they remained one night. The next day marched to Verplanks point and crossed over to Stony Point and from thence made the best of their way to New Jersey where they remained until late in the fall when the time of enlistment having expired they were discharged, after having fully and faithfully performed the service of six months for which he enlisted.

During this campaign in New Jersey. Major Andre was arrested, condemned and executed several of the soldiers of Capt. Delavan's company went to see him executed. This declarent was sergent of the guard that day and could not go to see the execution.

The declarent further says that he has no documentary evidence of his service, and that he knows of no person who can testify to his services other than those whose depositions are hereto annexed.

Enoch Crosby

The declarent hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll agency of any state.

The declarent has a record of his age.

The declarent was living in the town of Danbury in the state of Connecticut when he enlisted into the service, that since the revolutionary war the declarent has resided in the State of New York, in what is now the County of Putnam formerly the County of Duchess, and now lives in the same county and on the same farm where he has lived for the last fifty years. The declarent always volunteered in every enlistment and to perform all the services which he performed as detailed in this declaration.

That the declarent was acquainted with the following officers who were with the troops where he served. General Schuyler, Gen. Montgomery, General Wooster, Col. Waterbury, Col. Holmes, Gen. DeLa Fayette, Gen. Poor, Col Van Coretlandt, Col. Benschauten, Col. Ludington.

The declarent never received any written discharge, and if he ever received a sergents warrant it is through time and accident lost or destroyed.

This declarent is known to Samuel Washburn a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of the County of Putman, Benaiah Y. Morse a clergyman in his neighborhood and who he believes can testify to his character for veracity and good behaviour and thus belief of his services as a soldier of the revolution.

/S/ Enoch Crosby

Benedict Arnold 17

"bold, crafty, unscrupulous, unrepentant: the Iago of traitors"18

The US public prefers to dismiss Benedict Arnold as simply "a despicable traitor." To today's US counterintelligence (CI) specialists, however, he offers a valuable case study—the classic example of a "high performer" and "trusted insider" who (for complex and unpredictable reasons) decided to become an espionage "volunteer." What were Arnold's motivations, and what were the enabling and precipitating causes of his decision to go over to the enemy? More importantly, what changes in Arnold's behavior and activities should have raised "CI flags" in the minds of his friends and fellow officers?

The "Enabling" Causes:
Several personal and historical factors combined to make it possible for Benedict Arnold to eventually make the decision to become a traitor. These factors included:

1). Arnold was a "self-made man" in the truest sense of these words. Born into a poor but respectable New England family (his great-grandfather had been a colonial Governor of Rhode Island) he received the 18th Century equivalent of a high school education and was apprenticed to a pharmacist. Arnold learned the "military arts" by serving with (and—in a premonition of things to come—deserting from) several New York militia units in the late 1750s. During the next two decades he became a successful merchant, sea trader/smuggler (he sailed his own ships between Canada and the West Indies), and family man in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

From the outset, however, Arnold's personality demonstrated certain excesses which made him ill-suited for public service or other cooperative enterprises. These included: extreme personal ambition, ruthlessness in business dealings, opportunism, and a willingness to take risks and manipulate situations to his own advantage. By the time he joined the Continental Army in 1775, Arnold had established a reputation as a cranky and litigious "sharp trader" used to making his own rules and getting his own way. These personality characteristics were to remain constant throughout Arnold's life, and were often noted by those who dealt with him during his cooperation with the British authorities in 1779-1782 and throughout his subsequent career as a businessman in Canada and England.

2). Arnold's military career during the Revolutionary War was meteoric. Physically strong and apparently quite fearless in battle, he took part in a series of spectacular, high risk operations against the British (the capture of Fort Ticonderoga, the St. John's raid, the ill-fated invasion of Canada in the Fall of 1775—during which he was severely wounded—and the Battle of Valcour Island) which boosted his reputation and self-confidence. Arnold's energy and valor ingratiated him to George Washington, who urged his promotion and supported him during a series of politically-motivated misconduct investigations. Although he was promoted to Brigadier in January, 1776, and Major General in May, 1777, Arnold resented the fact that some younger, less able men had been promoted ahead of him.

Arnold tells Andre to hide West Point plans in his boots.

Andre is captured.

Andre on his way to the gallows.

Carl Van Doren has described Arnold's "military persona" as follows:

"As a soldier he was original and audacious, quick in forming plans, quick in putting them into vigorous execution. He led his soldiers, not drove them, and won and held the devotion of the rank and file. He had a gift for command when the objective was clear and his imperious will could be fully bent upon it...But in the conflict of instructions and of other officers of rank equal or nearly equal to his, Arnold was restive and arrogant. He could not turn philosopher and patiently endure small irritations day by day. "

"He was passionate and personal in almost all his judgments...At the same time, Arnold was a whirlwind hero who could not be bothered with keeping track of small expenses. Spend what had to be spent, and figure the amount up later." (It was these attitudes that got him into trouble with the Continental Congress.)

3). It is also important to remember the historical context within which Arnold acted. After four years of inconclusive combat operations, in the Spring of 1779 the final outcome of the "American War of Independence" remained uncertain. In purely military terms, the war had evolved into a stand-off, with the British unable to trap and destroy the Colonial armed forces, and the Continental Army incapable of driving the British from major ports and garrison cities. In addition, the Treaty of Alliance signed with France the previous year had yet to produce any successful joint military French-American operations (Admiral d'Estaing's fleet operations had failed repeatedly, and General Rochambeau's expeditionary force would not arrive until July, 1780).

Politically, things did not look much better. The British Government was still hanging tough on suppression of the colonial "rebellion," and hundreds of thousands of pro-British "Tories" or "loyalists" remained active in North America. Less than a third of the population of the thirteen colonies had actively supported the American revolutionary cause in the first place, and this base of support had eroded as the war progressed. By 1779, quite a few "Patriots of 1776" had begun to consider changing sides. Arnold was not alone in his growing cynicism and pessimism.

The "Precipitating" Causes
Seriously wounded in the same leg for a second time at the Battle of Saratoga, the partially disabled Arnold was placed in command of the Colonial forces in Philadelphia following the British evacuation of that city in June, 1778. Meanwhile, Congress had approved an adjustment in his date of rank, so that he now technically outranked his younger competitors. So, what was Arnold's motivation for committing treason a year later? What factors made it certain that he would finally choose to betray his country's cause? The following reasons come to mind:

1). He still nursed a long series of accumulated grievances against the Continental Congress, which he believed to be hopelessly incompetent and corrupt.

2). Arnold was a restless man of action—"driven and tremendously energetic," according to one biographer. Now less mobile because of a shortened leg, he saw his chances for a future field command slowly slipping away, and life as a garrison commander did not agree with him.

3). At the age of 38, the rough-cut war hero had just married beautiful and sophisticated 19-year-old Peggy Shippen (his first wife had died in 1775) , the daughter of an old and wealthy Philadelphia family. Pro-British and socially ambitious, Peggy was a willing coconspirator in Arnold's espionage activities. He desperately wanted to live up to her expectations.

4). Arnold was essentially an arrogant, narcissistic opportunist who felt that his contributions to the Revolutionary cause had not been fully appreciated. His duty assignment in Philadelphia had given him a year to reflect upon his future prospects. By coincidence, in May, 1779 he found himself faced with an opportunity which was simply too good to pass up—the chance to make a fortune and (perhaps) end up on the winning side of what increasingly appeared to be a "war of attrition."

The "fortune" Arnold stood to make was not inconsequential. He first demanded 10,000 pounds for his services, but General Clinton demurred. The British became more cooperative after Arnold was put in charge of West Point, however, offering to pay 20,000 pounds, nearly $750,000 in today's money—if Arnold delivered West Point to them with its garrison and artillery intact. 20,000 pounds was a huge sum in the late 18th century, clearly sufficient to maintain Arnold and his family at a high standard of living anywhere in the world.

Implications for US Counterintelligence Today
What "CI indicators" or changes in Arnold's personality or behavior should his colleagues have noticed? Did any "CI anomalies" occur which should have been noted during the time that Arnold worked for the British? What steps could have been taken to anticipate, pre-empt, or prevent Arnold's treason?

Arnold's defection came as a complete surprise, both to his subordinates and George Washington's intelligence staff. This is remarkable, considering that Arnold remained "an agent in place" for sixteen months (from May, 1779 to September, 1780) after offering his services to the British. Under such circumstances, effective CI awareness and countermeasures should have detected Arnold's protracted negotiations and data sharing with the British Commander-in-Chief, General Henry Clinton. These exchanges made use of both verbal and written messages (some of which were in code). The communications were transmitted via loyalist intermediaries, Peggy Arnold, and Major John Andre, Clinton's aide-de-camp and intelligence coordinator. Much of this correspondence involved protracted bargaining over the terms of his "espionage contract"—a process which revealed Arnold's haggling skills and exaggerated self-esteem.

Arnold also was a valuable "reporting asset" during this period, warning Clinton of the impending arrival of French troops under Rochambeau and passing vital update information about the defenses of West Point and other Colonial strong points along the Hudson River. In addition, Arnold transmitted "bits and pieces of information" (via letters to Peggy Arnold which she passed to Andre) concerning the planning of what was to become the May-October, 1781 Yorktown campaign. Arnold had been asked to command part of the allied forces being prepared for that operation, and he remained "in the loop" until September, 1780—just eight months before US and French forces moved on Yorktown.

Most of the personal characteristics which made Arnold a dangerous spy also made him an effective military leader and a credible "Patriot." Arnold was certainly not the only arrogant and cantankerous field commander in the Continental Army, and probably no one but his new wife knew exactly what was going on in his mind when he decided to turn his coat. However, the fact that he had been embroiled in such a long series of courts-martial and Congressional investigations, should have raised some official eyebrows when Arnold began to lobby aggressively for command of the strategic Colonial garrison at West Point in May, 1780. Another "ignored" CI indicator was the fact that he also refused the offer of an attractive field command (the ring wing of Washington's army), claiming that he was disabled.

Arnold was an extremely resourceful and clever spy. After taking command of West Point, he used "profiteering" as a cover for his expanding contacts with local Tories whose homes provided opportunities for meetings with Major Andre. Even Arnold's closest aides—probably influenced by the General's past reputation as a smuggler— were taken in by this ploy. Arnold and the British used classic espionage tradecraft to cloak their conspiracy. These measures included the use of coded communications, clandestine signals, passwords, pseudonyms, safehouses, clandestine meetings, intermediaries, and—in an effort to distract Arnold's pursuers immediately following his defection—a diversion (a feigned "nervous breakdown") staged by his wife.

Arnold's activities apparently produced no "CI anomalies" that suggested the existence of a spy in the highest ranks of the Continental Army. This fact may be partly explained by the slow pace of communications in the late 1700's , as well as Clinton's understandable reluctance to jeopardize the security of his best-placed agent by acting precipitously on information that could only have been provided by someone at Arnold's level. In addition, the British military intelligence apparatus in North America was aggressive and resourceful, and was known to have intercepted and copied sensitive Continental Army documents in the past. For this reason, the British probably felt they did not have to mount a CI deception operation to "screen" Arnold's activities.

Epilogue for a Spy
Although he had failed to fulfill his "contract" by delivering the plans of West Point's defenses (these were captured with Major Andre), Arnold was awarded 6,315 pounds in compensation for his lost property. He and his entire family were granted pensions by the British Government. Arnold was made a Brigadier General in the British Army and given command of a "Tory legion" which he had offered to help raise. In January, 1781 he led a 1600-man force in a raid against Hampton Roads, Virginia. Continuing up the James River, Arnold's troops attacked Rebel artillery positions near Jamestown and briefly looted and occupied Richmond.

Despised and ultimately rejected by the British, in the long run Arnold paid a heavy price for his ill-gotten "fortune." Ever optimistic and entrepreneurial, for a decade (1782 to 1792) he moved his second family back and forth between Canada and England, seeking social acceptance and commercial opportunities. Arnold's many post-war business ventures achieved limited success, however, and when he died in 1801 he was deeply in debt. Both Arnold and his wife were permanently estranged from their relatives in the newly-independent United States. The three sons from Arnold's first marriage remained in America. Four of his sons by Peggy Shippen (she died in 1804) served in the British Army, one of them becoming a Lieutenant General.


14. Col. Jacobus Swartwout (d. 1826), commander of the 2d Dutchess County Regiment of Minute Men.

15. Johnathan Fowler.

16. James Kip.

17. This article was written by Dan Lovelace, National Counterintelligence Center.

18. Carl Van Doren's description of Benedict Arnold in his Secret History of the American Revolution.


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