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American Revolution
Benedict Arnold



Benedict Arnold
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.61

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    demean, major-general, wrongdoing, mandatory, investigation, disgrace, prosperous, resign, legislature, complex, command, militia, refused, skirmish, outstanding, commission
     content words:    Benedict Arnold, Rhode Island, Lake George, New Haven, Margaret Mansfield, Fort Ticonderoga, Crown Point, New York, Ethan Allen, Green Mountain Boys


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Benedict Arnold
By Jane Runyon
  

1     Benedict Arnold was a very complex man. He was the fifth generation of his family to be born on American soil. His family had struggled for religious freedom in the colonies. They worked and prospered in Rhode Island. Yet, when you read stories about Arnold, he is not celebrated as an outstanding American.
 
2     Benedict Arnold began life in Connecticut in 1741. As a young man he was known for his physical strength and his very good looks. Unfortunately, he had the habit of reacting to some situations instead of thinking first. He had some very good qualities, but he also had some very bad characteristics. He ran away from home when he was only fifteen years old. He joined the army of Connecticut and started fighting the French at Albany and Lake George. He soon got tired of being ordered around by the officers and deserted. He decided home was better than the army.
 
3     He got a job in a drug store in Norwich. A few years later he moved to New Haven and started his own drug store. He was very successful in business and soon became one of the town's most prosperous citizens. In 1767, he married Margaret Mansfield. They had three sons. Margaret died just eight years after her marriage leaving her husband to raise their children.
 
4     When news of the battle of Lexington reached New Haven on April 20, Benedict Arnold called the men of his town together. He had become a captain in the governor's guards and was the leader of sixty men. Arnold wanted to lead his men immediately to Boston. The town leaders wanted to wait for formal orders before they did anything. When the leaders refused Arnold the ammunition he needed for his men, Arnold threatened to break into the magazine where the weapons and ammunition were kept. He quickly got his way.

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