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Benedict Arnold;s treasonous acts against America during the War of Independence should not be viewed any less harshly, but his second wife, Peggy, probably was not the innocent woman she claimed to be. Peggy Arnold may have been providing secrets to the British even before her husband decided to become a turncoat. Socialite Peggy Shippen was 18 and from a wealthy Philadelphia family when she married Benedict, a widower of 37. Marrying into the Shippen family gave Benedict Arnold the social status he seemed to so desperately need. Arnold also was continually in debt from living beyond his means. He and Peggy enjoyed the good life and spent more money than Arnold made. Arnolds motives were personal not political when he made the decision to work with the British. His greedy desire for more money and his wifes encouragement were behind a decision Arnold probably later regretted. His resentment with Congress, who slighted Arnold and promoted men of lesser rank, added to his discontentment. New evidence suggests that Peggy Arnold always hated the American cause and actively promoted her husbands plan to switch allegiance. The Arnolds went into exile in England, where they were generally scorned and unrewarded.

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