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Item   Title MB Now at Next bid Bids New bid Max bid  
118   Benedict Arnold  $500 $1183 $1302 10 You must login to place a bid.

#118 - Benedict Arnold

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The Revolutionary turncoat imports rum in 1775 before converting his ship to a privateer

Revolutionary War–dated partly-printed DS, signed “Bend’t Arnold,” one page, 6.5 x 6.75, July 15, 1775. A bond for £68 toward the payment of duties on imported rum. In part: “I Benedict Arnold of New Haven…stand firmly bound, and obliged, unto the Treasurer…to…cause to be paid…the Duties…of Rum, imported in the Brigt Polly from Antigua into the said Colony of Connecticut.” Boldly signed at the conclusion by Arnold and countersigned by the ship’s captain, William Pluymert, as well as another witness. In very good condition, with separations to intersecting folds repaired with tape to reverse, and light scattered toning and soiling.

Born in Connecticut, Arnold was a merchant operating ships on the Atlantic Ocean when the war broke out in 1775, and this ship, the Brigantine Polly, was returning home from Antigua. Setting these activities aside, he soon distinguished himself as an officer in the Continental Army through acts of intelligence and bravery, including leading the capture of Fort Ticonderoga in May. Upon learning of his wife’s death on June 19, 1775, Arnold left Ticonderoga and returned home to settle his affairs, which included settling debts and financial obligations associated with his mercantile ventures. Finding himself and his family in great financial distress, Arnold began outfitting some of his ships, including the Polly, into privateers and actively sought to purchase shares in other privateering voyages. A fabulous early Revolutionary War document from its most notorious officer. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA.

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