Skip to main content

Arnold Family Papers

 Collection
Identifier: M069

Margaret (Peggy) Shippen Arnold (1760-1804) was the second wife of Benedict Arnold, with whom he had five children. Though her involvement in her husband's treason against the United States and association with the British is not clear, she did move the family with him to England and then to Canada and finally back to England where they lived in exile. Benedict Arnold died in 1801 and Margaret provided for her family, managing business affairs for her children and also his children from a previous marriage. The Arnold Family papers contain correspondence between members of the Benedict Arnold Family; receipts, legal papers, as well as correspondence relating to their business affairs and land ownership in Canada; also includes biographical notes and journal articles about Margaret Shippen Arnold; passport; samples of Benedict Arnold's hair.

Dates

  • 1781-1991
  • Majority of material found in 1798-1847

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials in English

Extent

2.5 Linear Feet (1 legal document box and 1 flat box (16x20.5x4))

Scope and Contents

The Arnold Family Papers contain letters between the Benedict Arnold family members from 1792-1841 and family documents from 1781-1847. The papers contain receipts, legal papers, as well as correspondence relating to their business affairs and land ownership in Canada; includes biographical notes and journal articles about Margaret Shippen Arnold; a passport; samples of Benedict Arnold's hair. Also includes a scrapbook with photographs.

Biographical / Historical

Margaret (Peggy) Shippen Arnold was born the youngest of three daughters to Judge Edward Shippen in 1760. She was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she met and married Benedict Arnold at the age of 18 in April 1779. Benedict Arnold was then 38 years old, a Colonel in the U.S. Army and widowed by his first wife, Margaret Mansfield Arnold, with whom he had three sons including Richard and Henry Arnold.

In May 1779 Benedict Arnold started negotiating with the British and committed treason against the United States. He was forced to escape in a ship, called the Vulture. The family moved to England, then to Canada and back to England where he and Peggy settled in exile with their five children: Edward Shippen Arnold (1780-1813), James Robertson Arnold (1781-1854), George Arnold (1878-1828) Sophia Matilda Arnold (1785-1828), and William Fitch Arnold (1798-1846).

When Benedict Arnold died in 1801 he left his family in debt, and Peggy took on the burden of the family finances and educating her children. She died in 1804.

Arrangement

The Arnold Family Papers is organized into four series.; 1. Correspondence.; 2. Documents.; 3. Biographical Materials.; 4. Scrapbook.;

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of S. M. Mullin, 1988.

Accruals

No further accruals are expected.

Related Materials

Research by Joyce D. Goodfriend, Professor, University of Denver History Department.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

Contact:
2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428