Title: Benedict Arnold and Monson Hayt fonds. -- 1790. -- 3 cm of textual material
Biographical Sketch: Benedict Arnold was born on January 14, 1741 in Norwich, Connecticut. At the outset of the American Revolutionary War, Arnold joined the patriot side, and in 1775 was appointed by General George Washington to head the Quebec expedition which ultimately failed. He was later raised to the rank of brigadier general and major general, but eventually he fell out of favour with other high-ranking officers.
In 1778 he was recovering from his wounds and living in Philadelphia where he socialized with Loyalist supporters. In April of the following year, he married Margaret (Peggy) Shippen, a young Loyalist sympathizer. In May of 1779 Arnold informed the British of a planned American invasion of Canada. Considered a traitor by the patriots, he was also disliked and distrusted by Loyalists. When he escaped to Britain, he left his British contact, Major John Andre, to be hanged as a spy.
At the end of hostilities, Arnold lived briefly in Saint John, New Brunswick before sailing for England. During his stay in Saint John, Arnold established a trading partnership with his son Richard and Monson Hayt, a former loyalist officer and currently a justice of the peace for York county, in 1786. Using a ship constructed by Nehemiah Beckwith of Maugerville, the firm conducted a profitable trade with the West Indies. However, Arnold created an uproar within the small community of Saint John when his firm launched several suits against its debtors, and Arnold himself sued Edward Winslow in 1789. It was also around this time that Hayt and Arnold dissolved their partnership and became involved in a complicated series of legal actions. Hayt had borrowed varying amounts of money from Arnold and had given promissory notes for which he was unable to make payments. As a result, Arnold immediately sought recourse through the courts for his money. Arnold received a little over 2,500 pounds. However, the most significant of these legal actions was Hayt's charge that a fire which destroyed the firm's store on July 11, 1788 had been deliberately set by Arnold for the sake of insurance money. As a result, Arnold sued for slander and the case went to trial before judges Isaac Allan and Joshua Upham on September 7, 1791. The jury found Hayt guilty, awarding damages of only 20 shillings. Thus insulted, Arnold and his family soon afterwards returned to England. Benedict Arnold died in London on June 14, 1801.
"Arnold Benedict," Britannica Online.
Quigley, Louis. Benedict Arnold: the Canadian Connection. Riverview, N.B.: Queue Publishing, 2000. (Archives E 278 .A7 Q53 2000)
Scope and Content: This fonds includes legal documents relevant to the litigation process between Arnold and Hayt in 1790.
Arrangement is chronological.
Title: Title is based on name of creator.
Immediate Source of Acquisition: Documents donated to UNB Archives by Fraser Winslow, October 17th, 1950.
File 1: The Precipie for a Writ of Capias, May 8, 1790.
File 2: The Precipie for a Writ of Capias for Monson Hayt versus Benedict Arnold in trespass, May 8, 1790.
File 3: Declaration brought by Benedict Arnold against Monson Hayt on promissory notes amounting to upwards of 2000 pounds, June 22, 1790.
File 4: Another case brought by Benedict Arnold against Monson Hayt on the order of 15-2-7; signed by Ward Chipman. Affidavit for bail, July 6, 1790.
File 5: The Precipie for a Writ of Capias; signed by Ward Chipman. On the order of 15-2-7, July 6, 1790.
File 6: A Plea put in by Monson Hayt that he made the statements which began the slander case, July 17, 1790, New Brunswick Supreme Court.
File 7: The replication by General Arnold; signed by Ward Chipman, August 11, 1790.
File 8: The verdict given to Benedict Arnold of 20/- damages and 20/- costs, 1790.