Historian and legal scholar Brian Carso will present an illustrated lecture titled “The Damnation of his Fame: Benedict Arnold and the Meaning of Treason.” From the moment Arnold avoided capture by fleeing West Point, to the outbreak of the Civil War eighty years later, Americans condemned Arnold’s treachery in ways that revealed their own contemporary anxieties about loyalty and betrayal in the republic. This lecture explores how Arnold’s treason illustrated these abstract notions of political obligation as the young American nation defined itself.
About the speaker:
Brian Carso, J.D., Ph.D. is associate professor of history and government at Misericordia University, located in Dallas, Pennsylvania. He is the author of Whom Can We Trust Now?: The Meaning of Treason in the United States, from the Revolution through the Civil War. Specializing in the Revolution and the early years of the American republic, Dr. Carso has extensively researched the life and times of Benedict Arnold. His most recent book is a forthcoming novel that tells the story of Washington’s failed plot for spies in New York to abduct Arnold and return him to the Continental Army to be tried and hanged.
The event will be held at 6:00pm in Otis Library’s Community Room. Light refreshments will be served. This event is co-sponsored by the Otis Library.