Sharing the continent with the American goliath means that we receive much information from their perspective. I mean to say that when you have 300 million rich and powerful neighbours, you tend to take note, and one thing that I've noted is that Benedict Arnold was a traitor. Equating treachery with Benny Boy is as common up here as it is down there.
So, when I came to a chainsaw carving (background story a few posts down — this post would have been sequential if ... well ... it's a long story) of Mr Arnold in Saint John, I was somewhat taken aback by the title in the accompanying description: "Rebel and Loyalist." How's that? Shouldn't it read "Patriot Turned Traitor?" Well, it should if you are American but apparently not if you are British, or even Canadian I guess. From the British standpoint, he was a rebel who returned to the faith, so to speak.
According to the signage (and this information is all on the picture of the plaque below if you don't believe me and wish to embiggen in order to read the original), Benedict Arnold had won some major victories for the US army but married a British Loyalist when he was recuperating from battle wounds. Apparently, she influenced Arnold to engage in a wee bit o' espionage, which, as you might imagine, kind of led to him falling out of favour with the Yankee Doodle Dandies. Subsequently, I imagine he piqued their ire even more by leading British troops to victory against his former allies in several battles. Be that as it may, when the Brits lost the war he headed swiftly and forthwith to the safe shores of England.
The connection to our holidays is that from England the Loyal or Traitorous or both Mr Arnold ended up living in Saint John for six years beginning in 1783. He opened a store and traded with the West Indies and became a prominent if distrusted and envied citizen. Why he might be distrusted, I can't begin to think. He returned to England after his warehouse burned down.
So there's an interesting new point of view for me and some facts which I was entirely unaware of ... if you'll excuse the terminal preposition, which I am completely in favour ... of.