Benedict Arnold’s double-crossing and the circumstances behind it are the subject of A Rendezvous with Treason, a play performed on September 22, 2012 at Morristown National Historical Park (NHP), that drew 70 people to the park on a Sunday evening. Benedict Arnold is probably the most famous traitor in American history and over the years his name has become synonymous with treason. Despite this infamy, the motivation for his act of historic betrayal is less well known, let alone the fact that he had personal links to numerous National Park Service (NPS) sites. Bitter after others received credit for his role in the victories at Fort Stanwix and Saratoga, Arnold attempted to turn over West Point, a major Hudson River fortress, to the British. His treason was exposed before he succeeded. But Arnold was able to evade capture, joined the British forces where he was made a general in the Royal Army.
The past came to vivid life during "A Rendezvous With Treason"
“In Morristown, Arnold was court-martialed for his alleged corruption as military governor of Philadelphia, which further soured his perspective towards the cause of American independence. All of these events slowly but surely led Arnold towards his fall from grace,” Morristown NHP’s Chief of Interpretation Justin Monetti explained. Hosting this play is part of an expanded role for the dramatic arts at Morristown NHP. Built in the 1930’s, the stage was part of the original museum at the site but a 1970’s renovation significantly reduced the size of the theater. The newly restored auditorium has been returned to its previous design and is proving to be quite a hit. Some local businesses have even begun to capitalize on Morristown’s dramatic turn. “A local restaurant, George and Martha’s, offered a prix fixe pre-theater menu to go with the play, including a special drink named after Benedict Arnold. The town of Morristown truly embraces its historical significance. More and more, local businesses that recognize the importance of the park are helping us market our events,” Monetti said.