In 1738, a cooper named Benedict Arnold petitioned the Rhode Island General Assembly for a divorce from his wife Mary Ward Arnold. Benedict claimed that Mary had taken a lover and together they had attempted to murder him with poison.
How did this story of love, divorce, and attempted murder unfold? What does it reveal about the larger world of colonial America and the experiences of colonial American men and women?
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History Elaine Forman Crane, a Distinguished Professor of History at Fordham University, takes us through the Arnolds’ story with details from her book, The Poison Plot: A Tale of Adultery and Murder in Colonial Newport (Cornell University Press, 2018).
You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/225
Ben Franklin’s World is an award-winning podcast. It’s for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our world. Each episode features an interview with an historian who shares their unique insights into our early American past. It is a production of the Omohundro Institute.