By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Schoolchildren routinely learn of Benedict Arnold’s treachery against the American Revolutionary cause, but there’s a huge Philadelphia connection to his tale, fleshed out in a new novel.
Author Allison Pataki, daughter of former New York State Governor George Pataki, says the first half of her debut novel, The Traitor’s Wife, is set in Philadelphia. The story revolves around Margaret (Peggy) Shippen, from a loyalist family.
“While the British were occupying Philadelphia, Peggy was courted by Major John Andre, this dashing British spy,” said Pataki. “When John Andre gets kicked out along with the rest of the British from Philadelphia, Peggy then begins this courtship with Benedict Arnold, the American general that comes in and within a month of their wedding Peggy and Benedict are plotting to change sides.”
When Major Andre was caught with the plans for capturing West Point, Arnold high-tailed it for British controlled New York City and Peggy threw a distracting hissyfit when George Washington showed up at their home for breakfast.