Henry Arnold’s Short Stay

Henry and Hannah Arnold lived in Skaneateles for just a few years, coming here from Canada in the early 1800s, most probably to be close to Hannah’s sister, Jacintha, wife of John Ten Eyck, our postmaster from 1813-1817. The Arnolds lived in a small frame house that Hannah bought from John Legg, just across the street from the Ten Eyck house (which was on the site of today’s St. James’ Episcopal Church).

Henry Arnold was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1772. His mother died when he was a young boy, and his step-mother felt that he and his two brothers were annoying, so the boys were raised by a maiden aunt, their father’s sister. Henry, who went by “Harry” in the family circle, married Hannah Ten Eyck of New York City in 1796. He made his way as a merchant, and also saw to land holdings in Canada, granted to his family by the British government.

Some attribute the Arnolds’ short stay in Skaneateles to the fact that Henry’s father was General Benedict Arnold, who fell out with the Second Continental Congress and attempted to deliver West Point into British hands in 1780, during the American Revolution. Henry was seven years old at the time, and could hardly have been in on the plot, but it has been hinted that the people of Skaneateles treated him as a co-conspirator.

A lake view not being sufficient for happiness, Henry and Hannah Arnold removed themselves first to Canada and then to New York City, where Henry died in 1826. Hannah died two years later. The Arnolds left one daughter, Sophia, the only survivor of their eleven children.

* * *

“Kin of Traitor Once Lived Here” Skaneateles Press, October 24, 1939; “Not Benedict Arnold’s Brother, but His Son Who Lived Here” Skaneateles Press, November 8, 1957; Wikipedia

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