Hear about W. Hodding Carter’s retracing of Benedict Arnold’s 1775 expedition to Quebec

Posted:  Thursday, September 6, 2018 - 8:00am

On Monday, Sept.17 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Porter Room at the Skidompha Library, Coastal Senior College invites you to be entertained by W. Hodding Carter as he retells the story of his attempt to retrace Benedict Arnold’s 1775 military expedition to Quebec in a talk entitled “Finding Benedict Arnold: the hard way.”

In the fall of 1775, Col. Benedict Arnold led one of the greatest military expeditions of all time when he attempted to take 1,100 soldiers up the Kennebec River, across the Height of Land, and down the Chaudiere River to attack the British in Quebec. In the fall of 2017, Maine writer and adventurer, W. Hodding Carter, attempted to retrace Arnold's route with a band of equally misguided enthusiasts in a replica bateau (the same style craft used by the Arnold campaign). It weighed 420 pounds and they suffered greatly since most of the route was either upstream or uphill. It was both an uproarious and harrowing journey that helps shine a light on this major historical achievement by America's most notorious traitor.

This was not the first time Carter attempted to retrace the steps of an extraordinary earlier exploration. In 1992, he retraced the Lewis and Clark expedition by foot, horse, and boat and wrote his first book, “Westward Whoa.” Deciding he was an adventurer, Carter soon after set out to retrace Leif Ericsson's voyage to the New World. His account of the many close calls with polar bears, icebergs and frostbite were published in 2000 in ”A Viking Voyage.”

A native of Greenville, Mississippi, W. Hodding Carter attended Kenyon College and spent two years in Kenya with the Peace Corps. He has written for several national magazines, including Esquire, Smithsonian, Newsweek, and Outside. He lives with his family in Rockport, Maine.

This is the first event in a series of events and courses that Coastal Senior College plans to offer as we approach the Maine Bicentennial in 2019. The first of two courses, “What’s That Monument in the Town Square? Maine’s Role in the Civil War” taught by Dick Mayer begins this fall. The second course will be offered in spring 2019. In the future CSC will announce upcoming events on the CSC website at coastalseniorcollege.org.

This event is free and open to the public.