West Point is a small military reservation town in southern New York, on the Hudson River. It was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1802.

Today, it primarily consists of the United States Military Academy.

People Born in West Point

Gore Vidal

West Point in People's Lives

Gore Vidal: I was born here in 1925, in a cadet hospital for the United States Military Academy. My father was an aeronautics professor at the academy - the first that the academy had ever had, in fact. He was an aviator, a former Olympic athlete, and the founder of many aviation companies. My mother was a member of high society, and a former minor Broadway actress. I was born as Eugene Louis Vidal, named after my father. However, my father had actually forgotten that his own middle name was actually Luther, not Louis. I was close to my father, and often went flying with him, which I loved. I even embarked on a cross-country flight with him in 1928, when I was only three years old, making me the first child to fly cross-country. I moved to Washington D.C. around 1935, when I was about 10 years old, to attend school.

Peggy Shippen: I came here with my husband, Benedict Arnold, in March of 1779 for his job. The town was an important defense point for the Americans, due to its position on the Hudson River, but my husband was secretly working for the British now. During his time commanding here, he worked to gradually weaken the forces, to make it easier for the British to capture. Only a few months later, however, he was discovered, and word arrived that George Washington himself was coming to question him at our home. He kissed me goodbye and fled, leaving me. I quickly dressed and entertained Washington, pretending hysteria and shock at the news of my husband's treason. I was convincing, and Washington and his men left convinced that I had had nothing to do with the plot. After this, fearful of violence from enraged Americans, I traveled back to Philadelphia to stay with my family, in September of 1779.

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