THE CAST:Captain Benedict Arnold and Lieutenant Leavenworth, represented by the Major Commandant of the Second Company and his Adjutant; Colonel Wooster, represented by a member of one of New Haven's patriotic societies; and Selectmen, represented by the Mayor of New Haven and other city officials.
THE SCENE: City Hall Steps.
CAPTAIN ARNOLD: Lieutenant Leavenworth, you will go to the room where the Selectmen are sitting and request them to furnish a supply of powder and ball and flint from the Town Powder House for our Company.
LIEUTENANT LEAVENWORTH: (salutes and enters City Hall; comes out and reports as follows):
Captain Arnold, I report that the Selectmen refuse to give us any powder. They say that the Colony has not enough for its own protection, and they further ask: "Why this great haste? Would it not be better to wait for further reports from our sister Colony before proceeding?"
CAPTAIN ARNOLD: Lieutenant Leavenworth, you will say to the Selectmen that I have received their message that they will not give us any powder. You will say to them that my Company is lined up in front, ready to march to the assistance of our sister Colony, and unless they deliver to me the keys of the Powder House in five minutes, I will order my men to break it open and supply ourselves.
(Lieutenant Leavenworth again goes into City Hall to deliver the message and remains. Colonel Wooster comes out and stands on City Hall steps, and salutes Captain Arnold.)
COLONEL WOOSTER: Colonel Arnold, we admire your spirit, and the spirit of the men who are gathered out in front. It is an exhibition of patriotism that will be long remembered in our Colony. We believe that the same spirit exists in all our Colonies and that this spirit will carry our cause to ultimate victory. Would it not, however, be better to wait for a few days, until our General Court, now in session, can appoint the proper officers and see that the regiments already authorized are properly assembled, equipped, and ready to defend our Colony, or march to the defense of our sister Colony, which is now being attacked?
(Selectmen comes out with Lieutenant Leavenworth)
CAPTAIN ARNOLD: Colonel Wooster, you know that in this case haste is imperative. Massachusetts has sent for our assistance. Let the other troops follow on as soon as possible, but none but God Almighty shall stop me from going today. (Turning to Selectmen) Once more I demand the keys.
FIRST SELECTMAN: But this powder is not ours. It belongs to the Colony and we cannot give it up without a regular order.
CAPTAIN ARNOLD: Regular orders be damned. Give me the powder or I'll take it.
FIRST SELECTMAN: Captain Arnold, we believe you are acting hastily, but as you are determined to go, rather than have any further unseemly proceedings at this time where all men should stand together, we give you the keys. (Gives keys to Captain Arnold.)
CAPTAIN ARNOLD: (Gives keys to Lt. Leavenworth) Lieutenant, you will take charge of the keys until further orders. Take your post, Sir.
(Command stands at present arms while 5 guns are fired from upper Green.)
*NOTE* The original keys of the Powder House are mounted on a plaque and kept in the Guard's Headquarters, Goffe Street Armory.