The comfortable life of Israel Arnold in Warwick, R.I., was briefly disrupted by the War of 1812. Bitterly affected by the deprivations inflicted on Rhode Islanders by the British blockade, he and his family sided with the common New England opinion that the war was the unnecessary outgrowth of lunk-headed American diplomacy and a popular covetousness of Canada. Arnold's death in the spring of 1814, left his widow, daughters Sarah and Lydia, and four sons, including Israel, William, and George. The Arnolds appear to have been related by marriage to the illustrious Perry family.
The high points of the Arnold family papers are the civilian commentary provided on the War of 1812 and an excellent 77 page journal kept by William Arnold during his journey from Rhode Island to Niagara Falls and Ontario in 1825. Arnold's journal includes a list of places visited, mileage, and a manuscript map of the Finger Lakes region. Also of interest is a detailed description of the reinterment of Oliver Hazard Perry in 1826, seven years after his death in Venezuela. The funeral was followed by a lavish party.