Tag Archives: Battle of Saratoga

Black History Month at Saratoga Battlefield


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In February 2012, Saratoga National Historical Park, located between Rt. 4 and Rt. 32 just north of the Village of Stillwater, will offer a free, month-long highlight exhibit on Agrippa Hull, a black soldier who fought in the Battle of Saratoga. And from 1:30 to 3:30 PM on Sunday, February 12, 2012, the Park presents a special free program, “Men of African Descent at the Battle of Saratoga.”

This special exhibit focuses on the Agrippa Hull, a black soldier who fought in the Battle of Saratoga. Hull, who was a slave in early life, fought in the American Revolution and eventually became a very successful businessman. Historical documentation on his life and family gives us a unique look into an ordinary soldier and extraordinary man.

The program on Sunday the 19th unveils new information about free and enslaved black soldiers fighting in the Battle of Saratoga. Among the fascinating findings is the racial integration in the ranks of the Continental Army, a situation that did not happen again until the Korean War.

For more information about this or other events, please call the Visitor Center at 518-664-9821 or check the park website at www.nps.gov/sara.

Illustration: Agrippa Hull.

Richard Ketchum, 89, American Revolution Author


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Richard M. Ketchum, an author and editor who writings include Saratoga: Turning Point of America’s Revolutionary War and Divided Loyalties : How the American Revolution Came to New York, died on January 12 at a retirement home in Shelburne, Vermont. He was 89 and until four years ago had lived on his nearly 1,000-acre farm, Saddleback, in Dorset, VT.

Author David McCullough describes “like Shelby Foote unfolding the drama of the Civil War, Richard M. Ketchum writes of the Revolution as if he had been there . . . No novelist could create characters more memorable than the protagonists on both the American and British sides”

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Ketchum, ten years ago in Olympia Hall in Schuylerville. He volunteered to speak one night as one of the activities commemorating the 225th Anniversary of the Battles of Saratoga. He and his wife were very generous with their time. He mentioned that night that there were others in the room that knew more about the Battles. I remember thinking then that they may be knowledgeable, however there is not a better writer and storyteller of this history than Richard Ketchum. I know that my community and all those with an interest in the American Revolution will be forever grateful for the writing of Richard Ketchum.

To learn more about Richard Ketchum visit this The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer Transcript

A full obituary can be read in the New York Times.

Sean Kelleher is the Historian for the Town of Saratoga and Village of Victory in the Upper Hudson Valley. He has a particular interest in colonial history, being active as a reenactor for 34 years and has served as a Commissioner on the New York State French and Indian War 250th Anniversary Commemoration Commission.

Grant to Fund Saratoga Sword Surrender Sculpture


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The Friends of Saratoga Battlefield have been awarded a $38,000 grant from the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust for the design and fabrication of a classic brass or bronze bas relief sculpture replicating the famous painting by John Trumbull (1756–1843) celebrating the Revolutionary War victory at Saratoga. It is expected to be a major part of the cultural landscape development of the historic “Sword Surrender Site” on the west side of Route 4 just south of Schuylerville.

Friends’ President Tim Holmes said, “The Solomon Trust grant will jump-start the magnificent cultural landscape plan by Saratoga Associates for this key historic site recently purchased and protected by the Open Space Institute. With our many partners we will commence the first stages of development to include a memorial wall, interpretive kiosk and a sculptural bas-relief of John Trumbull’s iconic painting The Surrender of General Burgoyne which stands in the U.S. Capitol as one of four scenes depicting the birth of American independence.”

The historic 19-acre site is where British General John Burgoyne surrendered his sword to American General Horatio Gates in 1777, marking the “Turning Point of America’s Revolutionary War.” It will be a key feature for heritage tourism in the area, linking Saratoga Battlefield to sites in Schuylerville and Victory where the British retreated before their surrender. A broad alliance is raising awareness of the impact of the
Battles of Saratoga on the region. It is being advanced by the Historic Saratoga-Washington on the Hudson Partnership, an entity created through cooperative action in the State Senate and Assembly to support local efforts through a voluntary framework of public and private groups.

The scene of the surrender of the British General John Burgoyne at Saratoga on October 17, 1777, painted by Trumbull in 1822, shows American General Horatio Gates, who refused to take the sword offered by General Burgoyne, and, treating him as a gentleman, invited him into his tent. All of the figures in the scene are portraits of specific officers (from left to right, beginning with mounted officer):

American Captain Seymour of Connecticut (mounted)
American Colonel Scammel of New Hampshire (in blue)
British Major General William Phillips (British Army officer) (in red)
British Lieutenant General John Burgoyne (in red)
American Major General Horatio Gates (in blue)
Americal Colonel Daniel Morgan (in white)

A full key to those depicted in the painting is available here.

John Trumbull was born in Connecticut, the son of the governor. After graduating from Harvard University, he served in the Continental Army under General Washington. He studied painting with Benjamin West in London and focused on history painting.

To find out more about the grant or the Friends of Saratoga Battlefield, call Tim Holmes at 518.587.9499

Saratoga National Historical Park Photo Contest


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Saratoga National Historical Park is having a photo contest to select the photo to appear on its 2012 Annual Park Pass. From September 25 until November 4, 2011, visitors may submit up to 3 photos to be considered for next year’s Annual Pass. The winning photo will also be included in a special 2012 park calendar, and the photographer will receive a complimentary annual pass to the park.

Each photo submitted must be: taken within park boundaries, JPG format with minimum 300 DPI resolution, no larger than 3 MB file size, and between 4”x6” and 8”x10” in size. All submitted photos will become the property of Saratoga National Historical Park, though photographers will be credited if their photo(s) is used in future park publications.

A complete list of rules may be obtained by contacting Park Ranger Megan Stevens at 518-664-9821 ext. 219, or by e-mail at megan_stevens@nps.gov

Submitted photos may also be sent to that e-mail address.

Program to Explore Benedict Arnold Betrayal


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This Sunday, October 2, 2011, the Saratoga National Historical Park will offer a special theatrical performance called “Rendezvous with Treason: the Benedict Arnold Betrayal.” The free program will be held from 1:30 to 2:30 PM at the park, located between Rt. 4 and Rt. 32, just north of the Village of Stillwater, NY.

Benedict Arnold is perhaps one of the best-known names in early American history. A hero at the Battle of Saratoga, his later conspiracy with British Major John André to turn over defenses at West Point to the British forever branded his name with the word “traitor.”

This first-person theatrical performance, presented by educators and actors Sean Grady and Gary Petagine, will give audience members a unique view of Arnold and André and their attempt to bring down the cause of American Independence.

“Rendezvous with Treason” is sponsored by Friends of Saratoga Battlefield. For more information about this or other events, call the Visitor Center at 518-664-9821 ext. 224 or check the park website.

Illustration: a political cartoon, captioned “A Proper Family Re-Union” at the bottom. It depicts Satan welcoming Benedict Arnold and Jefferson Davis to Hell. Published in 1865.

Saratoga NHP to Study Hudson Floodplain


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The National Park Service (NPS) is conducting a study of lands of the Saratoga National Historical Park that lie within the Hudson River’s 100-year floodplain in Stillwater.

The study is part of the NPS’s ongoing evaluation of the Park’s archeological resources under the National Historic Preservation Act and will further the NPS’s work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure that activities to clean up polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)
contamination in the Hudson River’s sediments and floodplain minimize potential harm to, or loss of, historic materials and the context in which they are found.

An archeology team will evaluate the presence and significance of any artifacts or features and report findings to the public by 2013. If objects of cultural significance are recovered that relate to the Battles of Saratoga or the area’s early settlement, the park will try to place them on public display.

Because the study area may be contaminated with PCBs, staff conducting the study will be outfitted in personal protective gear and the public will not be able to enter work areas for their safety. For more information about the study, contact Charles Sullivan, Environmental Protection Specialist, Saratoga National Historical Park at 664.9821 ext. 235 or by email at, Charles_Sullivan@nps.gov

Saratoga National Historical Park is one of 396 national parks in the United States. For further information about the park and programs, please call (518) 664-9821 ext. 224 or check their website.

Encampment For Battles of Saratoga Anniversary


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This Saturday and Sunday, September 17-18, Saratoga National Historical Park, located on Routes 32 and 4 in Stillwater, will present an 18th century living history encampment marking the 234th anniversary of the world’s “most important battle of the last 1,000 years.” Camps will be open Saturday from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and on Sunday from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

The 2-day encampment will surround visitors with the sights, smells, and sounds of military camp life from the American Revolution. Dozens of re-enactors portray American and British officers, soldiers, cavalry troops, and camp followers from the Battles of Saratoga. See cavalry charge, join in a court-martial and decide the soldier’s fate, take part in a musket drill, follow along with a scouting party, or listen to stories of the revolutionary war experience. Feel the thunderous roar of cannons, smell the acrid smoke of musket fire as well as the welcoming wisps of camp cooking fires.

On Saturday evening at 6:00pm, come to the American camp (tour road stop 2) to see British actor Howard Burnham give a hilarious and insightful portrayal of Marquis de Lafayette, a French nobleman who became an American army general in the Revolutionary War. An encore performance of his program will be given at the park Visitor Center at 1:30pm on Sunday.

The event is free, but the normal entrance fee to the park of $5 per car (good for one week entry) is charged. For more information about this or other events, please call the Visitor Center at 518-664-9821 or check the park website at www.nps.gov/sara.

Prescribed Fire Program at Saratoga Battlefield


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With favorable weather conditions in place, certified wildland firefighters at Saratoga National Historical Park in Stillwater in conjunction with DEC Forest Rangers, will undertake prescribed burning of approximately 46 acres in the center of the park, near Stop 4 in late August and early September. The park will remain open to visitors during this time.



For over twenty years, prescribed fires have been a valuable and safe tool in managing Saratoga Battlefield’s 3200 acres. Planned burns allow the park to maintain its historic 1777 landscape, reduce the spread of exotic plant species, encourage regeneration of natural grasses and eliminate the need for personnel to work on hazardous slopes with mechanical equipment. Additionally, hazard fuel reduction around developed areas provides for fire fighter safety and structure protection in the event of a natural wildfire.

An official Fire Management Plan is required before such a prescribed fire can occur. Saratoga National Historical Park’s Fire Management Plan was approved by regional NPS Fire Management Officers. Neighboring fire departments are informed of daily plans and prior to igniting a fire, and park staff runs down a go/no go checklist prior to any firing.

If you have any questions about prescribed fires at Saratoga National Historical Park or park events, please contact the park’s visitor center at (518) 664.9821 ext. 224.

New Facilities Manager For Saratoga National Park


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Superintendent Joe Finan has selected National Park Service civil engineer Jason Huart as the new Facilities Manager for Saratoga National Historical Park (the Battlefield). In his new position, Huart will manage the cultural landscape, historic structures and park facilities at the Battlefield, Schuyler House, Saratoga Monument and Victory Woods.

“John has extensive knowledge in asset management in the National Park Service,” Finan said in a prepared statement. “His background will enhance the parks ability to secure funds for stewardship of the parks varied cultural and natural resources. “



Huart comes to Saratoga NHP from the Alaska region of the National Park Service. There he served as a contracting officer representative for multi-million dollar construction projects and performed inspections. He oversaw the Asset Management Program which includes training staff in the use of multiple software systems and providing technical assistance to parks seeking internal grants through project management software systems. He also developed strategic maintenance and budget plans for the Alaska Region.

Huart has a Master’s of Science Degree from Michigan Technological University and a Bachelor’s in Engineering. Prior to his work with the National Park Service, Huart worked for the Peace Corps in Honduras as a water and sanitation engineer and worked in the construction field during college. He enjoys hunting, fishing, skiing, camping and loves being on the water.

Saratoga National Historical Park was established in 1938 to preserve the historic setting of the American victory and surrender of the British Army in 1777. The park includes thousands of acres of open space in four separate units along the Hudson River. Saratoga National Historical Park is one of 394 national parks in the United States.

Free August Music Series at Saratoga Battlefield


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The race track in Saratoga Springs may be quiet on Tuesdays, but Saratoga Battlefield will be alive with music. Friends of Saratoga Battlefield will sponsor four free lunchtime concerts at Saratoga National Historical Park’s visitor center located on Route 32 and 4 in Stillwater. Bring a lunch and listen to a different program each week: folk, classical and martial music.

August 2­ Rich Bala – Find out how waterways and canals shaped New York’s history from colonial times to the end of the 19th century on a musical tour by acclaimed folk singer Rich Bala.

August 9­ Elizabeth Huntley – How much more elegant can things get? Sublime music of the 18th century performed on the harp, sublime views of the Saratoga Battlefield from the Visitor Center lawn. Enjoy classical pieces played upon the Queen of Instruments performed by harpist Elizabeth Huntley.

August 16­ Dave Ruch – Dave Ruch presents Traditional and Historical Songs of New York. Lively presentations of songs and ditties from all corners of the Empire State. These are the songs of real-life “Yorkers” from the past – farmers, lumbermen, immigrants, children,Native Americans, canallers, lake sailors and more – collected through considerable research, and interpreted for all to enjoy with banjo, guitar, mandolin, bones, spoons and more. (This Speakers in the Humanities event is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the New York State Legislature.)

August 23­ Fort Ticonderoga Fife and Drum Corps – Martial music at its best. The Fort Ticonderoga Fife and Drum Corps performs tunes that may have wafted over the landscape mingled with the gun smoke during the Battles of Saratoga.

Saratoga National Historical Park offers a variety of programs. For additional information call (518) 664-9821 ext. 224 or visit www.nps.gov/sara

Photo: Fort Ticonderoga Fife & Drum Corps (Provided).

Guided Hikes. Bike Rides at Saratoga Battlefield


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Visitors to the Saratoga Battlefield can join one, or all of a series of free guided walks or bike tours this summer. The bike rides will typically cover approximately 5 miles on each of four Wednesday evenings during the summer – July 6 and 20,and August 3 and 17, from 6 PM to 8 PM. Hike participants should be able to walk at least two miles over uneven ground; hikers should meet at the Visitor Center at 9 am, and bring insect repellent and drinking water.

The hikes are free, but entrance to the Battlefield is $5 per car, or a one-year pass is available for $10. The bicycle tours are free, and take place in the evenings, so no entrance fees are involved.

Hike Tour Dates

Wednesday, July 6th, 9:00 AM: “Why Saratoga?”
Why did the American forces choose to stand and fight here?

Wednesday, July 13th, 9:00 AM: “The First Battle”
The Battle of Freeman’s Farm, September 19, 1777

Wednesday, July 20th, 9:00 AM: “The Second Battle”
The Battle of Bemis Heights, October 7, 1777

Friday, August 5th, 9:00 AM: “Why Saratoga?”
Why did the American forces choose to stand and fight here?

Friday, August 12th, 9:00 AM: “The First Battle”
The Battle of Freeman’s Farm, September 19, 1777

Friday, August 26th, 9:00 AM: “The Second Battle”
The Battle of Bemis Heights, October 7, 1777

For more information about these or other events, please call the Visitor Center at 518-664-9821 ext. 225 or check the park’s website.

Photo: Guided Bicycle Tour at Saratoga National Historical Park (Photo: Saratoga National Historical Park)

July 4th at Saratoga National Historical Park


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Independence Day on Monday, July 4 will be celebrated at Saratoga National Historical Park on Routes 4 and 32 in Stillwater, with a 10:00am Citizenship Ceremony and traditional readings of the Declaration of Independence with free lemonade toasts at 1 and 3pm.

At 10:00 am, on the anniversary of our nation and upon the grounds where independence was won, 20 immigrants from countries all over the world will become new citizens of the United States of America. Fife and drums, color guard, musket and cannon firings frame this special event organized by Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution, Friends of Saratoga Battlefield and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

At 1 and 3 pm, as a messenger from 1776, park ranger Joe Craig reads from the Declaration of Independence with authentic 18th century toasts reflecting the insightful wit of the document signers. Enjoy free lemonade to share in the toasts, followed by celebratory musket and cannon firings.

Saratoga Monument in Victory and the General Philip Schuyler House in Schuylerville, both located 8 miles north of Saratoga Battlefield, will also be open from 9:00am to 4:45pm. The Battlefield is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.

Saratoga National Historical Park, located on Routes 4 and 32 in Stillwater, offers a variety of special events throughout the season. For further information, please call (518) 664-9821 ext. 224, or visit www.nps.gov/sara.

Photo: John Neilson Farmhouse — mid-level headquarters for the American Army at the Battle of Saratoga (Photo: Saratoga National Historical Park)

Saratoga Battlefield New Exhibits, Audio Tour


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Saratoga National Historical Park, located on Route 32 and 4 in Stillwater, has opened a new exhibit called “They Had No Choice: Animals Exploited and Appreciated in the Revolutionary War” plus is also offering a free, downloadable iPod/MP3 narrated tour program of the “Wilkinson Trail” which is available on the park’s website.

The Animal in War exhibit, to be displayed for one year, features historical images, artifacts, contemporary artwork and original accounts depicting the multi-faceted roles played by horses, oxen, cattle, dogs and many other animals during the Battles of Saratoga and the Revolutionary War. It also reminds us that animals still play a vital role in modern conflicts as well. Park Ranger Joe Craig notes, “No army of the time could have functioned without using many different animals for transportation,
food and clothing. It wasn’t their conflict – but it became their fate.”

The new Wilkinson Trail iPod / MP3 narrated tour program features male and female actor’s voices describing personal experiences during the Battles of Saratoga. Visitors can listen to the program (on their own device) as they walk the scenic 4.2 mile trail. The free, downloadable file is available online.

For more information about these new offerings or other programs at Saratoga National Historical Park, please call the visitor center at 518-664-9821 ext. 224 or check their website.

Illustration: “Colonel Knox Bringing the Cannons from Fort Ticonderoga to the Siege of Boston” by John Ward Dunsmore. Courtesy Fraunces Tavern Museum.

Upcoming History Events in Old Saratoga


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These events and items of interest are scheduled for the public in the Old Saratoga region (Schuylerville, Saratoga, Victory and nearby) for the month of May. All events are open to the public and wheelchair accessible. For more information contact oldsaratogahappenings@gmail.com, follow them on twitter @OldSaraHappenin, on facebook Old Saratoga Happenings or on the web.

Old Saratoga Happenings is a collation to promote cultural and heritage programs in the Old Saratoga region. The collation includes Hudson Crossing Park, Old Saratoga Historical Association, Saratoga National Historical Park, Schuylerville Area Chamber of Commerce, Schuylerville Public Library and the Town of Saratoga and Village of Victory Historian’s Office.

A Gardener’s Weekend with Lilacs and Grasses on Saturday, May 7 from 9:00 am to 3 pm at the Fort Hardy Park in Schuylerville. Schuylerville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Gardener’s Weekend has become a Mother’s Day tradition with Jeff Young, “Vermont’s Mr. Lilac” and ornamental grasses expert Cathy Rogers for discussion and hands-on workshop. Area garden shops will be open all weekend, giving discounts and demonstrations. A full, fun weekend for all ages. Details are at www.schuylervillechamber.org or call 518 695-6923

Plein Aire at Saratoga Battlefield, British Encampment – “Spring Training”, and Guided Natural History Walk are all planned for Saturday, May 7 at Saratoga NHP Battlefield in Stillwater. The battlefield has a day of painting, photography, British soldiers
drilling, a court martial, and a leisurely nature walk planned. Details at For more information call 518-664-9821 ext. 224 or www.nps.gov/sara

NYS Heritage Weekend Guided Natural History Walk on Saturday, May 14 starting at 10 am at Saratoga NHP Battlefield in Stillwater. Discover an amazing array of beautiful flowers and trees in lesser-known areas of the park during this leisurely nature walk with staff and volunteer guides. This walk will include special stories of the Battlefield’s heritage.

The Genealogy Group meets on Tuesday, May 17 at 10 am in the Schuylerville Public Library

Research at Saratoga National Historical Park on Thursday, May 19 at 7:30 pm at Saratoga NHP Battlefield in Stillwater. Join the Old Saratoga Historical Association and the Stillwater Historical Society to learn about ongoing research at Saratoga National Historical Park.

The Heritage Hunters of Saratoga County has their meeting on Saratoga County Genealogy: Black Sheep in the Family Barnyard on Saturday, May 21 starts at 1 pm. at the Saratoga Town Hall. The meeting features Stephan Clarke on what to do with the family members who are socially challenged and may be something of an embarrassment.

Photo Scanning Session is planned for Tuesday, May 24 at 9:30 pm at Saratoga Town Hall. Saratoga Historian will scan photos of Saratoga, Schuylerville, or Victory and save them to CD for you and keep a digital image for the Town’s archives.

Guided Natural History Walk on Saturday, May 28 starting at 10 am at Saratoga NHP Battlefield in Stillwater.

CANCELLED: Burgoyne’s Gold, A Murder Mystery Event


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On Saturday, April 9 from 7pm to 9pm in Saratoga Town Hall on Spring Street (Rte 29) in Schuylerville, “Burgoyne’s Gold – A Murder Mystery” set in an 18th-century candle-lit “tavern,” with light refreshments, merriment, mystery, and murder. Tickets cost $17.77 with all proceeds benefiting the Friends of Saratoga Battlefield.

Shortly after the American victory in the Battles of Saratoga people are searching for the rumored fortune in gold that British General John Burgoyne buried before his surrender in 1777. Participants will be asked to put on their detective caps for an evening of unique entertainment by blending the lore of British General John Burgoyne’s hidden gold with portrayals of local historical figures, stirring in fictional characters and adding a dash of “homicide.”

Written by O’Connor’s Murder by Design, Diane and Steven O’Connor have produced interactive murder mystery fundraisers since 1989, raising over $200,000 for local non-profits.

Light refreshments using 18th-century recipes include meat and vegetable pasties made by BOCES Culinary School and cookies made by Doris Olszewski, plus tea, coffee and apple cider. For more information about the event call 664.9821 ext. 227.

Reservations must be made in advance by emailing megan stevens@nps.gov or calling 518.664.9821 ext 219. Sorry, no walk-ins allowed.

Saratoga National Historical Park and the Friends of Saratoga Battlefield work together to foster awareness, enjoyment and preservation of Saratoga Battlefield.

Saratoga National Historical Park Seeks Volunteers


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Saratoga National Historical Park is preparing for the 2011 season and is looking for enthusiastic and dedicated individuals to assist as Volunteers in Parks (VIPs) in several areas. As a volunteer at Saratoga Battlefield you will receive training and a uniform, plus you’ll get to work in a beautiful environment with knowledgeable and friendly rangers.

Time requirements vary by position (they are listed below) and are arranged to work with the volunteer’s schedule. For more information, please call the Saratoga National Historical Park volunteer coordinator at 518-664-9821 ext. 225.

Schuyler House Guides – provide 35-minute guided tours of historic Philip Schuyler House in Schuylerville, NY. Six positions available.

Visitor Information Specialists – greet visitors and provide basic site orientation to the battlefield. Three positions available.

Battlefield Interpreters – stationed at Neilson House to provide historical information to visitors touring the battlefield. Six to eight positions available.

Bookstore Sales Associate – assisting visitors with suggestions for book or gift purchases, operating computer-based sales system. Three positions available.

Musket Corps – participate in living history programs through demonstrations of 18th century soldiers’ musket drilling, firing, marching and maneuvering. Eight positions available.

Special Event Volunteers – help during large events with needs such as parking, greeting and orienting visitors, handing out information and crowd control. Six to eight positions available.

Exhibit: Black Patriots at the Battles of Saratoga


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In recognition of Black History Month, Saratoga National Historical Park will offer a temporary exhibit from February 1 through February 28 called “Agrippa Hull – Ordinary Soldier, Extraordinary Man” and on Sunday, February 13 at 1:30pm in the visitor center, Ranger Eric Schnitzer will present a special program about black soldiers at Saratoga.

In the American Revolution, about 5 percent of the Continental Soldiers were of African descent. They fought shoulder to shoulder with white soldiers—but an integrated army would not occur again until the Korean War. That’s just scratching the surface of the information to be presented by Park Ranger Eric Schnitzer as he discusses evidence from memoirs, journals, muster rolls, and pay lists that documents
the roles of free and enslaved African Americans who fought in “the most important battle of the last 1000 years.”

Agrippa Hull, a black Revolutionary War soldier who served in the 1777 Battles of Saratoga, is the focus of a special exhibit titled “Agrippa Hull: ordinary soldier, extraordinary man.” Copies of Hull’s 1777 company muster roll, pension claims, portrait, and photographs of him and his wife Peggy will be on display in the visitor center in February.

Saratoga National Historical Park is located between Rt. 4 and Rt. 32 in the Town of Stillwater, NY. For more information, please contact the visitor center by calling 518-664-9821 ext. 224 or check their website.

Illustration: Portrait of Agrippa Hull, a freeborn black man and Revolutionary War veteran who lived in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The portrait hangs in the historical room of the town library. Hull was 85 years old when his image was captured. Painted in oil in 1848 by an unknown artist, the portrait is a copy of a daguerreotype done by Anson Clark in 1844. Image courtesy Stockbridge Library Association Historical Collection.

Junior Ranger Day at Saratoga Battlefield


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Saratoga National Historical Park, located on Routes 32 and 4 in Stillwater, invites kids between 5 and 12 years old to a special Junior Ranger Day on Sunday, February 20 from 1pm to 4pm. Kids get to enjoy fun indoor activities, earn a badge and win a gift! The program is free, but reservations are required by calling Ranger Megan Stevens at (518) 664-9821 ext. 219 or emailing her at megan_stevens@nps.gov by February 12.

1:00pm “Now and Then” for ages 5 through 8
You get to carry a book bag for your schoolwork… and a soldier needed a haversack to carry things to stay alive! See what different things a soldier would need and then watch, “The Hessians are Coming” – an episode from the award winning PBS series “Liberty’s Kids” to find out about Saratoga’s key role in winning American independence.

2:00pm “A Soldiers Life” for ages 8 through 12
You can tell a lot from a uniform! Why wear bright red? Would you want to wear a hat that makes you look 7 feet tall? Try one on, then watch, “Benedict Arnold” – an episode of the PBS series “Liberty’s Kids” that explores the life of Benedict Arnold, a hero at Saratoga who turned into one of the world’s most notorious traitors.

3:00pm “Who’s Protecting Our Parks?” for ages 5 and up
Kids will have the opportunity to volunteer to dress up and pose for pictures as they learn about the roles individuals have in protecting America’s National Parks. Then see “The Hessians are Coming” an episode from the PBS Series “Liberty’s Kids” that tells how important the battles of Saratoga were to our country’s founding.

Saratoga National Historical Park offers programs about our shared cultural and natural heritage. For further information, please visit our web site at www.nps.gov/sara or call (518) 664-9821 ext.
224.

Old Saratoga: Black History Month, Genealogy, More


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A number of interesting events are planned for the Old Saratoga region (Schuylerville, Saratoga, Victory and nearby) for the month of February.

Events kick off with a photo Scanning Session on Tuesday, February 8 starting at 9:30 am in the Saratoga Town Hall in Schuylerville. Get your old photos of the Schuylerville area scanned, archived with the town, and receive a photo CD.

Black History Month will be celebrated on Sunday, February 13 at 1:30 in the Saratoga National Historic Park Battlefield Visitors Center in Stillwater. Did you know that between 400 and 500 black soldiers fought at the Battles of Saratoga? Park Ranger Eric Schnitzer unveils new information about these freed and enslaved soldiers, while dispelling common myths about their service.

The local genealogy group meets on Tuesday, February 15 at 10 am in the Schuylerville Public Library.

The Heritage Hunters of Saratoga County has their meeting on Saratoga County Genealogy: Adventures in Serendipity Genealogy on Saturday, February 19 starts at 1 pm. at the Saratoga Town Hall. The program features Al Clarke explaining how his research in the Doc Lincoln House in Wilton lead to authoring two books and travels to Hawaii.

It is Junior Ranger Day on Sunday, February 20 at 1pm , 2pm, and 3pm at the Saratoga NHP Battlefield. For kids age 5-12! Enjoy one, two, or all three Junior Ranger programs, get your free badge, talk with a National Park Ranger, and see episodes of Liberty’s Kids on the big screen! Reservations required, either by e-mailing
megan_stevens@nps.gov or calling 518-664-9821 ext. 219.

Videotaping Your Reflections of Old Saratoga on Tuesday, February 2 at 9:30 am in the Victory Village Hall on Pine Street. The Village Historian will videotape your memories and stories of local people, places and events for posterity.

Archive Scanning Working Session is planned for Thursday, February 24 at 4:30 pm at Saratoga Town Hall. Volunteers are needed to help the Historian’s Office to continue scanning documents and photos in the historical archive.

Researching Old Saratoga is the topic of the Old Saratoga Historical Association meeting on Thursday, February 24 at 7:30 pm at the Saratoga Town Hall. Saratoga National Historical Park will share an on-going historical research on Old Saratoga.

For more information about these events contact oldsaratogahappenings@gmail.com or on the web.