On Sunday August 12, enjoy a free 20-mile guided bicycle tour along the Champlain Canalway Trail between Hudson Crossing Park in Northumberland and Saratoga Battlefield in Stillwater.
This tour will take bikers past historic sites of interest related to the Revolutionary War and the Champlain Canal. Sites include Hudson Crossing Park, Champlain Canal Lock 5, the Schuyler House, the Champlain Canalway Towpath Trail and Saratoga National Historic Park. Continue reading
The National Park Service has announced the award of two American Battlefield Preservation Program grants totaling over $100,000 to Saratoga P.L.A.N. and National Heritage Trust, for projects in the Schuylerville area. Both organizations are members of the Hudson-Hoosick Partnership and will partner with Saratoga National Historical Park in these projects.
Saratoga PLAN was awarded $21,425 for planning and designing interpretive signs for the Fish Creek Trail, a one-mile trail along the south side of Fish Creek that is part of a six-mile historic loop linking Schuyler House with Victory Woods, the Saratoga Monument and the 71-mile Champlain Canalway Trail slated for completion in 2013.
“With the funds, we intend to hire an artist to help us tell the stories of Fish Creek,” said Maria Trabka, Executive Director of Saratoga P.L.A.N., a conservation organization serving Saratoga County. “The site has a long history for fishing, travel, hydropower, and as an American stronghold during the Revolutionary War, when the British were forced to surrender.”
Natural Heritage Trust
was awarded $80,000 for a study of two colonial era battlefields at Saratoga (present day Schuylerville). As European and Native nations vied for dominance in North America a series of wars were fought between Great Britain, France and their Native allies. During these wars in the 1690s and again in the 1740s a number of battles were fought at Saratoga. This research will shed new light on the significant formative history of Canada and America and the important role of the Schuyler family.
The grants are part of over $4 million that the Partnership has generated for communities along the Hudson River since 2006. The Partnership, founded by Senator Roy McDonald and Assemblyman Steve Englebright, is a legislatively designated public-benefit corporation whose mission is to preserve, enhance and develop the historic, agricultural, scenic, natural and recreational resources and the significant waterways within the Partnership region. The Partnership fosters collaborative projects with
non-profit and governmental entities emphasizing both agricultural and open space protection, economic and tourism development, and the protection and interpretation of the region’s natural and cultural heritage.
From 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturday and Sunday, July 14 – 15, 2012, learn “how it’s made” 18th century style at a special Artificers’ Weekend at Saratoga National Historical Park, located between Routes 4 and 32 in Stillwater, NY.
What’s an artificer? Eighteenth century artificers were professional tradesmen working with armies to provide or repair supplies needed by the troops. Blacksmiths made and repaired iron and steel implements. Tailors sewed uniforms for soldiers. Woodworkers built or fixed wooden items like boxes, benches, or tool handles. Tinsmiths made or fixed canteens, cups, bowls, or lanterns.
If you’d like to see how common items were manufactured in early America, well before the age of industrialization, this free weekend event is a perfect opportunity.
For more information about this or other events, call the Visitor Center at 518-664-9821 ext. 1777 or check our website at www.nps.gov/sara or our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/saratoganhp
Everyone has heard of the ongoing troubles in Greece and the Eurozone but nobody has realized the importance of Saratoga to understanding this crisis until now.
Let me explain. It seems that Greece lied in its application to join the Eurozone. Then as might be expected it failed to perform adequately and was only able to cover up its shortcomings as a third world country trying to pass as a first world country for so long. After the Greek elections when a new government took office, the truth was revealed and all hell broke loose. Continue reading
Douglas R. Cubbison is a military historian, who authored Burgoyne and the Saratoga Campaign: His Papers (2012, Arthur H. Clark Company), which presents the documents and letters of British General John Burgoyne.
In 1777, Burgoyne began an attempt to divide the rebellious United States in the American Revolutionary War by moving south from the British Canada to gain control of the Hudson River Valley, separating the New England states from those to the south.
After Burgoyne’s early capture of Fort Ticonderoga, his campaign had become bogged down in difficulties and ended with surrender on October 17 of his entire army after the Battles of Saratoga.
Saratoga National Historical Park has opened a new exhibit: Broken Trusts, the Chequered Career of Benedict Arnold. On display through April 2013, the exhibit examines the twists and turns of Arnold’s path from active supporter of American Independence to his betrayal of his country and comrades. “People are always puzzled as to why Benedict Arnold changed sides,” notes Park Ranger Joe Craig. “At Saratoga, Arnold’s heroism was stellar, yet later the pendulum swung the other direction and he betrayed his country. Some feel his earlier gallant service should be the main and only focus – our exhibit seeks to examine some of the enigmas and contradictions of this complex man.”
“A project like this requires a great deal of work by park staff, but could only have been made possible through partner groups” notes park Superintendent Joe Finan. “Funding was provided by Eastern National, our site’s bookstore and audio recordings about Arnold were made possible through our partnership with Siena College. Their Liberal Arts Department provided excellent voice talent and their radio station WVCR, provided high quality recording facilities.”
The exhibit will be on display 7 days a week from May 10 through April 2013. For more information on the exhibit or other Saratoga National Historical Park events, call the Visitor Center at 518-664-9821 ext. 1777 or check their website at www.nps.gov/sara
Illustration: General Benedict Arnold Wounded at the Battle of Saratoga, New York, c.1777.
Royalist Americans—commonly known to us as “Tories”—will take over the Breymann Redoubt on Saturday and Sunday, May 5th and 6th, each day from 10am to 4pm at Saratoga Battlefield, located on Route 32 and 4 in Stillwater.
Encamped on an original loyalist campsite from the 1777 Battles of Saratoga, men and women portraying Royalist American soldiers and followers will demonstrate some aspects of 18th-century military life including preparation of authentic military camp food, musket drills, and army clothing sewing demonstrations. They will also tell stories of the wartime sufferings of the Americans who chose to remain loyal to King George III during the Revolutionary War.
The event is free and open to the public, although an entrance fee to the auto tour road is charged. Passes are $5 per carload of people or $3 per adult to bike or hike. A one-year pass to the Battlefield costs $10. For more information on this and other events at Saratoga National Historical Park, the National Park, call the Visitor Center at 518-664-9821 ext. 1777, check the park website, or follow the park on Facebook.
Photo: Interpreters portray Loyalist militia at Fort Ticonderoga. Courtesy Fort Ticonderoga.
Bruce Dearstyne’s recent post, Historical Societies: Getting Past Hard Times, raises a number of disturbing issues. The story of the tribulations of the Saratoga County Historical Society is one of concern. The Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education (IHARE) has had several Teacherhostels / Historyhostels in Saratoga County mostly relating to the Battle of Saratoga and also in Waterford. Last summer as part of a Teaching American History grant, a group of teachers from Vermont stayed in Clifton Park while learning about the battle. I have had email exchanges with Brookside’s Executive Director Joy Houle about the possibility of having a Saratoga County History Conference there as was done in the Hudson Valley. Continue reading
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 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.