English Short-Land Musket

#Onthisday is the first documented use of the term Brown Bess in North America. The American ‘Connecticut Courant’ newspaper issue of April 2, 1771, which was actually reprinted from British papers of earlier that year used the term for a British musket. This reported remarks made by Hannah Snell, famous for having successfully posed as a man and served as a soldier in the British army.
Snell said: ‘…but if you are afraid of the sea, take Brown Bess on your shoulders and march through Germany as I have done.
This is an imagine of a English Short-Land Musket from The History of Weapons of the American Revolution by George C. Neumann and drawings by George C. Woodbridge was published by Bonanza Books (NY) in 1976 which is part of the Historian’s Crawshaw Historical Book Collection.
The book explains:
English Short-Land Musket
Here is a Brown Bess typical of those issued to many British troops during the 1770s. There are two indications of this modified short-land pattern: the cock tang is now rectangular and enclosed on three sides by the top jaw… and the second rammer pipe is beginning to expand at its forward end…
From the pike to the pistol, the sword to the rifle, George C. Neumann traces the weapons of the Revolutionary War period. Drawing upon his own and numerous public and private collections, the author has assembled far and away the most complete gallery available of polearms, swords, firearms and military accessories. 1200 photographs and a bonus short 500-year evolutionary history of the world’s hand firearms. Neumann assembled what is known as The Neumann Collection of Revolutionary War militaria for Valley Forge NHP so that present and future generations of Americans can gain a better understanding of the lives of those soldiers who were encamped here. This is the largest publicly owned collection of Revolutionary War artifacts known in the world that was designed to create an accurate awareness of the American soldier’s pledge for freedom.
George C. Neumann, (29 March 1926 – 4 April 2014) was born in New Britain, Connecticut. He attended New Britain High School, Wesleyan University, Princeton University and Harvard Business School. On February 5, 1955, he married Diana L. (Martell) Neumann, and together they had two children: Douglas and Bruce. Neumann worked as a New York City based business executive at various companies, including Johnson and Johnson, Canada Dry and Good Humor. He was a noted expert on the subjects of antiques and colonial military accoutrements and authored several books and periodicals on those topics. In 1979 George sold his extensive private collection of Revolutionary War weapons and artifacts to the National Park Service. Neumann was a founding member of the Brigade of the American Revolution and Third New Jersey Regiment historical reenacting organizations. A man of principle, he was dedicated to God, his country, and his family. He served honorably in the United States Navy during World War II. He was committed to the preservation of the history of America with a focused interest on the ideals of the Founding Fathers. He was a stalwart citizen of the community in which he lived and a man whose life was centered around his family and friends.
Crawshaw Historical Book Collection

William and Helen Crawshaw are retired librarians who live in the Town of Saratoga. William or Bill was the head of the reference department at the Crandall Library and a board member of the Glens Falls Lions Club. Helen was the children`s librarian at the Saratoga Spring Public Library. Bill and Helen have been active for many years in the Saratoga County League of Women’s Voters. The Crawshaw’s also operated the well respected “Book in Hand” book shop for 32 years. They had an extensive collection of New York books and donated many of their local books to the Town of Saratoga Historian’s office.

OTD: Barge Canal Locks Placed Under Guard

#onthisday in 1917, the Vicinity Guard Companies Have Been Called Out to Place the Barge Canal Locks Under Guard. The Greenwich Journal reported on 4 April 1917 the following:
All the National Guard companies of this vicinity have been called into service and most of them have been detailed on guard duty in various sections. … The barge canal locks at the west end of this town (Greenwich so Lock 5 near Schuylerville) as well as other throughout the length of the Canal were placed on the guard Monday. Each lock in patrolled by eight or ten men under the command of an officer. All the railroad bridges across the Hudson river are also under strict guard. The purpose of the precautions is the guard against possibility that important means of transport are crippled by explosives or other means within the reach disloyal persons with in this country.
(This was two days before the United States entered World War 1.)

On this day – April 2

On this day in 1777, the Continental Congress promotes Colonel Ebenezer Learned to the rank of brigadier general of the Continental Army during the year 1777, Learned would play a very important role in the Victory at Saratoga; in 1917, US President Woodrow Wilson asks Congress to declare war against Germany; in 1968, the new library opened on Ferry Street and in 2000 Schuylerville Community Theater performed Oliver!, which takes audiences on a wild adventure through Victorian England.
On this day is a chronological timetable of events that occurred on this day in history around the Town of Saratoga. Discover what happened today in local history by following us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/historiantosaratoga/
(Thank you to Deputy Historian Patricia Peck for compiling some of the information in this timetable.)
April 2

On this day – April 1

On this day, which is traditionally an opportunity to pull pranks or joke, we remember in 1775, the District of Saratoga formed in Albany County and the New York Assembly passes its final militia act as a colony, requiring all males 16 to 50 years of age to enlist under penalty of a fine; in 1863, the first wartime conscription law goes into effect in the United States; in 1945 U.S. forces launch invasion of Okinawa; in 1959, the glove manufacturing company at Broad & Ferry streets closed and in 2002 Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton visited Saratoga National Historical Park.
On this day is a chronological timetable of events that occurred on this day in history around the Town of Saratoga. Discover what happened today in local history by following our twitter account @historysaratoga
(Thank you to Deputy Historian Patricia Peck for compiling this timetable.)
April 1

On this day – March 31

On this day in 1916, General John Pershing and his army rout Pancho Villa‘s army in Mexico; in 1946, 200 individuals participated in the Knights of Columbus Communion Sunday at Notre Dame Church, in 1971 the Schuylerville Lions Club urged formation of General Schuyler Emergency Squad, in 2000, Schuylerville Community Theater performed Oliver based upon the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens and in 2018, the Post Star reported “Fort Hardy Park is not contaminated by PCBs, the Environmental Protection Agency announced last week. But the Department of Health wants the agency to test the soil again, just to be sure. “We’re confident. The park is safe,” said EPA Project Manager Gary Klawinski. “We just want to do some more sampling to make sure, nearer the surface;” and the Great Schuylerville Egg Hunt, was held on Schuylerville school’s athletic field, the event was left in limbo after officials for its longtime host, Faith Chapel Assembly of God, said they could not keep up with the growing demand so the village of Schuylerville, Schuylerville Area Chamber of Commerce, Schuylerville Small Business Association and plenty of volunteers are working together this year, along with the former hosts, to keep the event alive.
On this day is a chronological timetable of events that occurred on this day in history around the Town of Saratoga. Discover what happened today in local history by subscribing toour blog at https://historianatsaratoga.wordpress.com/
(Thank you to Deputy Historian Patricia Peck for compiling this timetable.)
March 31

Old Saratoga is the most interesting historic locality in New York State

“Still, as it is, we feel that we can assert without fear of successful contradiction that outside the cities of New York and Albany, Old Saratoga is the most interesting historic locality in New York State, and New York was the battle ground of America in Revolutionary and Colonial days. But notwithstanding the fact that this is the scene of so many events, tragic, thrilling, and heroic, in their character; events far reaching and superlatively beneficent in their effects on our civilization, Saratoga is a name that has been made little of by American writers, and is seldom used to conjure with in speech or story.
Rev. John Henry Brandow, A.M., The Story of Old Saratoga (1919)
Rev. John Henry Brandow, A.M., (20 September 1853 – 14 October 1921) was a New York minister and historical writer. Mr. Brandow was a descendant of an emigrant from the Palatinate in 1710. His father was William Henry Brandow, a farmer and fruit grower from Windham, N. Y. His mother was Moycah Houghtaling Brandow. Mr. Brandow attended school at Hudson Institute in Claverack, N. Y., and Coxsackie Academy. He decided to study for the ministry .  He graduated from Rutgers College in 1883 as the valedictorian. His younger classmates found him a congenial associate,  He was the main-stay of the college choir, president of the Bible Society, and holder of several class offices. Brandow graduated from New Brunswick Seminary in 1886. His pastorates were: Reformed Church, Mohawk, N. Y., 1886-1888; Presbyterian Church, Oneonta, N. Y., 1888-1895; Reformed Church, Schuylerville, N. Y., 1895-1905; Reformed Church, Schoharie, N. Y., 1905-1908.
While in Schuylerville (old Saratoga) he made a thorough study of the decisive campaign that resulted in the surrender near that place of General Burgoyne on October 16, 1777. The result was published in 1901 in a volume entitled “The Story of Old Saratoga.” A second illustrated and enlarged edition was published in 1919, in which appears also timely chapters on “New York’s Share in the Revolution.”   The New York Evening Post said of this book: “The Story of Old Saratoga is a marvel of painstaking research, careful scholarship and patient labor. In compiling his facts the author has read thousands of letters, reports, records and unpublished documents. This finished work will be a joy to the historian and antiquary”
The study of history was his recreation and historic research a veritable passion for Brandow. He lived in Albany for years and availed himself of the State Library for study and research. He wrote monographs on General Horatio Gates, on Washington’s retreat through Westchester County, and on General Daniel Morgan, which appear in the Proceedings of the New York State Historical Association.   
These were the views of our community history in the past. As a community, we will be eternally grateful for the early historians including William Ostrander, John Brandow, William Stone, Ellen Hardin Walworth and others. However, history is a continuing dialogue between the present and the past. Interpretations of the past is subject to change in response to new evidence, new questions asked of the evidence, new perspectives gained by the passage of time. There is no single, eternal, and immutable “truth” about past events and their meaning. We are fortunate to live in a community where there is active history being researched which provides new evidence.  This research may be new access to primary source material, new archeology studies, or new perspectives because new historians and researchers are working in our community. This is an unending quest of historians and our community for understanding the past — that is, revisionism and that is what makes history vital and meaningful. That is why the study of Saratoga is a never ending task.