On this day

On this day in 1775, General GeorgeWashington states that after the “establishment of American liberty”, he will return to his role as a private citizen; in 1860, the USS Saratoga was decommissioned at Philadelphia after serving in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico; in 1944, Schuylerville’s Staff Sergeant John N. Miner was killed in action in Saipan serving with Company K, 105th Regiment, 27th Infantry Division. 
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 uson Facebook at http://ift.tt/2kLifwt 
(Thank you to Deputy Historian Patricia Peck and Town Supervisor Thomas Wood for compiling information forthis timetable.)

OTD: Saratoga Veteran Ely died

#Onthisday in 1815, Battles of Saratoga veteran Elihu Ely died. 
 Elihu Ely was a common Connecticut soldier that participated in Battles of Saratoga. He is best known for writing a letter describing the army just prior to the surrender. His family history described him as “a great reader, a man of uncommon intelligence and much humor, and is said to have been an unusually fine looking man.” 
Ely was an Ensign (junior officer) of the train band (militia) in the town of Lyme, Connecticut before the American War of Independence. Ely was drafted to serve as a Lieutenant in Captain Jonathan Calkin’s Company, of Colonel Jonathan Latimer’s Regiment of Connecticut militia in 1777. Latimer’s Regiment of Militia was called up at Windham, Connecticut and made up of men from Windham, Tolland and New London Counties on August 23, 1777 as reinforcements for the Continental Army during the Saratoga Campaign. The regiment marched quickly to join the gathering forces of American General Horatio Gates as he faced British General John Burgoyne in northern New York. The regiment served in General Poor’s brigade. The brigade were closest to the center of the advancing British in the 2nd Battle of Saratoga (Battle of Bemis Heights). The brigade came under fire from the British grenadier battalion of the British center. The British musket fire was ineffective, so British Major John Dyke Acland led the grenadiers in a bayonet charge. American General Poor held fire until they came very close, then fire of his 1,400 men’s muskets. This was the first American shots in the battle. The British bayonet charge was completely broken, and British Major Acland fell wounded. With this collapse of British center, the Americans captured the wounded Acland along with the British’s artillery. The American brigade with Latimer’s regiment then turned to left and gave support to American General Ebenezer Learned’s brigade and Colonel Morgan’s riflemen. 
Ely served for a total of 2 months and 16 days where he participated in the Battle of Bemis Heights, the Siege of Saratoga and witnesses the first time a complete British army surrendered. Ely was a participant, in what the New York Times Magazine called the the most important battles to have ever been fought in the entire world in the last 1,000 years, because “It launched two centuries of revolution elsewhere. It marked the beginning of the end of the British Empire. And it breathed life into the United States of America.” 
In 1967 a letter he wrote was donated to the Saratoga Historical National Park. The letter was reported on in the Saratogian on 18 August 1967.
 SCHUYLERVILLE – A letter written to his family by a soldier who participated in the Battles of Saratoga just prior to the Surrender of General Burgoyne to General Gates Oct. 17, 1777, is that of Elihu Ely to John Pratt Colchester, Conn, under date of Oct 16, 1777. This letter was recently presented to the National Park Service to be exhibited at Saratoga National Historical Park by Mrs William G. Geary, Tulsa, Okla., and Mr and Mrs. Richard Cass, Sumner, Iowa. The letter has been in the Pratt Family through the years and as Mrs. Cass wrote “was carried to School when the students came to the Battles of Saratoga in American History.” Mrs. Geary and Mrs.Cassi are sisters and they visited here in 1966. 

Mr. Ely, who participated in the second battle at Freeman’s Farm (2nd Battle of Saratoga) during the Revolution and assumed to be a member of the New England Militia wrote: “Loving Brother and Sister: These with my Love to you and ye Children may inform that through Divine goodness, I enjoy a Comfortable State of Health and hope that you Enjoy the Same Blessing. There has been a sessation of arms here. It took place the Day before yesterday and I understand that this Day Mr. Burgoin (Burgoyne) and his army are to resign themselves prisoners of war an be conducted through Albany and so on to Boston.” 
The Tuesday before Last there was a smart Engagement Between the troops of General Gates and General Burgoin (Burgoyne) when the former came to Victorious and the Latter retreated about 8 miles to this Place as fast as their surcumstances would admit of our troops followed them and so surrounded their Camp that they were obliged to comply as above mentioned as is reported and Depended on in Camp tho the Particulars of the Capitulation on has not yet made Publick. I have no time to write about Subscribe myself 

Yr. Loving Brother,

 Elihu Ely.” 
The National Park has digitized this letter and has it on-line. http://ift.tt/2e8tF9w 
Elihu Ely is buried at the Ely Family Cemetery in Lyme, Connecticut. 
To learn wish to learn more about the Battles of Saratoga, you can visit the Saratoga National Historical Park in the towns of Saratoga and Stillwater. The park website is at http://ift.tt/2cxkI82 
The Schuylerville Public Library http://ift.tt/2dYYY7C and all the libraries in the region have a number of books on the Battles of Saratoga. One of the recent books that mention Ely’s letter is Saratoga Campaign: Uncovering an Embattled Landscape. Edited by William A. Griswold & Donald W. Linebaugh. (2016) New Hampshire: University Press of New England. ISBN 2015027048 
Saratoga has been defined by the people who by choice or by chance make up this community. There are many individuals like Elihu Ely that help define this country and our community. It is the determination of our forefathers, in surmounting overwhelming odds that help define the American spirit – the will and ability to shape a better future. It is the people it is that define this community by choice or by chance have changed this country and even the world political development. That is why studying the people of Saratoga is integral to a good understanding of the condition of being human.

On this day

On this day in 1759, British General James Wolfe nears Québec with 8,500 men and a fleet of 168 ships captures river pilots to help the fleet navigate the river during the pivotal battle of the French and Indian War; in 1775, General Washington arrives in New York City; General Philip John Schuyler is named to command “New York department” by Congress. he was appointed a Major General of the Continental Army then he planned the Invasion of Canada however his poor health required him to place Richard Montgomery in command of the invasion; in 1862, the 77th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment participated the Seven Days’ Battles, near Richmond, Virginia, when Confederate General Robert E. Lee drove the invading Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, away from Richmond and into a retreat down the Virginia Peninsula; in 1876, George Armstrong Custer and the 265 men under his command lost their lives including first sergeant DeWitt Winney of Saratoga in the Battle of Little Big Horn, often referred to as Custer’s Last Stand; in 1950, the Korean War began and during the war, there were three residents that were killed in action, Stanley W. Harmor from Saratoga, Julius Lofren from Schuylerville, and James Marlow from Schuylerville, and in 2000, a new Visitors Center was dedicated at Fort Hardy 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 and Town Supervisor Thomas Wood for compiling information for this timetable.)

OTD Reported Kitchen Band Concert in Quaker Springs

The Saratogian (24 June 1919) reported: “The Kitchen Band Concert which was given under the auspices of the Juvenile Temple of Good Templars, recently was a success and reflected great credit on the children who took part as well as the Grand superintendent” 
Mrs. Millie Watkins Wright was the Superintendent. She was born in Amsterdam, NY and lived in the hamlet of Quaker Springs in the town of Saratoga. Mrs. Wright was the active in the International Order of the Good Templars.
 The Good Templars is a coed fraternal organizations for temperance or total abstinence founded in the 19th century and with a structure modeled on Freemasonry, using similar ritual and regalia. The first accounts of a lodge is the Schuylerville Battle Field lodge in 1880 and the Schuyler lodge in 1889. Then there was The Quaker Springs lodge #203 along with a Juvenile Temple. Mrs. Wright was elected as the Secretary of the national Juvenile Works Department in 1919. 
The Amsterdam (NY) Evening Record reported on 21 February 1919 that she was originally from that city and was active in the Good Templars for a number of years. The article describes her as “a successful Juvenile worker in her own state and a grand superintendent of Juvenile work who has been painstaking and devoted in her labors, Mrs. Wright will no doubt bring to the higher position and enthusiasm that will be welcomed.” She served as Superintendent of the Juvenile Works Department of the New York and National Grand Lodge in 1921. In September of 1930, she passed away in Amsterdam, NY. At the time of her death, she was still a State officer of the Good Templars. 
During the Progressive Era (1890–1920), hostility toward drinking alcohol became widespread, with the Prohibition Party and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union as the most influential advocate of prohibition. In New York, there is a long history of social reform movements started or flourished along New York’s canal system. (The Good Templars started in Utica, NY along the Erie Canal in 1850.) The rural part of the town of Saratoga in particular Quaker Springs (along the Champlain Canal) was not immune to these social movement. The community had an active Quaker community that formed the Quaker Springs Anti-Slavery Society in 1836, and the Old Saratoga Anti-Slavery Society in 1850. Prohibition was also strongly supported by the Methodists and Quakers, which have the only churches in that part of the town. Prohibition began on January 16, 1920, when the Eighteenth Amendment went into effect. Saratoga has been defined by the people who by choice or by chance make up this community. There are many individuals and groups like the Good Templars that help define this country, our region, and this community. 
It is the determination of our forefathers, in surmounting overwhelming odds that help define the American spirit – the will and ability to shape a better future. It is the people it is that define this community by choice or by chance have changed this country and even the world. That is why studying the people of Saratoga is integral to a good understanding of the condition of being human.

OTD: Reported Quaker Springs Woman organizing youth temperance groups

The Saratogian (24 June 1919) reported: “Mrs. Millie Watkins Wright has just returned from Schenectady and Albany where she organised a new Temple of Good Templars and visited several temples and lodges. She also attended the Schenectady District lodge which is m a flourishing condition ” 
Mrs. Millie Watkins Wright was born in Amsterdam, NY and lived in the hamlet of Quaker Springs in the town of Saratoga. Mrs. Wright was the active in the International Order of the Good Templars. The Good Templars is a coed fraternal organizations for temperance or total abstinence founded in the 19th century and with a structure modeled on Freemasonry, using similar ritual and regalia. The first accounts of a lodge is the Schuylerville Battle Field lodge in 1880 and the Schuyler lodge in 1889. Then there was The Quaker Springs lodge #203 along with a Juvenile Temple. Mrs. Wright was elected as the Secretary of the national Juvenile Works Department in 1919. 
The Amsterdam (NY) Evening Record reported on 21 February 1919 that she was originally from that city and was active in the Good Templars for a number of years. The article describes her as “a successful Juvenile worker in her own state and a grand superintendent of Juvenile work who has been painstaking and devoted in her labors, Mrs. Wright will no doubt bring to the higher position and enthusiasm that will be welcomed.” She served as Superintendent of the Juvenile Works Department of the New York and National Grand Lodge in 1921. In September of 1930, she passed away in Amsterdam, NY. At the time of her death, she was still a State officer of the Good Templars. 
During the Progressive Era (1890–1920), hostility toward drinking alcohol became widespread, with the Prohibition Party and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union as the most influential advocate of prohibition. In New York, there is a long history of social reform movements started or flourished along New York’s canal system. (The Good Templars started in Utica, NY along the Erie Canal in 1850.) The rural part of the town of Saratoga in particular Quaker Springs (along the Champlain Canal) was not immune to these social movement. The community had an active Quaker community that formed the Quaker Springs Anti-Slavery Society in 1836, and the Old Saratoga Anti-Slavery Society in 1850. Prohibition was also strongly supported by the Methodists and Quakers, which have the only churches in that part of the town. Prohibition began on January 16, 1920, when the Eighteenth Amendment went into effect. 
Saratoga has been defined by the people who by choice or by chance make up this community. There are many individuals and groups like the Good Templars that help define this country, our region, and this community. It is the determination of our forefathers, in surmounting overwhelming odds that help define the American spirit – the will and ability to shape a better future. It is the people it is that define this community by choice or by chance have changed this country and even the world. That is why studying the people of Saratoga is integral to a good understanding of the condition of being human.

On this day

On this day in 1675, King Philip’s War starts in New England, this war leads to the establishment of the neighboring Schaghticoke reservation (primarily Algonquian people who serve the English in Albany as an important buffer, intermediaries and spies); in 1757, British Colonel and Engineer James Montressor visited Saratoga where he examined a French prisoner and directed that a storehouse must be built “on the point,” and raised 3 or 4 feet from the ground (possibly for floods); in 1775, at Crown Point Colonel Benedict Arnold refused to serve any longer saying “I have so far lost the confidence of the Congress, that they have declined sending me money, as was promised …; “ and the New York Provincial Congress assumes power of taxation; in 1782, General Washington sent a letter to Matthew Clarkson which said “Major Matthew Clarkson commenced his military services as a volunteer early in the present war. In the year 1777, he received a Majority in the Army of the United States, and was present at the Surrender of Lieut. General Burgoyne at Saratoga,… I am authorized to declare that he has acquitted himself with great Honour, “ Clarkson was on the staff of General Lincoln and held a number of Federal and State positions, there is a town named after Clarkson in western New York; in 1792, Alexander Hamilton paid $50 to James Reynolds as part of the Hamilton–Reynolds Affair which was a political scandal involving the Secretary of the Treasury and Schuyler’s Son in Law Alexander Hamilton who had a one-year affair with Maria Reynolds while paying Maria’s husband, James Reynolds, blackmail money to maintain secrecy; in 1841, the Saratoga County Agricultural Society was formed; in 1863, the USS Saratoga was recommissioned and was ordered to the Delaware capes for guard duty off Delaware breakwater protecting Union shipping approaching and departing Delaware Bay and performed this duty through the end of the year; in1940, there was a graduation exercise at Victory Mills school; in 1969, the first operational “hands off” arrested landing using the AN/SPN-42, Automatic Carrier Landing System (ACLS), on a carrier was performed by Lt. Dean Smith and Lt.j.g. James Sherlock of Fighter Squadron 103 when their F-4 Phantom landed aboard USS Saratoga; and in 1994, the USS Saratoga arrived pier side at Naval Station, Mayport, Fla., to end a 164-day deployment which was the last in the carrier’s 38-year career.
 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 to our blog at http://ift.tt/2czXtwq 
(Thank you to Deputy Historian Patricia Peck for compiling information for this timetable.)

We honor our veterans

“This beautiful national cemetery reflects our heartfelt appreciation for and deep pride in those who answered the call to duty with such courage and selflessness.” President Bill Clinton on 9 July 1999 on the occasion of the dedication of the Saratoga National Cemetery 
We honor our veterans in the Town of Saratoga. The Town of Saratoga has seen a number of battles in the 18th Century including the Turning Point of the American War of Independence. At the close of the 20th Century (1999) we were honored to become the home of the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery which provides a dignified military funeral honors and cemetery to Veterans who have defended our nation. The Department of Veterans Affairs operates the cemetery as part of a system of 135 national cemeteries. All told there is 351.7 acres of land in the Town of Saratoga devoted to the memorialization of those who served this nation.