Three Rivers
Hudson~Mohawk~Schoharie
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

The Centennial Celebrations of the State of New York
Prepared pursuant to a Concurrent Resolution
of the Legislature of 1878 and Chapter 391 of the Laws of 1879
By Allen C. Beach, Secretary of State.
Albany
Weed, Parsons & Co. Printers 1879.

This file loads slowly because of the graphics, but it is well worth the wait!
This is a very special book which has been loaned by Anita Smith for the purpose of putting anything of interest on the Fort Klock site. Her father, Joseph Bellen, was given this book by S. L. Frey, and Mr. Frey received it from C. K. Winne. It was a very limited edition book, 5,000 copies, the entire expense of which "shall not exceed six thousand dollars" and each officer, reporter and member of the Legislature was given ten copies. (This is one of those copies.) The remaining thousand copies were distributed to libraries.

Graphics and captions in this chapter are contributed by Jerod Rosman. "All are from John Grafton's copyright-free book by Dover Publications, The American Revolution - A PICTURE SOURCEBOOK. The flyleaf says, 'You may use the designs and illustrations for graphics and craft applications, free and without special permission, provided you include no more than ten in the same publication or project.'"

Burgoyne's Surrender

Selected Speeches from the Celebration at Schuylerville, October 17, 1877

THE ADDRESS BY HON. CHAS. S. LESTER.

It has been the custom among all nations which have attained to any degree of civilization to commemorate with appropriate ceremonies the returning anniversaries of those events in their histories which have been productive of great results. It has been the custom, too, upon such occasions, to pay a fitting tribute to those whose valor and wisdom have benefited the people and brought advantage to the State and to contemplate their achievements with gratitude and hold up their example to succeeding generations as worthy of imitation.

In pursuance of such a custom and in grateful remembrance of the heroes who successfully resisted the army of the invaders upon the heights of Saratoga, we have come together to celebrate the centennial anniversary of that great event in our history which made it possible for us to assemble here today as free citizens of a free republic.

It was on the 13th of September, a hundred years ago, in full view of the place where we now stand, near where the beautiful Battenkill joins the majestic Hudson, that a proud army, under the leadership of a brave general who had won distinction on many a European battlefield, crossed the river to carry out the mandate of a cruel and arbitrary king, and to crush, if possible, the infant colonies which were struggling for independence.

This army, carefully equipped and furnished in abundance with all the munitions of war, was intended to split like a dividing wedge the patriots of Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts from their brethren in the central and southern colonies. It was intended to deprive them of mutual assistance and advice, and cut off all communication with each other. It was intended to effect a junction with the forces of Sir Henry Clinton at Albany, and form an army which might move with irresistible effect upon the New England provinces which had offered the first opposition to the British crown and had evinced a stern determination to maintain to the bitter end and the bold an noble principles enunciated in the Declaration of Independence.

This army, full of confidence in its ability to overcome every obstacle, full of contempt for the undisciplined militia that the colonies had sent to the field, felt as it crossed the Hudson, that the important mission with which it had been entrusted was well nigh accomplished, and vainly deemed its own prowess irresistible.

"Ah," said the proud Burgoyne, "Britons never retreat," and after the passage of the army he cause the bridge of boats to be broken up behind him. "Britons never retreat, and I shall eat my Christmas dinner in Albany," said the exultant general, as he reviewed the splendid columns of the Brunswick grenadiers and British light infantry. And as he marched on he dreamed that Albany was already a captured city; that the rebellious provinces had been subdued, and that he had received from a grateful sovereign the reward he so much coveted.

But this splendid army, led by officers of conspicuous courage and experience, was destined to meet a foe inspired by a feeling loftier than the mere love of victory, and a determination deeper than the mere desire for renown.

It was in defense of their homes, in defense of their liberties, in defense of their families froth savage allies of Burgoyne and the still more cruel arts of domestic traitors, in defense of those noble principles of human rights and human liberty that animated the signers of that immortal declaration not then two years old, that the Americans from every settlement, from every hillside, from every valley, from the log hut of the pioneer and from beautiful mansions life Schuyler's, flocked to the standard of Gates to aid in repelling the invader.

It is not my province to detail to you those events which have become doubly familiar to you all in this centennial year.

You know what happened at Bemus Heights,and of those victories the glorious fruits were gathered and this spot consecrated to freedom and rendered immortal by the complete surrender of the invading army a hundred years ago today.

Our elevated social and political condition is the manifest result of that conquest,and I do not think it is mere national pride that induces us to claim that among the many momentous contests of the world's history none were productive of grander results or greater changes in nations and empires that the campaign that closed here a hundred years ago. England and France were powerful nations then, and had been hundreds of years. Their histories stretch back through centuries of growth, of progress, of varying prosperity and power, and of all the powerful nations that existed a century ago, they alone have maintained their leading position.

The deep importance of that event of which this is the anniversary will more plainly appear when we remember that the struggling infant which was on that day baptized down by the banks of this our national Jordan, is today the acknowledged equal in arts, in power and civilization of those ancient empires.

My friends, fifty years ago today a smaller company than that assembled assembled here was gathered down on the plain by the river, where the ruins of Fort Hardy were then plainly discernible, and where the army of Burgoyne laid down their arms, to celebrate as we are celebrating here today the same glorious event. And among the company which was gathered then, there were white haired men who had fought under General Gates -- men who had, from the heights beyond the river, watched the moving columns of Burgoyne -- who had seen Morgan at the head of his riflemen, and Lincoln at the head of his brigade -- who had known and loved the noble Schuyler, who once owned the broad fields where you now stand -- who had lain in the entrenchment's which ran along where yonder cornerstone has been laid; and men who had modestly stood in line while the captured British army marched by after the surrender.

They were gathered to rejoice in the success of the struggle in which they bore a part; to rejoice in the splendid sunshine of national prosperity, which had followed the termination of that struggle, and to receive the grateful thanks of the generation which had sprung up to enjoy the fruits of their labors.

Fifty years have gone since then and all of that little band have passed away. Not a soldier is left who stood in the ranks on those memorable days, not a living witness remains of those interesting scenes.

So completely has that generation passed away that I believe there is here today but one man who can remember to have seen and conversed with Philip Schuyler. He is with us as a connecting link between the present and the past.

It will be our privilege today to listen to the fascinating story of the events to which I have barely alluded, from the lips of eloquent gentlemen who are here to address you.

From the enjoyment of their eloquence I will no longer detain you, but join with you in listening with never flagging interest to the recital of those stirring events.

ADDRESS OF HON. HORATIO SEYMOUR.

One hundred years ago, on this spot, American Independence was made a great fact in the history of nations. Until the surrender of the British army under Burgoyne, the declaration of Independence was but a declaration. It was a patriotic purpose asserted in bold words by brave men, who pledged for its maintenance their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. But on this ground it was made a fact, by virtue of armed force. It had been regarded by the world merely as an act of defiance, but it was now seen that it contained the germs of a government, which the event we now celebrate made one of the powers of the earth. Here rebellion was made revolution. Upon this ground, that which had in the eye of the law been treason, became triumphant patriotism.

At the break of day one hundred years ago, in the judgment of the world, our fathers were rebels against established authority. When the echoes of the evening gun died away along this valley, they were patriots who had rescued their country from wrong and outrage. Until the surrender of the British army in this valley, no nation would recognize the agents of the continental Congress. All intercourse with them was in stealthy ways. But they were met with open congratulations when the monarchs of Europe learned that the royal standards of Britain had been lowered to our flag. We had passed through the baptism of blood, and had gained a name among the nations of the earth. The value of this surrender was increased by the boastful and dramatic display which had been made of British power. It had arrayed its disciplined armies, it ahd sent its fleets; it had called forth its savage allies, all of which were to move upon grand converging lines, not only to crush out the patriotic forces, but to impress Europe with its strength, and to check any alliances with the American Government. It made them witnesses of its defeat when it though to make them the judges of its triumph. The monarchs of Europe, who watched the progress of the doubtful struggle, who were uncertain if it was more than a popular disturbance, now saw the action in its full proportions, and felt that a new power had spring into existence -- a new element had entered into the diplomacy of the world.

The interests excited in our minds by this occasion are not limited to a battle fought, or an army captured; they reach even beyond the fact that it was the turning point of the revolutionary struggle. We are led to a consideration of a chain of events and of enduring aspects of nature,which have shaped our civilization in the past, and which now and throughout the future will influence the fortunes of our country. Burgoyne did not merely surrender here and army, he surrendered the control of a continent. Never in the world's history was there a transfer of territory so vast, and of influence so far reaching so that made a century ago where we now stand.

We meet today to celebrate the surrender of Burgoyne, by appropriate ceremonies, and to lay the corner stone of a monument which will commemorate not only that event, but every fact which led to that result. The reproach rests upon the United States, that while they stand in the front ranks of the powers of the earth, by virtue of their numbers, their vast domains and their progress in wealth and in arts, they give no proof to the eyes of the world that they honor their fathers or those whose sacrifices laid the foundations of their prosperity and greatness. We hope that a suitable structure here will tell all who look upon it that this was the scene of an occurrence unsurpassed in importance and far reaching consequences in military annals. And it will also show that a hundred years have not dimmed its luster in our eyes, but that the light shed upon its significance by the lapse of time, has made deeper and stronger our gratitude to those who here served their country so well, and by their sacrifices and sufferings achieved its independence and secured the liberties, the prosperity and greatness of the American people.

All that throws light upon the scope and policy of the designs of the British Government are on this day proper topics for considerations. When we trace out the relationships which these designs bore to preceding occurrences; and when we follow down their bearing upon the present and future of our country we shall see that a suitable monument here will recall to all thoughtful minds the varied history of our country during the past two centuries. It will do more. For the enduring causes which have shaped the past, also throw light upon the future of our government, our civilization and our power.

The occurrences which led to the surrender of the British army have been appropriately celebrated. The great gatherings of our people at Oriskany, at Bennington, at Bemus Heights,s how how this centennial of what has been well termed the year of battles, revives in the minds of the American people an interest in the history of the revolution. The celebrations have tended to make our people wiser and better. It is to be hoped that they will be held on every battlefield in our country. They will not only restore the patriotism of our people, but they will teach us the virtues of courage and patient endurance. This is a time of financial distress and of business disorder, and we have lost somewhat of our faith with regard to the future, and we speak in complaining tones of the evils of our day. But when we read again the history of the war of our independence; when we hear the story of the sufferings of all classes of our citizens; when we are reminded that our soldiers suffered from want, and nakedness, and hunger, as no pauper, no criminal suffers now; when we think that the fears which agitated their minds were not those which merely concerned the pride of success, the mortification of failure, or the loss of some accustomed comfort, but they were the dread that the march of hostile armies might drive their families from their homes, might apply the torch to their dwellings, or worse than this, expose their wives and children to the tomahawks and scalping knives of merciless savages, we blush at our complaints. In view of their dangers and sufferings, how light appear the evils of our day!

But there is something more than all this to be gained by these celebrations. Before the revolution the people of the several colonies held but little intercourse. They were estranged from each other by distance, by sectional prejudices,and by differences of lineage an religious creeds. The British Government relied upon these prejudices and estrangements to prevent a cordial cooperation among the colonists. But when the war began, when the men of Virginia hastened to Massachusetts to rescue Boston from the hands of the enemy and to drive them from New England; when the men of the East and South battled side by side with those from the Middle States and stood upon this spot as brothers to receive with common pride and joy the standards of a conquered foe; when Green and Lincoln went to the relief of the Souther colonies, all prejudice not only died away, but more than fraternal love animated every patriot heart from the bleak northernmost forests of New England to the milder airs of Georgia. And now that a hundred years have passed,and our country has become great beyond the wildest dreams of all the love of our country, of our whole country, and of all who live within its boundaries? Men of the East and men of the South, or you who can trace your lineage back to those who served their country a century ago upon the soil of New York, we do not welcome you here as guests; you stand here of right,by virtue of a common heritage from our fathers, who on this ground were actors in the crowning event of the war waged for the liberties, the glory and the prosperity of all sections of our great country. At this celebration of the grand conclusions of the campaign of Burgoyne, we have a broader field of discussion than that of a battle fought and a victory won. The occasion calls not only for praise of heroic courage, not only for a deep interest in every statement showing the influence of its victories over the judgment of the world as to the strength of our cause, but also for a consideration of its importance as one of the links in the chain of events reaching back more than two centuries, and which will continue to stretch down into the future far beyond the period when human thought or conclusions can be of value.

INFLUENCE OF THE TOPOGRAPHY OF OUR COUNTRY.

The speaker and others who have addressed the public with regard to American history have made frequent references to the extent that it has been shaped by the topography of this part of our country. On this occasion it forces itself upon our attention, and we must again outline its relationship to events. We cannot, if we would, separate the design of the campaign of Burgoyne, nor the military aspects of its progress, from the character of the valleys through which its forces were moved, nor from the commanding positions at which it was aimed. Our mountains and rivers have been the causes of so many of the great facts in the history of this continent; they are so closely identified with its political and social affairs, that they seem to become sentient actors in its events. We are compelled to speak of their bearings upon the course of war, of commerce and of civilization, to make a clear statement of the scope and significance of the events we celebrate. This cannot be given if we speak only of the British invasion of 1777 and its signal defeat.

Those who would learn the causes which have shaped the course of military and political affairs on this continent, which have given victory in war and prosperity in peace, must spread out before them the map of our country. Having traced its grand system of mountains, rivers and lakes, they will be struck with the fact that for a thousand miles the Alleghenies make long ranges of barriers between the Atlantic and the great plains of the interior. About midway of their lengths those lofty mountains are cut down to their bases by the gorge of the Hudson, through which the tides of the ocean pour their floods in triumph. Towering cliffs overshadow the deep waters of the river. Had but a single spur of these rocky buttresses which crowd upon wither shore been thrown across the narrow chasm, had but one of the beetling cliffs, which stand upon its brink been pushed but a few feet across its course, the currents of events would have been changed as completely as the currents of the floods. The nations who controlled the outlets of the Mississippi and the St. Lawrence would have been the masters of this continent. No one who has marked the physical character of our country, and who has studied its history, can pass through the highlands of the Hudson and note how at every turn of its stream the cliffs threaten to close its course, without feeling that the power which made the mountain chains to stop abruptly at its brink, was higher than blind chance -- something more than the wild, unreasoning action of convulsed nature. The valley of the Hudson does not end which it had led the ocean tides through the mountain passes. It stretches its channel northward to the St. Lawrence, and holds within its deep basin not only the Hudson flowing south, but Lake Champlain, which empties its waters into the ocean far north through the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It thus not only connected the harbor of New York with the basin of the great lakes, but by the Mohawk branch of the Hudson it has also channeled out another level passage, stretching westward to the plains watered by the confluents of the Mississippi. These valleys of the Hudson and Mohawk have been the pathway of armies in war and the routes of commerce in peace. They have been the highways through which the nations of Europe and the people of the Atlantic coast have poured their hosts of emigrants into the vast regions which stretch out from the Alleghenies to the base of the Rocky Mountains. But nature did not stop in her work when she gave to the regions in which we meet the advantages of deep valleys, making easy communication from the seacoast to the interior of our country. From the outward slopes of highlands which guard these channels of intercourse, the waters flow by diverging valleys into almost every part of our Union. These highlands make in many ways the most remarkable watersheds to be found on the face of the earth. There is not elsewhere an instance where interlocking sources of rivers pursue courses diverging in so many directions forming so many extending valleys, and at length find their outlets into the ocean at points so distant from each other, and from the head waters on the ground where they had their common origin. For these reasons the valleys of the Hudson and the Mohawk, and the mountain strongholds which command them, have ever been the great central points of control in the wars of both civilized and savage races. Once, when in company with Gen. Scott, we overlooked from an elevated point the ground on which we stand and the confluence of these rivers,and the range of highlands which marked their courses. The old warrior with a kindling eye, stretched out his arm and said: "Remember, this has been the strategic point in all the wars waged for the control of this continent."

The mountains and valleys of New York not only make channels for commerce in peace, but a grand system for defense and attack in war. They are nature's commanding works, which dwarf by comparison all human monuments of engineering skill into insignificance. Their influence is most clearly shown by the power they gave to the Indian tribes who held them when Europeans first visited our continent. The rivers which flowed in all directions from their vantage ground on the highlands, first taught the Iroquois the advantage of united action and led to the formation of their confederacy. Pouring their combined forces at different times into the valley of the Delaware, or of the Susquehanna, they were able to subdue in detail the divided tribes living upon these streams. Gaining courage and skill by constant victories, they boldly pushed their conquests into remote sections of our country. The British ordnance maps published during the colonial period make the boundaries of their control extend from the coast line of the Atlantic and from the great lakes to the center of the present State of North Carolina. There is no instance in history where a region so vast has been conquered by numbers so small. Their alliance with the British Government was one of the grounds on which the latter contested the claims of France to the interior of our continent by virtue of its discoveries on the St. Lawrence and Mississippi.

Thus the victories gained by the Iroquois, through their Geographical position, had a great influence in deciding the question, whether the civilization of North America should be French of English in its aspects, laws and customs. It is a remarkable fact, that with a view of overcoming the British power on this continent, nearly a century before the campaign of Burgoyne, its plan was forecast by Frontenac the ablest of the French colonial commanders. Her proposed to move against the colony of New York by the same routes followed by the British forces in 1777. He was to lead his army through the valley of Lake Champlain and Upper Hudson to Albany. At that point he designed to seize vessels to pass down the river, and there to act with the French ships of war, which were to meet him in the harbor of New York. Nothing can show more clearly the strategic importance of the valley in which we meet than the fact that he urged this movement for the same reason which led the British King to adopt it after the lapse of so many years. Frontenac saw that by gaining the control of the course and outlet of the Hudson, the French would command the gateway into the interior, that they would divide the British colonies, and New England thus cut off, would in the end fall into the hands of the French. He also urged that in this way the Iroquois would be detached from the British alliance.

The influence of the valleys of our country has not been lost in the wars of our day. "We should have won our cause," said Governor Wise, a distinguished leader of the Southern confederacy, "had not God made the rivers which spring from the highlands of New York to flow from the North to the South, thus making, by their valleys, pathways for armies into all parts of our territories. Had their courses been in other directions, their streams would have made barriers against northern armies instead of giving avenues by which they could assail us." Nor have they been less controlling in peace than in war. They make the great channels of commerce between the East and the West, and enable us to draw to the seaboard the abundant harvests of the valley of the Mississippi, and to send them to the far off markets of Europe. Numerous and varied as have been the movements of armies along these water courses, even they sink into insignificance compared with the vast multitudes which poured through them from Europe and the Atlantic coast to fill the West with civilized States. Through them we draw armies of immigrants -- prisoners of peace captured from Europe by the strength of inducements held out to them by the material advantages of our country.

We are in our day the witnesses of a greater movement of the human race, both as to numbers and influence upon civilization, than is recorded in past history. It can tell of no such continued and great transfer of population from one continent to another. Unlike other invasions, it does not being war and rapine, but it bears peaceful arts and civilization into vast regions heretofore occupied only by scanty tribes of warring savages. Familiar with this great movement, we are prone to look upon it with some degree of indifference. But through the centuries to come it will be regarded as one of the greatest events in the history of mankind.

I have not dwelt upon these hills and valleys merely because they have been the scenes of the most dramatic and important events in American annals, but because they have given birth to these events. I have spoken of them, not because they have been associated with history, but because they have made history. They gave to the Iroquois their power; they directed the course and determined the result of the war between France and Britain for domination on this continent. Neither the surrender of the British army on these grounds, the causes which preceded, nor the consequences which flowed from it, can be appreciated until the enduring influences of the great features of our country are clearly brought into view. Elsewhere rivers and mountains mark the lines which make enemies of mankind. Here they form the avenues which bind us together by intercourse. They give not merely to a country, but to nearly our whole continent, a common language, customs and civilization. The world has never before seen a social structure with foundations so broad. Time may make many changes, but there will ever be a unity in the population of North America, a community of interests upon a grander scale than has yet been seen among mankind. He who studies the map of our continent and doubts this does not merely lack political faith, but is guilty of impiety when he closes his eyes to the truths which God has written, by streams and valleys, upon the face of this continent.

The mountains and valleys of New York not only make channels for commerce in peace, but a grand system for defense and attack in war. They are nature's commanding works, which dwarf by comparison all human monuments of engineering skill into insignificance. Their influence is most clearly shown by the power they gave to the Indian tribes who held them when Europeans first visited our continent. The rivers which flowed in all directions from their vantage ground on the highlands, first taught the Iroquois the advantage of united action and led to the formation of their confederacy. Pouring their combined forces at different times into the valley of the Delaware, or of the Susquehanna, they were able to subdue in detail the divided tribes living upon these streams. Gaining courage and skill by constant victories, they boldly pushed their conquests into remote sections of our country. The British ordnance maps published during the colonial period make the boundaries of their control extend from the coast line of the Atlantic and from the great lakes to the center of the present State of North Carolina. There is no instance in history where a region so vast has been conquered by numbers so small. Their alliance with the British Government was one of the grounds on which the latter contested the claims of France to the interior of our continent by virtue of its discoveries on the St. Lawrence and Mississippi.

Thus the victories gained by the Iroquois, through their geographical position, had a great influence in deciding the question, whether the civilization of North America should be French or English in its aspects, laws and customs. It is a remarkable fact, that with a view of overcoming the British power on this continent, nearly a century before the campaign of Burgoyne, its plan was forecast by Frontenac the ablest of the French colonial Commanders. He proposed to move against the colony of New York by the same routes followed by the British forces in 1777. He was to lead his army through the valley of Lake Champlain and Upper Hudson to Albany. At that point he designed to seize vessels to pass down the river, and there to act with the French ships of war, which were to meet him in the harbor of New York. Nothing can show more clearly the strategic importance of the valley in which we meet than the fact that he urged this movement for the same reason which led the British King to adopt it after the lapse of so many years. Frontenac saw that by gaining the control of the course and the outlet of the Hudson, the French would command the gateway into the interior, that they would divide the British colonies, and New England thus cut off, would in the end fall into the hands of the French. He also urged that in this way the Iroquois would be detached from the British alliance.

The influence of the valleys of our country has not been lost in the wars of our day. "We should have won our cause," said Governor Wise, a distinguished leader of the Southern Confederacy, "had not God made the rivers which spring from the highlands of New York, to flow from the North to the South, thus making, by their valleys, pathways for armies into all parts of our territories. Had their courses been in other directions, their streams would have made barriers against northern armies instead of giving avenues by which they could assail us." Nor have they been less controlling in peace than in war. They make the great channels of commerce between the East and the West, and enable us to draw to the seaboard the abundant harvests of the valley of the Mississippi, and to send them to the far-off markets of Europe. Numerous and varied as have been the movements of armies along these water courses, even they sink into insignificance compared with the vast multitudes which poured through them from Europe and Atlantic coast to fill the West with civilized States. Through them we draw armies of immigrants -- prisoners of peace captured from Europe by the strength of the inducements held out to them by the material advantages of our country.

We are in our day the witnesses of a greater movement of the human race, both as to numbers and influence upon civilization, than is recorded in past history. It can tell of no such continued and great transfer of population from one continent to another. Unlike other invasions, it does not bring was and rapine, but it bears peaceful arts and civilization into vast regions heretofore occupied only by scanty tribes of warring savages. Familiar with this great movement, we are prone to look upon it with some degree of indifference. But through the centuries to come it will be regarded as one of the greatest events in the history of mankind.

I have not dwelt upon these hills and valleys merely because they have been the scenes of the most dramatic and important events in American annals, but because they have given birth to these events. I have spoken of them, not because they have been associated with history, but because they have made history. They gave to the Iroquois their power; they directed the course and determined the result of the war between France and Britain for domination on this continent. Neither the surrender of the British army on these grounds, the causes which preceded, nor the consequences which flowed from it, can be appreciated until the enduring influences of the great features of our country are clearly brought into view. Elsewhere rivers and mountains mark the lines which make enemies of mankind. They give not merely to a country, but to nearly our whole continent, a common language, customs and civilization. The world has never before seen a social structure with foundations so broad. Time may make many changes, but there will ever be a unity in the population of North American, a community of interests upon a grander scale than has yet been seen among mankind. He who studies the map of our continent and doubts this does not merely lack political faith, but is guilty of impiety when he closes his eyes to the truths which God has written, by streams and valleys, upon the face of this continent.

It was the design of the British government in the campaign of 1777 to capture the center and stronghold of this commanding system of mountains and valleys. It aimed at its very heart -- the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson. The fleets, the armies, and the savage allies of Britain were to follow their converging lines to Albany. Its position had made that city the place where the Governors and agents of the colonies had been used to meet with reference to their common interest. Here the agents of the New England and Southern provinces came to consult with the chiefs of the Iroquois, and to gain their alliance in their wars with the savages of the West; who threatened the European settlements. In the expressive language of the Indians, Albany was called the "Ancient Place of Treaty." It was also the point at which the military expeditions against the French at the north and west were organized. Even before Benjamin Franklin brought forward his plan at Albany for colonial union, the idea of such alliance was constantly suggested by the necessity for common action in attack or defense against savage or civilized enemies. There was much to justify the boastful confidence of the British that they could crush out American resistance. To feel the full force of this threatened blow we must forget for a time our present power, we must see with the eyes of our fathers and look at things as they stood a century ago. The care with which the army of Burgoyne was organized, it officers and men selected, and its material for an advance and attack provided, has been made familiar to our people by this year's addresses.

The progress of the British navy up the Hudson to a point west of the Allegheny range, its seizure in its course of Stoney Point and Fort Clinton, its success in forcing a passage through the highlands at West Point, the capture and burning of Kingston, where the British Admiral awaited communication from Burgoyne, have all been clearly narrated on the pages of history. Had the commander of the expedition gone to Albany he might have saved the army of Burgoyne. General Gates saw if this had been done he would have been forced to retreat to New England. But it was not known at the time how great a peril was averted by an act of negligence in the British War Department. It appeared that orders were prepared, but not sent to General Howe, directing him to cooperate with Burgoyne with all his forces. If this had been done, there is reason to fear the result would have been fatal to our cause. This is one of those strange occurrences recognized in the lives of individual as well as in the affairs of nations, which shows there is an overruling Providence that watches over both.

The importance of the movement from the west by St. Leger and his Indian allies is not generally understood by our people. It was made with confidence of success; and when its commander wrote to Burgoyne that he would be able to sweep down the valley of the Mohawk and place himself in the rear of the American army, there was much to justify his confidence. The address of Mr. Roberts and other at the Oriskany celebration, are valuable contributions to the history of St. Leger's invasion.

The Palatines who inhabited the valley of the Mohawk were, by their position, language and usages, severed from the body of the American colonies. The wise policy of Sir William Johnson had done much to attach them to the British crown. To enable them to worship God in accordance with their own creed and in the faith of that part of Germany from which they came, aid was given to them for the erection of churches. Many of these were strong stone structures, which were afterward fortified and used as places of refuge and defense during the Revolution, by the families of the settlers, against the ruthless warfare of savages. Most of these churches still stand, monuments of the past, and are now used for the sacred purposes for which they were built. The heirs and representatives of Sir William were with the army of St. Leger, and assured him that the dwellers upon the Mohawk would respond to their appeals, and rise in arms to uphold the cause of the crown. No stronger proof can be given that the love of liberty and of Democratic principles was engendered and born upon our soil, and not imported in some latent form in the ships which brought over the first colonists, than the fact that these settlers from the Palatines of Germany, who had not known of Republican usages in their native land, and who could not, from their position and their language, receive impressions from the other colonists, had yet, amidst the trials and perils of border life and warfare, gained the same political convictions which animated the colonists in all parts of our country. It was the most remarkable fact of the Revolutionary war, and the formation of State and General Governments, that, although the colonists were of different lineages and languages, living under different climates, with varied pursuits and forms of labor, cut off from intercourse by distances, yet, in spite of all these obstacles to accord, they were from the outset animated by common views, feelings and purposes. When their independence was gained, they were able, after a few weeks spent in consultation, to form the Constitution under which we have lived for nearly one hundred years.

There can be no stronger proof of the fact that American constitutions were born and shaped by American necessities. This fact should give us new faith in the lasting nature of our government. In the case of the Palatines of the Mohawk, this truth shine sour more clearly than elsewhere. Isolated by language, lineage and position, the great body of them fought for the American cause, and showed a sturdy valor from the outset. They endured more of suffering and danger in its most appalling form, than was felt elsewhere. The change of their language, and inflow from the other States and countries into central New York, many of the traditions and incidents of the valley of the Mohawk have been obscured. Its history should be developed and made familiar to our people. The most telling blow to the cause of the crown and to the hopes of St. Leger, was that the mustering of the men under Herkimer, their desperate valor in the fight at Oriskany, showed that he was to be met with undying hostility where he had looked for friends and allies. From that day the hope, which animated him when he promised to aid Burgoyne, faded away.

The defeat of St. Leger and their allies was given by Burgoyne as one of the great causes of his failure to reach Albany.

INDIAN ALLIES.

Burgoyne meeting with his Indian allies at Saratoga. Burgoyne went to great lengths -- with little success -- to prevent the Indians from committing atrocities upon civilians on his way to Saratoga. After the Bennington fiasco, most of the Indians deserted and went back to Canada leaving him without scouts.

The importance of the Indian alliance with the British during the Revolution has been under valued by most of those who have written the histories of the Revolution. We look upon Indian wars as mere savage outbursts,which may cause much misery and suffering, but which may cause much misery and suffering, but which threaten no danger to governments. We are apt to think that savages were merely used to divert and distract the American forces. But such was not its import then, in the judgment of the contending parties, or of the nations of Europe, who watched with interest the course of military events on this continent. We must bear in mind the estimation in which the Iroquois were held at the close of the French war. Their alliance had done much to give the victory to the English. At times, the hostility of these savage confederates would have been fatal to the British cause. Their position made them conquerors of their kindred races. Victories inspired them with heroism. Extended conquests had taught them much of the polity of government. In the councils of their confederacy, orators and statesmen had been formed. They extorted from their French enemies expressions of admiration and statements of virtues, which we would do well to imitate in our own days and in our own councils. Colden, who was familiar with their policy, states that the authority of their rulers consisted wholly of the estimation in which they were held for integrity and wisdom, and that they were generally poorer than the rest of the people. He adds, "there is not a man in the Five Nations who has gained his office otherwise then by merit." Their enemies, the French, testified in their histories, that while they were the fiercest and most formidable people in American, they were politic and judicious in the management of their affairs. For nearly a century the French and English struggled to gain their alliance by every influence of religion, of diplomacy and display of power. Even as late as 1754, George Washington, then a colonial officer, called upon them for assistance in his movements against the French on the Ohio river, and claimed that he went forth to fight for their rights, because the French were occupying territories which belonged to the Iroquois. Only twenty years before the Revolutionary war, the British Minister insisted in its correspondence with the French government, that the Iroquois were the owners by conquest, of the Ohio territory, and that they were the subjects of the British Crown. This was the claim set up against the French rights of discovery. It is a remarkable fact, that the French did not deny the rights of conquest by the Iroquois, but denied that they were the subjects of Britain in these strong words: "Certain it is that no Englishman durst, without running the risk of being massacred, tell the Iroquois that they are the subjects of England." One of the first acts of the Continental Congress was designed to secure the alliance of the Six Nations. In this they were unsuccessful, except as to the Oneidas. The cooperation of their savage allies was deemed of the utmost importance by the British.

I do not speak of the action at Bennington nor of the battle of Bemus Heights. The late celebrations upon the grounds upon which they took place have made the public familiar with all their aspects and results.

INFLUENCE OF BURGOYNE'S SURRENDER.

France saw that upon the very theater of war, where Britain had wrested from it the control of this continent, its ancient enemy had been beaten by the new power which was springing into existence. To the French Government this victory had a significance that no like victory could have had upon other fields. It knew better than others the commanding features of this region. Its missionaries were highly educated men, who marked with care the character of our mountains, lakes and streams. Impelled by religious zeal and devotion to the interests of their native land, they boldly pushed into the remote portions of the continent in advance of commercial enterprise or military expeditions. Their narratives are to this day of great value and interest. The surrender of Burgoyne had also a marked effect upon the tone and policy of the British Cabinet; it no longer fought for conquest but for compromise. Its armies were moved with a view of saving a part if it could not hold all of its jurisdiction. It was able to take possession of the principal cities, but it could not find elsewhere positions, like that aimed at by Burgoyne, which would enable it to sunder and paralyze the patriot forces. It exhausted its armies in campaigns which produced no results, even when successful in repulsing our forces or in occupying the points at which they were directed. Its commanders were animated by only one gleam of hope. The proud power, which at the outset called upon the world to witness its strength in crushing rebellion, stooped to dealings with a traitor, and sought to gain by corruption what it could not gain by force. The treason of Arnold excited the deepest feelings, because the loss of West Point, the key of the Hudson, would have given the British a position from which they could not have been dislodged, at the center of the strongholds for defense and for attack. The fact that the loss of West Point would have been deemed a fatal blow to the American cause places the strategic importance of this region in the strongest light.

Burgoyne talking to Indians

The surrender of Burgoyne not only gave new hope to the patriots, but it exerted a moral influence upon our soldiers. The colonists up to that time had been trained in the belief that British soldiers were irresistible. To hold them superior to all others in arms had been American patriotism. Through the century of the French wars precedence had always been yielded to the officers of the crown; and the colonists looked mainly to the British army to protect their homes from invasion. Colonial papers showed an extravagance of loyalty which is frequently exhibited in the outlying and exposed settlements of all nations. The Revolution, while it made a revulsion of feeling, did not at the outset destroy this sense of the superior skill and power of British arms. The early engagements in the open field had not been fortunate for the patriot cause. The armies of the crown were still buoyed up by that sense of superiority which, in itself is an element in martial success. Burgoyne did not doubt his ability to destroy any army he could reach. The battle of Bemus Heights was a fair and open contest on equal terms. In strategy, in steadiness, in valor, the Continental troops proved themselves in all ways equal to the picked and trained men against whom they fought. From the day that victory was won, the American soldier felt himself to be the equal of all who could be brought against him, and he knew that he was animated by higher and nobler purposes than those which moved the ranks of his enemies. The whole spirit of the contest was changed. Our armies reaped a double triumph on this field. There was much in the contempt which had been shown by their enemies of their qualities as soldiers, much in the taunts and sneers of the British Cabinet, much in the pillage and destruction which ever attend the march of the invading armies, to excite our fathers to exhibitions of exultation over fallen foes. But they bore themselves, not as men intoxicated by successful fortunes in war, but as men who felt it was in them to win victories there or elsewhere. There was a calmness in the hour of triumph, which more even than courage upon the battlefield impressed the defeated armies with the character of those of whom they had spoken so contemptuously. The enemy were twice conquered, and in many ways the last victory over them was most keenly felt. The moral and military advantages of the surrender of the British army was marred by no act which lessened the dignity of the conquerors. And he who reads the story of the contest, finds himself most triumphant in his feelings over the moral rather than the martial victory.

GENERAL SCHUYLER

General Philip Schuyler. American area commander in upper NY state, after Trumbull's painting of him. Schuyler was instrumental in impeding Burgoyne's progress toward Saratoga.

When we read the story of the event which we now celebrate, whether it is told by friend or foe, there is one figure which rises above all others upon whose conduct and bearing we love to dwell. There is one who won a triumph which never grows dim. One who gave an example of patient patriotism unsurpassed in the pages of history. One who did not, even under cutting wrongs and cruel suspicions, wear an air of martyrdom, but with cheerful alacrity served where he should have commanded. It was in a glorious spirit of chivalrous courtesy with which Schuyler met and ministered to those who had not only been enemies in arms, but who had inflicted upon him unusual injuries unwarranted by the laws of war. But there was something more grand in his service to his country than even the honor he did to the American cause by his bearing upon this occasion. The spirit of sectional prejudice, which the British Cabinet relied upon to prevent cordial cooperation among the colonies, had been exhibited against him in a way most galling to a pure patriot and a brave soldier, But, filled with devotion to his country's cause, he uttered no murmur of complaint, nor did he for a moment cease in his labors to gain its liberties. This grand rebuke to selfish intriguers and to honest prejudices did much to discomfit the one and to teach the other the injustice of their suspicions and the unworthiness of sectional prejudices. The strength of this rebuke sometimes irritates writers who cannot rise above local prejudices, and they try to lesson the public sense of his virtue by reviving the attack, proved to be unjust upon investigation, and which, by the verdict of men honored by their country, was proved to be unfounded. The character of Gen. Schuyler grows brighter in public regard. The injustice done him by his removal from his command, at a time when his zeal and ability had placed victory within his reach, is not perhaps to be regretted. We could not well lose from our history his example of patriotism and of personal honor and chivalry. We could not spare the proof which his case furnishes, that virtue triumphs in the end. We would not change if we could, the history of his trials. For we feel that in the end they gave luster to his character, and we are forced to say of Gen. Schuyler that, while he had been greatly wronged, he had never been injured.

Next the speech turned toward the new monument at Saratoga. This part has been skipped.

ADDRESS BY GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS.

Within the territory of New York, broad, fertile and fair, from Montauk to Niagara, from the Adirondacks to the bay, there is no more memorable spot than that on which we stand. Elsewhere, indeed, the great outlines of the landscape are more imposing, and on this autumnal day the parting benediction of the year rests with the same glory on other hills and other waters of the imperial State. Far above, these gentle heights rise into towering mountains; far below, this placid stream broadens and deepens around the metropolis of the continent into a spacious highway for the commerce of the world. Other valleys with teeming intervale and fruitful upland, rich with romantic tradition and patriotic story, filled like this with happy homes and humming workshops, wind through the vast commonwealth, ample channels of its various life; and town and city, village and hamlet, church and school, everywhere illustrate and promote the prosperous repose of a community great, intelligent and free. But this spot alone within our borders is consecrated as the scene of one of the decisive events that affect the course of history. There are deeds on which the welfare of the world seems to be staked; conflicts in which liberty is lost or won; victories by which the standard of human progress is full high advanced. Between sunrise and sunset, on some chance field the deed is done, but from that day it is a field enchanted. Imagination invests it with

"The light that never was on sea or land."

The grateful heart of mankind repeats its name; Heroism feeds upon its story; Patriotism kindles with its perennial fire. Such is the field on which we stand. It is not ours. It does not belong to New York; nor to America. It is an indefeasible estate of the world, like the field of Arbela, of Tours, of Hastings, of Waterloo; and the same lofty charm that draws the pilgrim to the plain of Marathon resistlessly leads him to the field of Saratoga.

The drama of the Revolution opened in New England, culminated in New York, and closed in Virginia. It was a happy fortune that the three colonies which represented the various territorial sections of the settled continent were each in turn the chief seat of war. The common sacrifice, the common struggle, the common triumph, tended to weld them locally, politically and morally together. Doubtless there were conflicts of provincial pride and jealousy and suspicion. The Virginia officers smiled loftily at the raw Yankee militia; the Green Mountain boys distrusted the polished discipline of New York; and the New York Schuyler thought those boys brave but dangerously independent. In every great crisis of the war, however, these was a common impulse and devotion, and the welfare of the continent obliterated provincial lines. It is by the few heaven piercing peaks, not by the confused mass of upland, that we measure the height of the Andes, of the Alps, of the Himalayas. It is by Joseph Warren, not by Benjamin Church, by John Jay, not by Sir John Johnson, by George Washington, not be Benedict Arnold, that we test the quality of the revolutionary character. The voice of Patrick Henry from the mountains answered that of James Otis by the sea. Paul Revere's lantern shone through the valley of the Hudson, and flashed along the cliffs of the Blue Ridge. The scattering volley of Lexington green swelled to the triumphant thunder of Saratoga, and the reverberation of Burgoyne's falling arms in New York shook those of Cornwallis in Virginia from his hands. Doubts, jealousies, prejudices, were merged in one common devotion. The union of the colonies to secure liberty foretold the union of the states to maintain it, and wherever we stand on revolutionary fields, or inhale the sweetness of revolutionary memories, we tread the ground and breathe the air of invincible national union.

Our especial interest and pride, today, are in the most important event of the Revolution upon the soil of New York. Concord and Lexington, Bunker Hill and Bennington, the Brandywine and Germantown, have had their fitting centennial commemorations, and already at Kingston and Oriskany, New York has taken up the wondrous tale of her civil and military achievements. In proud continuation of her story we stand here. Sons of sires who bled with Sterling on the Land Island shore, who fought with Herkimer in the deadly Oneida defile; who defended the Highland forts with George Clinton; who, with Robert Livingston and Gouverneur Morris were, were driven from town to town by stress of war, yet framed a civil constitution, all untouched by the asperity of the conflict and a noble model for all free States; sons of sires who, leaving the plough and the bench, gathered on this historic war path, the key of the then civilized continent; the western battleground of Europe; the trail by which Frontenac's Indians prowled to Schenectady, and crept to the Connecticut and beyond; the way by which Sir William Johnson and his army passed in the old French war, and humbled Dieskau at Lake George; the road along which Abercrombie and his bright array marched to disaster in the summer morning, and Amherst marshaled his men to cooperate with Wolf in the humbling of Quebec; sons of sires, who, mustering here on ground still trembling with the tread of armies, where the air forever echoes with the savage war whoop, or murmurs with the pathetic music of the march and the camp---

"Why, soldiers, why,
Should we be melancholy, boys?
Whose business 'tis to die."

even here withstood the deadly British blow and enveloping the haughty Burgoyne, compelled not only him to yield his sword, but England to surrender an empire; sons of such sires, who should not proudly recall such deeds of theirs and gratefully revere their memory, would be forever scorned as faithless depositories of the great English and American tradition, and the great human benediction, of patient, orderly, self-restrained liberty.

When King George heard of the battle of Bunker Hill, he consoled himself with the thought that New York was still unswervingly loyal; and it was the hope and the faith of his ministry that the rebellion might at last be baffled in that great colony. It was a region of vast extent, but thinly peopled, for the population was but little more than one hundred and sixty thousand. It had been settled by men of various races, who, upon the sea shore, and through the remote valleys, and in the primeval wilderness, cherished the freedom that they brought and transmitted to their children. But the colony lacked that homogeneity of population which produced general sympathy of conviction and concert of action; which gives a community one soul, one heart, one hand, interprets every man's thought to his neighbor, and explains so much of the great deeds of the Grecian commonwealths, of Switzerland, and of Old and New England. In New York, also, were the hereditary manors, -- vast domains of a few families, private principalities, with feudal relations and traditions -- and the spirit of a splendid proprietary life was essentially hostile to doctrines of popular right and power. In the magnificent territory of the Mohawk and its tributaries, Sir William Johnson, amid his family and dependents, lived in baronial state among the Indians, with whom he was allied by marriage, and to whom he was the vicar of their royal father over the sea. The Johnsons were virtually supreme in the country of the Mohawk, and as they were intensely loyal, the region west of Albany became a dark and bloody ground of civil strife. In the city of New York, and in the neighboring counties of Westchester upon the river and sound, of Richmond upon the bay, and Queens and Suffolk on the sea, the fear that sprang from conscious exposure to the naval power of Great Britain, the timidity of commercial trade, the natural loyalty of numerous officers of the crown, all combined to foster antipathy to any disturbance of that established authority which secured order and peace.

But deeper and stronger than all other causes was the tender reluctance of Englishmen in America to believe that reconciliation with the mother country was impossible. Even after the great day on Bunker Hill, when, in full sight of his country and of all future America, Joseph Warren, the well beloved disciple of American liberty, fell, congress, while justifying war, recoiled from declaring independence. Doubtless the voice of John Adams, of Massachusetts, counseling immediate and entire separation, spoke truly for the unanimous and fervent patriotism of New England; but doubtless, also, the voice of John Jay, of new York, who knew the mingled sentiment of the great province whose position in the struggle must be decisive, in advising one more appeal to the king, was a voice of patriotism as pure, and of courage as unqualing.

The appeal was made, and made in vain. The year that opened with Concord and Lexington ended with the gloomy tragedy of the Canada campaign. On the last day of the year, in a tempest of sleet and snow, the combined forces of New England and New York made a desperate, futile onset; and the expedition from which Washington and the country had anticipated results so inspiring was dashed in pieces against the walls of Quebec. The country mourned, but New York had a peculiar sorrow. Leaving his tranquil and beautiful home upon this river, one of her noblest soldiers -- brave, honorable, gentle -- the son-in-law of Livingston, the friend of Schuyler, after a brief career of glory, died the death of a hero. "You shall not blush for your Montgomery," he said to his bride as he left her. For fifty years a widow, his bride saw him no more. But while this stately river flows through the mountains to the sea, its waves will still proudly murmur the name, and recall the romantic and heroic story of Richard Montgomery.

The year 1776 was not less gloomy for the American cause. Late in November Washington was hurriedly retreating across New Jersey, pursued by Cornwallis, his army crumbling with every step, the state paralyzed with terror, congress flying affrighted from Philadelphia to Baltimore, and the apparent sole remaining hope of American independence, the rigor of winter, snow, and impassable roads. Ah, no! It was not in the winter but in summer that hope lay, not in the relentless frost of the elements, but in the heavenly fire of hearts beating high with patriotic resolve, and turning the snow flakes of that terrible retreat into immortal roses of victory and joy. While Howe and his officers, in the warm luxury and wild debauchery of the city they had captured, believed the war ended, gaily sang and madly caroused, Washington, in the dreary Christmas evening, turned on the ice of the Delaware, and struck the Hessians fatally at Trenton; then in the cold January sunrise, defeating the British at Princetown, his army filled with bleeding feet into the highlands of New Jersey, and half starved and scantily clothed, encamped upon the frozen hills of Morristown. "The Americans have done much, said despairingly one of their truest friends in England, Edmund Burke, "but it is now evident that they cannot look standing armies in the face." That however, was to be determined by the campaign of 1777.

For that campaign England was already preparing. Seven years before, General Carleton, who still commanded in Canada, had proposed to hold the water line between the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the bay of New York, to prevent a separation of the colonies. It was now proposed to hold it to compel a separation. The ocean mouths of the great waterway were both in complete possession of the crown. It was a historic warpath. Here had waged the prolonged conflict between France and England for the control of the continent, and in fierce war upon the waters of New York, no less than on the plains of Abraham, the power of France in America finally fell. Here, also, where it had humbled its proud rival, the strong hand of England grasping for unjust dominion was to be triumphantly shaken off. This region was still a wilderness. Seventy years before, the first legal land title in it was granted. In 1745, thirty years before the Revolution, it was the extreme English outpost. In 1777, the settlers were few, and feared the bear and the catamount less than the Tory and the Indian. They still built block houses for retreat and defense like the first New England settlers a hundred and fifty years before. Nowhere during the Revolution were the horrors of civil war so constant and so dire as here. The Tories seized and harassed, shot and hung the Whigs, stole their stock and store, burned their barns and ruined their crops, and the Whigs remorselessly retaliated. The stealthy Indian struck, shrieked and vanished. The wolf and the wildcat lurked in the thicket. Man and beast were equally cruel. Terror overhung the fated region, and as the great invasion approached, the universal flight and devastation recalled the grim desolation in Germany during the thirty years' war.

Gentleman John Burgoyne.

Of that invasion, and of the campaign of 1777, the central figure is John Burgoyne. No name among the British generals of the Revolution is more familiar, yet he was neither a great soldier nor a great man. He was willing to bribe his old comrade in arms, Charles Lee, to betray the American cause, and he threatened to loose savages upon the Americans for defending it. Burgoyne was an admirable type of the English fashionable gentleman of his day. The grandson of a baronet, a Westminster boy, and trained to arms, he eloped with a daughter of the great Whig house of Derby, left the army and lived gaily on the continent. Restored to a military career by political influence, he served as a captain in France, and returning to England, was elected to parliament. He went a brigadier to Portugal, and led a brilliant charge at Valentia d'Alcantara, was complimented by the great Count Lippe, and flattered by the British prime minister. For his gallantry the king of Spain gave him a diamond ring, and with that blazing on his finger he returned once more to England, flushed with brief glory. There for some years he was a man of pleasure. He wrote slight verses and little plays that are forgotten. Reynolds painted his portrait in London, as Ramsay had painted it in Rome. Horace Walpole sneered at him for his plays, but Lord Chatham praised him for his military notes. Tall and handsome, graceful and winning in manner, allied to a noble house, a favorite at court and on parade, he was a gay companion at the table, the club and the theater. The king admired his dragoons,and conferred upon him profitable honors, which secured to him a refined and luxurious life. In parliament, when the American war began, Burgoyne took the high British ground, but with the urbanity of a soldier, and he gladly obeyed the summons to service in America, and sailed with Howe and Clinton on the great day that the British troops marched to Concord. He saw the battle of Bunker Hill, and praised the American courage and military ability, but was very sure that trained troops would always overcome militia. The one American whom he extolled was Samuel Adams. He thought that he combined the ability of Caesar with the astuteness of Cromwell; that he led Franklin and all the other leaders, and that if his counsels continued to control the continent, America must be subdued or relinquished.

Burgoyne saw little actual service in this country until he arrived at Quebec on the 6th of May, 1777, as commander of the great enterprise of the year. The plan of the campaign was large and simple. One expedition led by Burgoyne, was to force its way from Quebec to Albany, through the valley of the Hudson, and another, under St. Leger, was to push through the valley of the Mohawk, to the same point. At Albany, they were to join General Howe, who would advance up the river from the bay. By the success of these combined operations, the British would command New York, and New England would be absolutely cut off. This last result alone would be a signal triumph. New England was the nest of rebellion. There were the fields where British power was first defied in arms. There were the Green Mountains from which Ethan Allen and his boys had streamed upon Ticonderoga. There was Boston bay where the tea had been scattered, and Narragansett bay where the Gaspe had been burned, and the harbors of Machias and of Newport, from which the British ships had been chased to sea. There were Faneuil Hall and the town meeting. There was Boston, whose ports had been closed -- Boston with the street of the massacre -- Boston, of which King George had bitterly said that he would "as lief fight the Bostonians as the French." There were the pulpits which preached what Samuel Adams called liberty, and Samuel Johnson sedition. The very air of New England was full of defiance. The woods rustled it, the waters murmured it, the stern heart of its rugged nature seemed to beat in unison with the stout heart of man, and all throbbed together with the invincible Anglo-Saxon instinct of liberty. To cut off New England from her sisters -- to seize and hold the great New York valleys of Champlain and the Hudson --- was to pierce the heart of the rebellion, and to paralyze American. Here then was to be the crucial struggle. Here in New York once more the contest for the western continent was to be decided. Burgoyne had airily said in London, that with an army of ten thousand men he could promenade through America, and now the brilliant gentleman was to make good his boast.

While he was crossing the ocean to begin his task, and when every possible effort should have been made by congress to meet the ample and splendid preparations for the British invasion, wretched intrigues displaced General Schuyler in the northern department, and it was not until late in May that he was restored to the command. The peril was at hand, but it was impossible to collect men. By the end of June, the entire garrison of Ticonderoga and Fort Independence, the first great barrier against the advance of Burgoyne, consisted of twenty-five hundred continentals and nine hundred militia, barefooted and ragged, without proper arms or sufficient blankets, and lacking every adequate preparation for defense. But more threatening than all, was Sugarloaf hill, rising above Ticonderoga, and completely commanding the fort. General Schuyler saw it, but even while he pointed out the danger, and while General St. Clair, the commandant of the port, declared that from the want of troops nothing could be done, the drums of Burgoyne's army were joyfully beating in the summer dawn; the bugles rang, the cannon thundered, the rising June sun shone on the scarlet coats of British grenadiers, on the bright helmets of German dragoons, and on burnished artillery and polished arms. There were more than seven thousand trained and veteran troops besides Canadians and Indians. They were admirably commanded and equipped, although the means of land transport were fatally insufficient. But all was hope and confidence. The battle flags were unfurled, the word was given, and with every happy augury, the royal standard of England proudly set forward for conquest. On the 1st of July, the brilliant pageant swept up Lake Champlain, and the echoes of the mighty wilderness which had answered the guns of Amherst and the drum beat of Montcalm, saluted the frigates and the gunboats that, led by a dusky swarm of Indians in bark canoes, stretched between the eastern shore, along which Riedesel and the Germans marched, and the main body advancing with Phillips upon the west. The historic waters of Champlain have never seen a spectacle more splendid than the advancing army of Burgoyne. But so with his glittering Asian hordes, two thousand years before, the Persian king advanced to Salamis.

At evening the British army was before Ticonderoga. The trained eye of the English engineers instantly saw the advantage of Sugarloaf, the higher hill, and the rising sun of the 5th of July glared in the amazed eyes of the Ticonderoga garrison, on the red coats entrenched upon Sugarloaf, with their batteries commanding every point within the fort, and their glasses every movement. Sugarloaf had become Mount Defiance. St. Clair had no choice. All day he assumed indifference, but quietly made very preparation, and before dawn the next day he stole away. The moon shone, but his flight was undetected, until the flames of a fire foolishly set to a house suddenly flashed over the landscape and revealed his retreat. He was instantly pursued. His rear guard was overtaken, and by the valor of its fierce but hopeless fight gave an undying name to the wooded hills of Hubbardton.

Ticonderoga fell, and the morning of its fall was the high hour of Burgoyne's career. Without a blow, by the mere power of his presence, he had undone the electric deed of Ethan Allen; he had captured the historic prize of famous campaigns. The chief obstruction to his triumphal American promenade had fallen. The bright promise of the invasion would be fulfilled, and Burgoyne would be the alluded hero of the war. Doubtless his handsome lip curled in amused disdain at the flying and frightened militia, plough boys that might infest but could not impede his further advance. His eager fancy could picture the delight of London, the joy of the clubs, of parliament, of the king. He could almost hear the royal George bursting into the queen's room and shouting, "I have beat all the Americans." He could almost read the assurance of the minister to the proud earl, his father-in-law, that the King designed for him the vacant Red Ribbon. But his aspiring ambition surely anticipated a loftier reward -- a garter, a coronet, and at last Westminster Abbey and undying glory.

Ticonderoga fell, and with it, apparently, fell in Europe all hope of the patriot cause; and in America, all confidence and happy expectation. The Tories were jubilant. The wavering Indians were instantly open enemies. The militia sullenly went home. The solitary settlers fled southward through the forests and over the eastern hills. Even Albany was appalled,and its pale citizens sent their families away. Yet this panic stricken valley of the upper Hudson was now the field on which, if anywhere, the cause was to be saved. Five counties of the State were in the hands of the enemy; three were in anarchy. Schuyler was at Fort Edward with scarcely a thousand men. The weary army of St. Clair, shrunken to fifteen hundred continentals, all the militia having dropped away, struggled for a week through the forest, and emerged forlorn and exhausted at the fort. Other troops arrived but the peril was imminent. New York was threatened at every point, and with less than five thousand ill-equipped regulars and militia to oppose the victorious Burgoyne, who was but a single long day's march away, with only the forts and the boom and chain in the Highlands to stay Clinton's assent from the bay, and only the little garrison at Fort Stanwix to withstand St. Leger, General Schuyler and the council of State implored aid from every quarter. A loud clamor, bred of old jealousy and fresh disappointment arose against Schuyler, the commander of the department, and St. Clair, the commander of the post. The excitement and dismay were universal, and the just apprehension was most grave. But when the storm was loudest it was pierced by the clam voice of Washington, whose soul quailed before no disaster: "We should never despair; our situation has before been unpromising and has changed for the better; so I trust it will be again." He sent Arnold to Schuyler, as an accomplished officer, familiar with the country. He urged the eastern states to move to his succor. He ordered all available boats from Albany to New Windsor and Fishkill, upon the Hudson, to be ready for any part of his own army that he might wish to detach. While thus the commander-in-chief cared for all, each cared for itself. The stout hearted George Clinton, and the council of New York were thoroughly aroused and alert. Vermont called upon New Hampshire, and the White Mountains answered to the Green by summoning Stark and Whipple, who, gathering their men, hastened to the Hudson.

While this wild panic and alarm swept through the country, Burgoyne remained for a fortnight at the head of Lake Champlain. He, also, had his troubles. He was forced to garrison Ticonderoga from his serviceable troops. His Indian allies began to annoy him. Provisions came in slowly, and the first fatal weakness of the expedition was already betrayed in the inadequate supply of wagons and horses. But the neighboring Tories joined him, and counting upon the terror that his triumphant progress had inspired, he moved at the end of July from Lake Champlain toward the Hudson. His march was through the wilderness which Schuyler had desolated to the utmost, breaking up the roads, choking with trees the navigable streams, destroying forage, and driving away cattle. But Burgoyne forced his way through, building forty bridges and laying a log wood road for two miles across a morass. The confidence of triumph cheered the way. So sure was victory, that as if it had been a huge pleasure party, the wives of officers accompanied the camp, and the Baroness Riesesel came in a calash from Fort George to join her husband with Burgoyne. But before that slowly toiling army, the startled frontier country fled. Almost every patriot house west of the Green mountains and north of Manchester was deserted. The Tories, proud of British protection, placed signs in their hats and before their doors and upon the horns of their cattle, wearing the Tory badge, as Gurth wore the collar of Cedric the Saxon. To us the scene is a romantic picture. The scarlet host of Burgoyne flashes through the forest with pealing music; the soldiers smooth the rough way with roistering songs; the trains and artillery toil slowly on; the red cloud of savages glimmers on his skirts, driving before him farmers with wives and children, faint and sick with cruel apprehensions, flying through a land of terror. To us, it is a picture. But to know what it truly was, let the happy farmer on those green slopes and placid meadows, imagine a sudden flight tonight with all he loves from all he owns, struggling up steep hills, lost in tangled woods, crowding along difficult roads, at every step expecting the glistening tomahawk, the bullet, and the mercies of a foreign soldiery. Not many miles from this spot, the hapless Jane MacCrea was killed as Burgoyne's savages hurried her away. Her story rang through the land like a woman's cry of agony. This then, was British chivalry! Burgoyne, indeed had not meant murder, but he had threatened it. The name of the innocent girl became the rallying cry for armies, and to a thousand indignant hearts, her blood cried from the ground for vengeance. We come with song and speech and proud commemoration to celebrate the triumph of this day. Let us not forget the cost of that triumph, the infinite suffering that this unchanging sky beheld; the torture of men; the heartbreak of women; the terror of little children, that paid for the happiness which we enjoy.

Burgoyne reached the Hudson unattacked. As he arrived, although he had no tidings from below, he heard of the successful advance in the valley of the Mohawk, St. Leger had reached Fort Stanwix without the loss of a man. It was necessary, therefore, for Burgoyne to hasten to make his junction at Albany with Howe and St. Leger, and on the 6th of August he sent word to Howe that he hoped to be in Albany by the 22d. But, even as he wrote, the blow fatal to his hopes was struck. On that very day the patriots of Tryon county, men of German blood, led by Nicholas Herkimer, were hastening to the relief of Fort Stanwix, which St. Leger had beleaguered. The tale has just been eloquently told to fifty thousand children of the Mohawk valley gathered on the field of Oriskany, and it will be told to their children's children so long as the grass of that field shall grow, and the waters of the Mohawk flow. In the hot summer morning, Herkimer and his men marched under the peaceful trees into the deadly ambush, and in the depth of the defile were suddenly enveloped in a storm of fire and death. Ah! blood-red field of Oriskany! For five doubtful desperate hours, without lines, or fort, or artillery, hand to hand, with knife and rifle, with tomahawk and spear, swaying and struggling, slipping in blood and stumbling over dead bodies, raged the most deadly battle of the war. Full of heroic deeds, full of precious memories; a sacrifice that was not lost. The stars that shone at evening over the field, saw the Indian and the white man stark and stiff, still locked in the death grapple, still clenching the hair of the foe, still holding the dripping knife in his breast. The brave Herkimer, fatally wounded, called for his Bible and tranquilly died. He did not relieve the fort, but it held out until Benedict Arnold, sent by Schuyler, coming up the valley, craftily persuaded St. Leger's Indians that his men were as the leaves of the forest for number. The savages fled; St. Leger's force melted away; the Mohawk expedition had wholly failed, and the right hand of Burgoyne was shattered.

Every day lost to the English general was now a disaster. But his fatal improvidence forced him to inaction. He could not move without supplies of food and horses, and an expedition to secure them would also serve as a diversion to favor St. Leger. Three days after Oriskany, and before he had heard of that battle, Burgoyne detached the expedition to Bennington. New England was ready for him there as New York had been at Stanwix. Parson Allen from Pittsfield came in his chaise. Everybody else came as he could, and when the British advance was announced, John Stark marched his militia just over the line of New York, where the enemy was entrenched on the uplands of the Walloomsic, and skillfully surrounding them, the Yankee farmers who had hurried away from their summer work, swept up the hill with fiery and resistless fury, seized the blazing guns, and drove the veteran troops as if they were wolves and wild cats threatening their farms, and after a lull renewing the onset against fresh foes, the New England militia won the famous battle of Bennington, and the left hand of Burgoyne was shattered.

So soon was the splendid promise of Ticonderoga darkened. The high and haughty tone was changed. "I yet do not despond," wrote Burgoyne on the 20th of August, and he had not yet heard of St. Leger's fate. But he had reason to fear. The glad light of Bennington and Oriskany had pierced the gloom that weighed upon the country. It was everywhere jubilant and everywhere rising. The savages deserted the British camp. The harvest was gathered, and while New England and New York had fallen fatally upon the flanks of Burgoyne, Washington now sent Virginia to join New York and New England in his front, detaching from is own army Morgan and his men, the most famous rifle corps of the Revolution. Indeed, Burgoyne's situation was worse than he knew. It now appears that the orders of cooperation with him were not sent to Lord Howe. Lord Shelburne in a memorandum upon Lord George Germaine, recently published, says of the inconsistent orders, given to the two General in America, that Lord George was very impatient of trouble, and that he had appointed to call at his office and sign the dispatches, but by some mistake those of Lord Howe's were not fairly copied; Lord George would not stop and the clerks promised to send them to the country. But then ensued forgetfulness and delay, and the packet sailed without Lord Howe's orders. Of this, however, Burgoyne knew nothing. He will still counting upon the active cooperation of Lord Howe, while he chafed under his own mishaps. But while the American prospect brightened, General Schuyler, by order of Congress, was superseded by General Gates. Schuyler, a most sagacious and diligent officer whom Washington wholly trusted, was removed for the alleged want of his most obvious quality, the faculty of comprehensive organization. But the New England militia disliked him, and even Samuel Adams was impatient of him; but Samuel Adams was also impatient of Washington. Public irritation with the situation, and jealous intrigue in camp and in Congress procured Schuyler's removal. He was wounded to the heart, but his patriotism did not waver. He remained in camp to be of what service he could, and he entreated Congress to order a speedy and searching inquiry into his conduct. It was at last made, and left him absolutely unstained. He was unanimously acquitted with the highest honor, and Congress approved the verdict. General Schuyler did not again enter upon active military service, but he and Rufus King were the first senators that New York sent to the senate of the United States. Time has restored his fame, and the history of his State records no more patriotic name among her illustrious sons than that which is commemorated by this village, the name of Philip Schuyler.

Largely reinforced, Gates, on the 12th of September, advanced to Bemus Heights, which the young Kosclusko had fortified, and there he awaited Burgoyne's approach. Burgoyne's orders had left him no discretion. He must force his way to Albany. With soldierly loyalty, therefore, he must assume that Howe was pushing up the Hudson, and that his won delay might imperil Howe by permitting the Americans to turn suddenly upon him. On the 11th of September he announced to his camp that he had sent the lake fleet to Canada, that he had virtually abandoned his communications, and that his army must fight its way or perish. On the 13th he crossed the Hudson, and then received his first tidings from Howe, in a letter from him written long before, and which did not even mention a junction. Burgoyne had already felt himself deserted if not betrayed, and he comprehended his critical situation. Howe was on the Delaware and Carleton would give him no aid from Canada. The country behind him was already swarming with militia. He was encamped in a dense forest, with an enemy hidden in the same forest before him, whose drumbeat and morning gun he could hear, but whose numbers and position he did not know. Yet while he could see nothing, every movement of his own was noted by an eagle eye in the tree top on the eastern side of the Hudson, and reported to Gates. And when at last Burgoyne marched out in full array, with all the glittering pomp of war, to find the foe in the forest, Gates instantly knew it. Burgoyne boldly advanced, his communication with Canada gone, the glory of Ticonderoga dimmed, the union with Howe uncertain, disaster on the right hand and on the left, the peerage and Westminster Abbey both fading from hope, and he suddenly confronted breastworks, artillery and a eager army. He must fight or fly, nor did he hesitate. At eleven o'clock on the morning of the 19th of September, he advanced in three columns toward Gates's line on Bemus Heights. At one o'clock the action began; at four it was general and desperate; at five, Burgoyne's army was in mortal peril; at nightfall the Germans had stayed the fatal blow, and the battle ended. Both sides claimed the victory, and the British bivouacked on the field. As on Bunker Hill, the first battle in America which Burgoyne had seen, if this were a British victory another would destroy the British army.

Benedict Arnold.

Second battle of Freeman's Farm fought on Oct 7, 1777. When it was over, Burgoyne was finished, and the British hopes of a quick end to the war. A wounded Arnold is in the center. Horatio Gates was nominally in charge of the American forces at Saratoga, and claimed credit for the victory, real credit has to go to Stark, Morgan and Arnold, who was brilliant in the last battle he fought on the American side.

Burgoyne huddled his dead into the ground, hastily entrenched and fortified a new position, soothed a discouraged army and meditated a fresh assault. But receiving the good news of Howe's success at the Brandywine, and of the immediate advance of Clinton, who had been left in command in the city of New York, to break through the Highlands of the Hudson and fall upon the rear of Gates, he decided to wait. He was encamped in the wilderness without communications, but he sent word to Clinton that he could hold out until the 12th of October. Again through the forest he heard the morning and evening gun and the shouting of the American camp, and once the joyful firing of cannon that he could not understand, but which announced American victories in his rear. The alarm of the British camp was constant. The picket firing was incessant. Officers and men slept in their clothes, rations were reduced, and the hungry army heard every night the howling of the wolves that haunted the outskirts of the camp as if making ready for their prey. At last, with provisions for sixteen days only, and no news from Clinton, Burgoyne summoned his generals for a final council. It was the evening of the 5th of October, and, could he but have known it, Howe, at Germantown, had again succeeded, and Sir Henry Clinton was just breaking his way through the Highlands, victorious and desolating. On the very morning that Burgoyne fought his fatal battle the river forts had fallen, the bom and chain were cleared away, the marauding British fleet sailed into Newburgh bay, Clinton sent word gaily to Burgoyen, "Here we are! nothing between us and Albany," while Putnam was hastening up along the eastern bank and George Clinton along the western, rousing the country and rallying the flying citizens from their alarm. Of all this Burgoyne knew nothing. In his extremity his own plan was to leave boats, provisions and magazines, for three or four days, and falling upon the left of the Americans to attempt to gain the rear. The German General, Riedesel, advised falling back toward the lake. The English Fraser was willing to fight. The English Phillips was silent. Compelled to decide, Burgoyne at last determined to reconnoiter the American in force, and if he thought that an attack would be unwise, then retreat toward the lake.

On the morning of the 7th of October, at ten o'clock, fifteen hundred of the best troops in the world, led by four of the most experienced and accomplished general, with a skirmishing van of Canadian rangers and Indians, moved in three columns toward the left of the American position into a field of wheat. They began to cut forage. Startled by the rattling picket fire, the American Morgan and the Virginia sharpshooters were thrown out beyond the British right. Poor, with the New York and New Hampshire men, moved steadily through the woods toward the British left, which began the battle with a vigorous cannonade. The American dashed forward, opened to the right and left, flanked the enemy, struck him with a blasting fire, then closed and grappling hand to hand, the mad mass of combatants swayed and staggered for half and hour, five times taking and retaking a single gun. At the first the fire upon the left, the Virginia sharpshooters, shouting, and blazing with deadly aim, rushed forward with such fury that the appalled British right wavered and recoiled. While it yet staggered under the blow of Virginia, New England swept up, and with its flaming muskets broke the English line, which wildly fled. It reformed and again advanced, while the whole American force dashed against the British center, held by the Germans, whose right and left had been uncovered. The Germans bravely stood, and the British General Fraser hurried to their aid. He seemed upon the British side the inspiring genius of the day. With fatal aim an American sharpshooter fired and Fraser fell. With him sank the British heart. Three thousand New Yorkers, led by Ten Broeck, came freshly up, and the whole American line, jubilant with certain victory, advancing, Burgoyne abandoned his guns and ordered a retreat to his camp. It was but fifty-two minutes since the action began. The British dismayed, bewildered, overwhelmed, were scarcely within their redoubts, when Benedict Arnold, to whom the jealous Gates, who did not come upon the field during the day, had refused a command, out riding an aid whom Gates had sent to recall him, came spurring up; Benedict Arnold, whose name America does not love, whose ruthless will had dragged the Canadian expedition through the starving wilderness of Maine, who volunteering to relieve Fort Stanwix had, by the mere terror of his coming, blown St. Leger away, and who, on the 19th of September, had saved the American left, --Benedict Arnold, whom battle stung to fury, now whirled from end to end of the American line, hurled it against the Great Redoubt, driving the enemy at the point of the bayonet; then flinging himself to the extreme right, and finding there the Massachusetts brigade, swept it with him to the assault, and streaming over the breastworks, scattered the Brunswickers who defended them, killed their colonel, gained and held the point which commanded the entire British position, while at the same moment his horse was shot under him, and he sank to the ground wounded in the leg that had been wounded at Quebec. Here, upon the Hudson, where he tried to betray his country, here upon the spot where, in the crucial hour of the Revolution, he illustrated and led the American valor that made us free and great, knowing well that no earlier service can atone for a later crime, let us recall for one brief instant of infinite pity, the name that has been justly execrated for a century.

Night fell, and the weary fighters slept. Before day dawned, Burgoyne, exhausted and overwhelmed, drew off the remainder of his army, and the Americans occupied his camp. All day the lines exchanged a sharp fire. At evening, in a desolate autumn rain, having buried solemnly, amid the flash and rattle of bombs and artillery, his gallant friend, Fraser; leaving his sick and wounded to the mercies of the foe, Burgoyne who, in the splendid hour of his first advance had so proudly proclaimed "this army must not retreat," turned to fly. He moved until nearly daybreak, then rested from the slow and toilsome march until toward sunset, and on the evening of the 9th he crossed Fish creek and bivouacked in the open air. A more vigorous march -- but it was impracticable -- would have given him the heights of Saratoga, and secured the passage of the river. But everywhere he was too late. The American sharpshooters hovered around him, cutting off supplies, and preventing him from laying roads. There was, indeed, one short hour of hope that Gates, mistaking the whole British army for its flying rear guard, would expose himself to a destructive ambush and assault. When the snare was discovered, the last hope of Burgoyne vanished,and unable to stir, he sat down grimly north of the creek, where his army, wasted to thirty-four hundred effective men, was swiftly and completely encircled by the Americans, who commanded it at every point, and harassed it with shot and shell. Gates, with the confidence of overpowering numbers, purposely avoided battle. Burgoyne, deserted by his allies, his army half gone, with less than five days' food, with no word from Clinton, with no chance of escape, prepared honorably to surrender.

On the 14th of October he proposed a cessation of arms to arrange terms of capitulation. His agent, Lieutenant-Colonel Kingston, was received at the crossing of the creek by Adjutant-General Wilkinson, and was conducted by him, blindfolded, to General Gates, Gate's terms required an unconditional surrender of the army as prisoners of war. Burgoyne, anxious to save his army to the king for service elsewhere, insisted that it should be returned to England, under engagement not to serve again in North America during the war. Gates had no wish to prolong the negotiations. He had heard from Putnam that the English army and fleet were triumphantly sweeping up the river, and that he must expect "the worst," and he therefore hastened to accept the proposition of Burgoyne. But Washington with his Fabian policy, scorned even by Samuel and John Adams, had made the "the worst" impossible. Hanging upon the army of Howe, engaging it, although unsuccessfully, at the Brandywine and at Germantown, he had perplexed, delayed and disconcerted the British general, gaining the time which was the supreme necessity for success against Burgoyne. By reason of Washington's operations, Howe could not strengthen Clinton as they both expected, and Clinton could not move until his slow reinforcements from over the sea arrived. When they came, he burst through the Highlands indeed, with fire and pillage, and hastened to fall upon the rear of Gates. But before he could reach him, while still forty miles away, he heard the astounding news of Burgoyne's surrender, and he dropped down the river sullenly, back to New York, he, too, baffled by the vigilance, the wariness, the supreme self command of Washington.

For a moment, when Burgoyne heard of Clinton's success, he thought to avoid surrender. But it was too late. He could not, honorably, recall his word. At nine o'clock on the morning of this day, a hundred years ago, he signed the convention. At eleven o'clock his troops marched to this meadow, the site of old Fort Hardy,and with tears coursing down bearded cheeks, with passionate sobs and oaths of rage and defiance,the soldiers kissing their guns with the tenderness of lovers, or with sudden frenzy knocking off the butts of their muskets, and the drummers stamping on their drums, the king's army laid down their arms. No American eyes, except those of Morgan Lewis and James Wilkinson, aids of General Gates, beheld the surrender. As the British troops filed afterward between the American lines, they saw so sign of exultation, but they heard the drums and fifes playing "Yankee Doodle." A few minutes later, Burgoyen and his suite rode to the headquarters of Gates. The English general, as if for a court holiday, glittered in scarlet and gold; Gates plainly clad in a blue overcoat, attended by General Schuyler in citizen's dress,w ho had come to congratulate him, and by his proud and happy staff, received his guest with urbane courtesy. They exchanged the compliments of soldiers. "The fortune of war, General Gates, has made me your prisoner." Gates gracefully replied, "I shall always be ready to testify that it has not been through any fault of your Excellency." The general entered the tenet of Gates and dined together. With the same courtly compliment the English general toasted General Washington, the American general toasted the king. Then, as the English army, without artillery or arms, approached on their march to the sea, the two generals stepped out in front of the tens, and standing together, conspicuous on this spot, in full view of the Americans and of the British army, General Burgoyne drew his sword, bowed, and presented it to General Gates. General Gates bowed, received the sword, and returned it to General Burgoyne.

Such was the simple ceremony that marked the turning point of the Revolution. All the defeats, indeed, all the struggles, the battles, the sacrifices, the sufferings, at all times and in every colony, were indispensable to the great result. Concord, Lexington, Bunker Hill, Moultrie, Long Island, Trenton, Oriskany, Bennington, the Brandywine, Germantown, Saratoga, Monmouth, Camden, Cowpen, Guilford, Eutaw Springs, Yorkstown, -- what American does not kindle as he calls the glorious battle roll of the Revolution! whether victories or defeats, all are essential lights and shades in the immortal picture. But, as gratefully acknowledging the service of all the patriots, we yet call Washington father, so mindful of the value of every event, we may agree that the defeat of Burgoyne determined American independence. Thenceforth it was but a question of time. The great doubt was solved. Out of a rural militia an army could be trained to cope at every point successfully with the most experienced and disciplined troops in the world. In the first bitter moment of his defeat, Burgoyne generously wrote to a military friend, "A better armed, a better bodied, a more alert or better prepared army in all essential points of military institution, I am afraid is not to be found on our side of the question." The campaign in New York also, where the loyalists were strongest, had shown, what was afterward constantly proved, that the British crown, despite the horrors of Cherry Valley and Wyoming, could not count upon general of effective aid from the Tories nor from the Indians. At last it was plain that if Britain would conquer, she must overrun and crush the continent, and that was impossible. The shrewdest men in England and in Europe saw it. Lord North himself, King George's chief minister, owned it, and grieved in his blind old age that he had not followed his conviction. Edmund Burke would have made peace on any terms. Charles Fox exclaimed that the ministers knew as little how to make peace as war. The Duke of Richmond urged the impossibility of conquest, and the historian Gibbon, who in parliament had voted throughout the war as Dr. Johnson would have done, agreed that America was lost. The king of France ordered Franklin to be told that he should support the cause of the Untied States. In April he sent a fleet to American, and from that time to the end of the war, the French and Americans battled together on sea and land, until on this very day, the seventeenth day of October, 1781, four years after the disaster of Burgoyne, Cornwallis, on the plains of Yorktown, proposed a surrender to the combined armies of France and the United States. The terms were settled upon our part jointly by an American and a French officer, while Washington and La Fayette stood side by side as the British laid down their arms. It was the surrender of Burgoyne that determined the French alliance and the French alliance secured the final triumph.

It is the story of a hundred years ago. It has been ceaselessly told by sire to son, along this valley and through this land. The latter attempt of the same foe and the bright day of victory at Plattsburgh on the lake, renewed and confirmed the old hostility. Alienation of feeling between the parent country and the child became traditional, and on both sides of the sea a narrow prejudice survives,and still sometimes seeks to kindle the embers of that waster fire. But here and now we stand upon the grave of old enmities. Hostile breastwork and redoubt are softly hidden under grass and grain; shot and shell and every deadly missile are long since buried deep beneath our feet,and from the moldering dust of mingled foemen springs all the varied verdure that makes this scene so fair. While nature tenderly and swiftly repairs the ravages of war, we suffer no hostility to linger in our hearts. Two months ago the British governor-general of Canada was invited to meet the president of the United States, at Bennington, in happy commemoration not of a British defeat but of a triumph of English liberty. So, upon this famous and decisive field, let every unworthy feeling perish! Here, to the England that we fought, let us now, frown great and strong with a hundred years, hold out the hand of fellowship and peace! Here, where the English Burgoyne, in the very moment of his bitter humiliation, generously pledge George Washington, let us, in our high hour of triumph, of power, and of hope, pledge the queen! Here, in the grave of brave and unknown foemen, may mutual jealousies and doubts an animosities lie buried forever! Henceforth, revering their common glorious traditions, may England and America press always forward side by side, in noble and inspiring rivalry to promote the welfare of man!

Fellow citizens, with the story of Burgoyne's surrender -- the revolutionary glory of the State of New York -- still fresh in our memories, amid these thousands of her sons and daughters, whose hearts glow with lofty pride, I am glad that the hallowed spot on which we stand compels us to remember not only the imperial state, but the national commonwealth whose young hands here together struck the blow, and on whose older head descends the ample benediction of the victory. On yonder height, a hundred years ago, Virginia and Pennsylvania lay encamped. Beyond, the further to the north, watched New Hampshire and Vermont. Here, in the wooded uplands at the south, stood New Jersey and New York, while across the river to the east, Connecticut and Massachusetts closed the triumphant line. Here was the symbol of the Revolution, a common cause, a common strife, a common triumph; the cause not of a class, but of human nature -- the triumph not of a colony, but of United American. And we who stand here proudly remembering -- we who have seen Virginia and New York -- the North and the South -- more bitterly hostile than the armies whose battles shook this ground -- we who mutually proved in deadlier conflict the constancy and the courage of all the States, which, proud to be peers, yet won no master but their united selves -- we renew our heart's imperishable devotion to the common American faith, the common American pride, the common American glory! Here Americans stood and triumphed. Here Americans stand and bless their memory. And here, for a thousand years, may grateful generations of Americans come to rehearse the glorious story, and to rejoice in a supreme and benignant American Nationality.

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