SARATOGA COUNTY, NEW YORK.
by NATHANIEL BARTLETT SYLVESTER
I. - SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATIONS.
There were two semi-centennial celebrations in Saratoga County in the year 1826 that were of especial interest.
The one held at Ballston Spa, July 4, 1826, surpassed in interest and pageantry all Fourth of July observances in this county that have preceded or have followed it. The most prominent feature of the procession was a car forty-two feet long and fourteen feet wide, named the Temple of Industry.
It was drawn by thirteen yoke of oxen, each yoke in charge of a driver clad in a tow frock, and all under the command of Jacob Near, of Malta. Upon the car were thirteen representatives of so many branches of the mechanic arts plying their vocations. Among them were the printer striking off semi-centennial odes, the blacksmith with his anvil keeping time with the music, the cooper making more noise than all the others, and Mr. Wm. Van Ness, who, while the procession was moving, made a pair of shoes for the president of the day, to whom they were presented with an appropriate address and response.
Another interesting feature of the procession was a band of thirty-seven Revolutionary veterans, who kept step to the music in a way that indicated they had not forgotten their military discipline. Lemuel Wilcox, a soldier of the Revolution, bore a standard inscribed "Declaration of Independence." John Whitehead, another Revolutionary veteran, bore a standard inscribed "Constitution of the United States;" and another veteran, Jeremiah Pierson, carried the national standard. Another attractive feature was the corps of Union Cadets, composed of two fine-looking and admirably-drilled uniformed companies from Union College, one commanded by Captain Knox and the other by Captain Jackson, now the senior professor in that institution. The corps was under the command of Major Holland, the register of the college and a veteran of the War of 1812. The procession moved through the principal streets, amid the salvos from a brass six-pounder, captured from Burgoyne, to the Baptist church, which stood upon the lot now occupied by the railroad water tank. Samuel Young, then Speaker of the Assembly, presided. Prayer was offered by Rev. Eliphalet Nott, president of Union College. The Declaration of Independence was read by Anson Brown, a young lawyer of this village, who died while representative in the Twenty-sixth Congress. The oration was delivered by John W. Taylor, then Speaker of the House of Representatives. His closing remarks were addressed to the Revolutionary soldiers, who arose in a body, and the scene was quite dramatic. The Union cadets dined at the Sans Souci Hotel, and toasts were at the Village Hotel. Among the regular toasts were the following: "John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the surviving signers of the Declaration of Independence. As the measure of their days, so is that of their fame, - overflowing."
When this sentiment was uttered it was not known that since the sun had risen on the morning of that day two of those illustrious patriots had been numbered with the dead, leaving Charles Carroll the sole survivor. By previous arrangement the cadets marched into the room, when the president of the day addressed them in highly appropriate and complimentary terms. Maj. Holland responded, reading from a manuscript in the familiar handwriting of Dr. Nott:
"GENTLEMEN, - In behalf of the corps I have the honor to command, permit me to tender their acknowledgments for your polite attentions. If our humble exertion to aid in the duties of the day have met the approbation of the patriotic assemblage it is the highest gratification we can receive. In retiring, permit me to propose as a toast: The county of Saratoga, - its hills, monuments of valor; its springs, resorts of fashion; its hamlets, signalized by patriots and statesmen?"
Union College and its distinguished president were complimented by two of the alumni as follows: By Thomas Palmer, Esq.: "Union College: Crevit, Crescit, Crescut." By Anson Brown, Esq.: "The president of Union College: Dignum laude virum musa vetat mori."
If these sentiments were not duly appreciated by all present, the following was expressed in such plain, unmistakable English, that there was no doubt as to its meaning. By Edward Warrens, Esq.: "The Legitimates of Europe: May they be yoked, poked, and hopped, cross-fettered, tied head and foot, and turned out to browse on the pine plains of Old Saratoga."
In regard to the remaining festivities at the table and the exuberance of patriotic feeling manifested, the truth of history perhaps requires the statement that temperance societies were not then in active operation.
The committee of arrangements consisted of James Merrill, David Corey, William Clark, John Dix, Jerry Penfield, Charles Field, Alexander Russell, Robert Bennett, Roswell Herrick, David F. White, George W. Fish, Hiram Middlebrook, Joseph Barker, David Herrick, Sylvester Blood, Samuel R. Garrett, and Abraham Middlebrook. The general manager of this superb celebration was Lyman B. Langworthy, then the sheriff of the county, now living at Rochester, and almost a nonagenarian.
The only survivors of those who officiated on that occasion, beside Sheriff Langworthy and Prof. Jackson, are Joseph Barker, Hiram Middlebrook, and Samuel R. Garrett.
The celebration of the semi-centennial at Schuylerville was also an imposing affair. It is alluded to in the chapter upon the town of Saratoga, in connection with reminiscences of Schuylerville. Of this affair, Giles B. Slocum, of Newton, Wayne Co., Mich., writes:
"The leading actor of the occasion was Philip Schuyler, a grandson of the general. The extensive tables were set on the grounds of old Fort Hardy, with a canopy of evergreens to protect the guests from the sun, although the oration was delivered in a shady grove on the eastern slope of the heights, near where the Dutch Reformed church now stands, by the eloquent but unfortunate Rev. Hooper Cummings, of Albany, at that time a brilliant light in the American pulpit, but destined like a glowing meteor to go suddenly down in darkness and gloom. I well remember also that there were about a dozen old Revolutionary soldiers seated in a row on a bench close under the voice and eye of the orator (so that they could the better see and hear), and that when the speaker in the course of his remarks addressed them personally, it was in such glowing terms of thankfulness and honor for their invaluable services few dry eyes could have been found within hearing of his voice. John Ward, one of the body-guard of General Schuyler, and who was carried off by the Tory Waltermeyer to Canada, when the latter attempted the abduction of the general from Albany, was among those seated on this bench.
"The gathering was a very large one, the people of the whole county being nearly all there. Brigadier-General De Ridder, from across the river, a substantial property-holder and a general in the War of 1812, was mounted on a fine horse at the head of a large troop of light horse (as they were then called), and other military companies. The soul-stirring drum and the ear-piercing fife were the materials in that day in the way of music. I recall the fact also that the breastworks surrounding the fort were then nearly perfect, as General De Ridder, at the head of the military, marched around on the top of the intrenchments."
II. - CENTENNIAL HISTORICAL ADDRESSES.
The preparation of historical material and the delivering of public addresses recommended by Congress for the great centennial year, 1876, was partially responded to in Saratoga County.
AT SARATOGA SPRINGS a preliminary meeting was held June 5, 1876, called to order by General E. F. Bullard, Captain J.P. Butler called to the chair, and Frank H. Hathorn chosen secretary. A resolution was adopted inviting N.B. Sylvester to prepare and deliver an historical address.
This invitation was accepted, and the address delivered in the town hall on the evening of July 4, Judge Augustus Bockes occupying the chair.
In accordance with the arrangements of Congress and the invitation of the citizens of Saratoga, the address was published and copies deposited in the archives of the county and also at Washington.
AT BALLSTON SPA similar arrangements were made. Hon. George G. Scott delivered the historical address, and I.S. L'Amereaux pronounced a centennial oration. These valuable documents were published in pamphlet form and copies deposited as requested.
At Schuylerville the address was delivered by General E.F. Bullard. As in other places, the address was published and filed, as requested by the proclamation of the President.
III. - CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION, 1877.
AT BEMUS HEIGHTS.
The first of these was at BEMUS HEIGHTS, on the 19th of September, the centennial anniversary of the first of the two battles. For this celebration extensive preparations were made, numerous committees appointed, and the result was a splendid commemoration of the great event. Neighboring towns and counties joined in the patriotic effort.
At Saratoga Spring a meeting was held on the evening of the 12th to make the necessary arrangements, and General French issued the following order of the day:
One hundred guns will be fired at sunrise on the old battle-field by Battery B, Tenth Brigade, Captain A.H. Green.
The procession will be formed on the square at Bemus Heights Hotel, near the river at nine A.M., and march to the battle-field, about half a mile distant, in the following order:
Platoon of Police.
General W. B. French, chief marshal.
Assistants to chief marshal: Colonel Hiram Rodgers, Saratoga Springs; Captain I.S. Scott, Troy; Captain B. F. Judson, Saratoga Springs; Lieutenant Vandermark, Stillwater; Colonel George T. Steenburgh, Troy; J. Willard Lester, Saratoga Springs; Charles L. Pond, Saratoga Springs.
Major-General J.B. Carr and staff.
Brigadier-General Alonzo Alden and staff.
Doring's band, of Troy.
Tenth Brigade, Third Division, N.Y.S.N.G., in the following order:
J. W. Cusack.
Battery B, Tenth Brigade, Captain A.H. Green, Troy, N.Y.
His Excellency Lucius Robinson, governor and commander-in-chief, and staff.
Brigadier-General J.S. Dickerman, Ninth Brigade, and staff.
President of the day, Hon. George G. Scott, of Ballston, N.Y.
Orator of the day, Hon. Martin I. Townsend, of Troy, N.Y.
Poet of the day, Robert S. Lowell, Union College, N.Y.
Reader of the Historical Address, John Austin Stevens, Secretary of the Historical Society of New York.
Eminent speakers from abroad. Lieutenant-Governor William Dorsheimer, Senator Francis Kernan, ex-Governor Horatio Seymour.
Seventy-seventh Regiment band, Saratoga Springs.
Saratoga Veteran Cavalry, in Centennial uniforms.
Veterans of Bemus Heights Battalion, under command of Captain Frank Thomas.
Soldiers of the War of 1861.
Soldiers of the War of 1861.
Ballston Spa band.
Grand Army of the Republic associations.
Fire Department of Stillwater, Mechanicville, Schuylerville, Saratoga Springs, Ballston Spa, and Waterford.
Veterans of the War of 1812, veterans of the War of Mexico, crippled veterans of the War of 1861, eminent citizens, and invited guests in carriages.
ORDER OF EXERCISES ON THE BATTLE-FIELD.
1. Opening address by the president of the day, Hon. George G. Scott, of Ballston Spa.
2. Oration by Hon. Martin I. Townsend, of Troy, N. Y.
3. Poem by Robert S. Lowell, of Union College.
4. Address by Lieutenant-Governor William Dorsheimer.
5. Collation, at which short speeches will be made by Senator Francis Kernan; ex-Governor Horatio Seymour, Judge A. Bockes, Hon. C.S. Lester, of Saratoga Springs, and others.
6. Review of the Tenth Brigade by his excellency, Governor Lucius Robinson.
7. Manúuvring of General Alden's Brigade in evolution of the line, illustrating the engagement on the same ground between the armies of Generals Gates and Burgoyne, one hundred years ago, in which evolution the artillery, cavalry, and infantry present at the celebration will be engaged, thus affording the people assembled an opportunity to form some idea of the battle that won for them their independence, and at the same time giving them a "smell of gunpowder."
By order of the committee of arrangements.
W. B. FRENCH, Marshal.
The following had been issued:
"TO THE SOLDIERS AND SAILORS OF THE WAR OF 1861."
"Veterans, - The one hundredth anniversary of the battle of Bemus Heights will be celebrated on the 19th day of September, on the old battle-field in Stillwater. You should not fail to take part in the interesting exercises then to take place.
That battle was decisive of the American Revolution, and may be said to have achieved the independence which your valor and patriotism has maintained, and secured to yourselves and your posterity.
You are, therefore, earnestly invited to be present on that occasion.
Assemble without uniforms in citizens' dress at the Bemus Heights Hotel, near the battle-ground, at 9 A.M., on the 19th, and report your name, company, regiment, brigade, division, and corps to Captain Frank Thomas, who will give the designation badge and assign you a place of honor in the procession, where the electric touch of the elbow will again inspire you as of yore it did the patriots of 1777.
"By order of the committee.
"W. B. FRENCH, Marshal of the Day."
Dated September 11, 1877.
The centennial celebration of the battle of Bemus Heights could not have fallen on a lovelier day. It was one of those beautiful autumn days which are so well known in northern New York. The occasion was improved by the people of the surrounding country, who flocked to the grounds in all sorts of conveyances, on foot, and on horseback, and even on canal-boats. The programme of the celebration was successfully carried out, the affair ending in a fierce sham battle between an imaginary British foe concealed in a clump of woods and General Alden's Brigade. Battery B was on both sides, and did some pretty sharp firing. The troops were manúuvered by Generals Carr and Alden, the former suggesting the movements on both sides, and General Alden carrying them out, handling the troops with ease and swiftness.
The people began to come in before daylight, and continued to arrive in crowds until the sun indicated high noon. Comparatively few came from the cities. It was the country people's holiday, and they observed it faithfully. The road from Mechanicville to the ground was sprinkled, and was in first-class condition early in the morning. Before eight o'clock the dust was nearly a foot deep. This statement may give a faint idea of the numbers of vehicles which passed over it. Saratoga County turned out almost en masse. The greatest interest was taken in the sunrise salute to be fired by Battery B. After the salute the final preparations for the celebration were pushed with vigor.
One of the most interesting places in the vicinity of the celebration-grounds was the old Neilson house. This venerable structure was decorated with flags and turned into a refreshment saloon. The chief article on the bill of fare was pumpkin-pie, baked in the room where General Poor had his headquarters, and where the wounded British General Ackland was joined by his wife the day after the second battle. At this house was exhibited a large collection of battle-field relics. Twelve-pound cannon-balls, rifle-bullets covered with the rust of a century, were wonderingly inspected by the crowd who entered the ancient building. There were also a number of Indian weapons and tools, such as stone hatchets, flint arrow-heads, and pestles.
The Troy companies reached the Bemus Heights Hotel at about ten o'clock, where they were joined by the Port Henry, Whitehall, and Glen's Falls companies. At length all the arrangements for the grand procession were completed. At about eleven o'clock the order to march was given.
The following was the arrangement:
Grand marshal - W.B. French, of Saratoga.
Aids to the grand marshal.
Major-General J.B. Carr and staff.
Brigadier-General Alden and staff.
Chadwick Guards, of Cohoes, Captain P.H. Chadwick commanding.
Troy Citizens' Corps, Captain J. W. Cusack commanding.
Troy Tibbits Corps, Captain J. Egolf commanding.
Troy Tibbits Cadets, Captain J.H. Patten commanding.
Sherman Guards, of Port Henry, Captain F.G. Atwell commanding.
Hughes' Light Guard, of South Glen's Falls, Captain F. Gleesettle commanding.
Burleigh Corps, of Whitehall, Captain G.T. Hall commanding.
Battery B, of Troy, Captain A.H. Green commanding.
Generals Hughes and Tracy, and Colonel Lodowick, of the governor's staff.
Brigadier-General Dickerman, of Albany, and staff.
Hon. George G. Scott, president of the day.
Orators, poet, and clergy.
Colonel D.J. Caw, assistant marshal, marshal's aids.
Seventy-seventh Regiment band, of Saratoga.
Saratoga veterans, carrying the old Bemus Heights regimental flag, commanded by Captain Frank Thomas.
Saratoga Continentals, mounted.
Citizens of Saratoga.
Captain B.F. Judson, assistant marshal, commanding. Marshal's aids.
Huling's band, of Ballston.
Eagle engine company, of Ballston.
Hovey fire company, of Ballston.
Citizens of Ballston.
The procession was very imposing. The Tenth Brigade was the centre of public admiration and the theme of public praise. The Saratoga Continentals were hastily organized, but made a fine appearance.
The procession moved over historic ground and by noted landmarks. Flag and bunting were displayed from every building in the hamlet of Bemus Heights. North of the hotel the site of General Gates' headquarters was visible. The soldier boys could see, over the river, Willard's mountain: from the summit of which, in early September, 1777, Willard, the scout, watched the movements within the British camp, communicating his discoveries by signal or messenger to General Gates. Near the celebration ground a placard indicated that there stood on the spot, one hundred years ago, a barn which was used for hospital purposes. Passing up a not too steep acclivity, the procession entered the twenty-two acre field in which the exercises were held. The various bodies marched around the grand stand, and also passed over that portion of the ground in which the American and British dead of the battle were interred. This ground was indicated by a small sign-board; there is not, and has not been for many years, a trace of the graves; the soldiers killed in the battle of one hundred years ago have no memorial or monument to this day. After the procession had been dispersed the people gathered about the grand stand. The field was a fine place for a crowd. Although thirty thousand people stood there, there was no crowding. Among the conspicuous persons there were Lieutenant-Governor Dorsheimer, General Hughes, Colonel Lodowick, of the governor's staff, Hons. G.G. Scott, George West, John M. Francis, Martin I. Townsend, G. Robertson, James S. Smart, Henry G. Burleigh, Charity Commissioner Brennan, of New York, T.B. Carroll, C.S. Lester, George W. Chapman, George W. Neilson, Edward Edwards, and Judges Ingalls, Yates, and Crane. Besides these gentlemen, Generals Carr, Alden, and Dickerman, with their staff., and the general committee occupied seats on the stand. Shortly after noon the vast multitude was called to order, and Doring's band opened the exercises with music. Rev. Dr. Peter Stryker, D.D., of Saratoga, offered prayer.
Hon. George G. Scott, president of the day, delivered a brief address. Afterwards he introduced Hon. Martin I. Townsend, who delivered the oration. Mr. Townsend very properly rendered honor to whom honor is due, and gave the credit of the victories of Sept. 19 and Oct. 7, 1777, to Benedict Arnold. Speaking of the cause of Arnold's traitorism, he ascribed it to that soldier's infatuation for a Tory lady of Philadelphia.
The poem, by Robert Lowell, of Union College, was read by Judge Yates in an impressive manner.
The historical narrative, by John Austin Stevens, of New York, was a production of great merit. Mr. Stevens gave a history in detail of the campaign, and, departing from the general custom, instead of depreciating Gates' generalship and personal bravery, eulogized that officer. It will be treasured in after-years as one of the most valuable of all the accounts of this decisive campaign, When Mr. Stevens finished, the invited guests proceeded to the spot where, on the 19th of September, 1777, Gates ate his breakfast; and enjoyed a collation.
At four o'clock the troops were formed in line. The ground was not as even as it might be desired, but the movements were all executed in a most praiseworthy manner. After the parade the soldiers passed in review before Lieutenant-Governor Dorsheimer and General Carr and staff.
The sham battle took place immediately afterward. This was in the eyes of a great number of people the chief attraction of the day. In the woods to the north of the grand stand a gun was placed, under Lieutenant Myer, of the Eleventh Infantry, United States army. A detachment of the Tibbits Corps was also lodged in the woods.
The Continental cavalry, of Saratoga, under the command of General Goldwin, together with Lieutenant Myer and the Tibbits veterans, represented the British force. It was a small representation, but as the British were supposed to be concealed in the woods it answered all purposes. The Americans were on open ground. The other troops of the Tenth Brigade were constituted the colonial forces. The Chadwick Guards, of Cohoes, were held as reserve. General Carr was supposed to personate General Gates, and Colonel Chamberlain represented Benedict Arnold; Lieutenant Goldman, of the Fifth United States Cavalry, was one of the aids of General Alden, who directed the movements. The British cannon first opened fire, which was returned on the right and left of the American lines. The British cannon from its ambuscade kept up the dialogue. Part of the American corps advanced, and dropping on the ground fired a volley into the woods. Charges, retreats, and advances were repeatedly made. The Americans at times rushed into the woods with wild cheers and retreated in disorder. The line being reformed, another charge was made, supported by movements in every direction. All the while the artillery duel continued. One thing noticeable was the precision with which the volleys of musketry were fired. Finally, the whole American force made a grand charge, the enemy's cannon was silenced and captured, the cavalry retreated in disorder, and victory belonged to the Americans.
The battle was one of the best of the sort ever seen; the movements and the general plan on which it was fought brought to the minds of many the real battles of which more than a decade ago they were component parts.
The addresses were appropriate. Judge Scott's brief opening remarks closed with the following beautiful passage: "This is classic ground. It will be to our country what the plain of Marathon was to Greece. Unlike that memorable battle-field, however, upon which at different points monuments of victory were raised, no column rises from this to perpetuate the memory of this great event., to honor the valor that achieved it, and to distinguish the place of its occurrence. But the scene which surrounds us, these fields marked by the redoubts and intrenchments of the confronting armies, the historic river below, and yonder mountain overlooking the whole, from whose summit Willard, the American scout, with spy-glass in hand, watched the movements of Burgoyne and reported by signals to Gates, all these will constitute one vast and imperishable monument sacred to the memory of those homes and patriots who fought and conquered here one hundred years ago."
The lengthy and exceedingly valuable historical address of John Austin Stevens closed with the following words: "The last days of a century are closing upon these memorable scenes. How long will it be ere the government of the Empire State shall erect a monument to the gallant men who fought and fell upon their fields, and here secured her liberty and renown?"
Hon. Martin I. Townsend said, in the opening of his address, "We stand to-day upon one of the most illustrious battle-fields of the American revolution. A hundred years ago upon these fields thousands of hearts throbbed in patriot bosoms. They were here to suffer and, if need be, to die in the cause of liberty and in the cause of their infant country."
IV. - THE CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY OF BURGOYNE'S SURRENDER.
The celebration of the surrender of Burgoyne at Schuylerville called forth equal enthusiasm with that of Bemus Heights. As the two great historic events were counterparts to each other, so were the centennial anniversaries of those events.
The Schuylerville people entered with all their might into the project for celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of the surrender of Burgoyne and his army. Every house in the village was decorated, and arches were raised across the principal streets. The most conspicuous decoration was an excellent representation of the surrender stretched across the main street.
The old Burgoyne cannon, which General De Peyster has presented to the monument association, arrived on Monday. That night it spoke within a short distance of the field where, a century ago, it carried death to the patriots. At noon it was fired again, and was used for that duty at intervals during the day. Battery B's four guns were brought up by the members of the battery, and fired the sunrise salute.
The decorations were all tasteful, while some were elaborate. The arches which were erected at many street crossings were all beautiful. The decorative spirit extended to Victory Mills, Galesville, and even to Greenwich. In fact, the national colors were in sight for miles.
The 18th was devoted to preparation. The road leading to the square, upon which the monument will stand, was being worked all day, and was put in excellent condition.
An old tree on the main street of the village had this inscription: "Near this spot, Oct. 16, 1777, American and British officers met and consummated the articles of capitulation of General Burgoyne to General Gates; and on this ground the British army laid down their arms, thus securing American independence."
It is evident that the citizens did not underrate the importance of the event which they celebrate. The enthusiasm of the people was boundless.
The sky was overcast, but there was no rain. The organizations which participated in the procession began to arrive at early morning. Apollo Commandery, of Troy, reached here at ten o'clock. Everybody from the surrounding country flocked in. They came in stylish barouches, hack-loads, stages, and on foot. At noon, fully fifteen thousand strangers were in the village and vicinity. Governor Seymour and George William Curtis came over from Saratoga early in the morning, and waited patiently, as did the great multitude, for the moving of the procession. It was half-past twelve before everything was in readiness. Finally the procession formed in the following order:
Platoon of police.
General W.B. French, chief marshal.
Chief marshal's staff.
Doring's band of Troy.
Co. F, Tenth Regiment, Captain George Weidman commanding, of Albany.
Co. I, Twenty-fifth Regiment, Captain Walker commanding, of Albany.
First Company Governor's Foot Guards, of Hartford, Conn., in old English uniform worn in George III.'s reign.
W.A. Talcott, Major, commanding battalion.
Colt's band, Hartford, Conn., Thomas G. Adkins, leader.
Captain A.H. Wiley, commander first company.
Lieutenant R.D. Burdick, commander second company.
Lieutenant S.E. Hascall, commander third company.
Lieutenant W.E. Eaton, commander fourth company.
Park Guards of Bennington, Vt., Captain O.N. Wilcox, commander, with band.
Hughes Light Guards, of Glen's Falls, Captain Gleesettle commanding.
Burleigh Corps, Captain Thomas Hall.
Sir Townsend Fondey, R.E. Grand Commander.
Sir Chas. H. Holden, V.D. Grand Commander, Sir Knight B.F. Judson.
Ballston Spa cornet-band.
Washington Commandery, Saratoga Springs.
Apollo Commandery, Troy.
Temple No. 2 Commandery, Albany.
St. George's Commandery, No. 37, Schenectady,
N.Y. Holy Cross Commandery, Gloversville.
Lafayette Commandery, Hudson, N. Y.
Little Falls Commandery, Little Falls, N. Y.
De Soto, No. 49, Commandery, Plattsburgh, N. Y.
Kellington Commandery, Rutland, Vt.
Tefft Commandery, Bennington, Vt.
Grand Master of Master Masons, J.J. Couch.
Deputy Grand Master, Jesse B. Anthony.
Captain W.W. Worden, assistant marshal, commanding New York State officials.
President of the day, Hon. C.S. Lester, of Saratoga, orators, poets, speakers, clergy, and chaplain in carriages.
Bemus Heights Centennial Committee.
Saratoga Monument Association and invited guests in carriages.
Veterans of the late war.
Grand Army of the Republic associations.
Veterans of the War of Mexico.
Veterans of the War of 1812.
Descendants of Revolutionary soldiers.
Seventy-seventh Regiment band, Saratoga Springs.
Cavalry in Continental uniform, Major Fassett, Commander, Saratoga Springs.
Fort Ann Martial band.
Municipal authorities of Schuylerville.
ROUTE OF MARCH.
Gates avenue to Grove street; Grove to Pearl; Pearl to Burgoyne; Burgoyne to Broad; Broad to Spring; Spring to Church; Church to Burgoyne; Burgoyne to Pearl; Pearl to Saratoga; Saratoga to Green; Green to Burgoyne; Burgoyne to Monument grounds, where a hollow square was formed by the military outside the Knights Templar, and the corner-stone of the monument laid by M.W., J.J. Couch, Grand Master, and R.W., Edmund L. Judson, Deputy Grand Master Masons of the State of New York. After which ceremony the procession marched down Burgoyne to Pearl; Pearl to Grove; thence to Schuyler's square.
The monument, when completed, will be a most imposing affair. It will be constructed entirely of granite. One-quarter of the base has been constructed, and the cornerstone is a finely-cut piece of granite about three feet square.
The ceremony of laying the stone was performed by J.J. Couch, Grand Master of Masons of the State, assisted by several of the officers of the Grand Lodge. The ceremony was as follows:
The Grand Master called up the lodge, saying, "The first duty of Masons in any undertaking is to invoke the blessing of the Great Architect upon their work. Let us pray."
INVOCATION BY THE GRAND CHAPLAIN.
"Thou Supreme Architect. Thou master builder of the universe. Thou who hast made all things by the word of Thy power, Thou who hast formed the earth and the world from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God, Thou art He whom we worship and adore, and in whom we are taught to put our trust, and whose blessing we seek in every undertaking in life and in all the work of our hands. Thou, O God, hast blessed the fraternity before thee, and prospered them in numbers, in strength, and in influence, so that we are here assembled as Thy servants and as members of the ancient and honorable craft to begin the erection of a monument, which we devoutly trust shall stand as a monument for future generations to the praise and glory of Thy name. Grant Thy blessing, O Lord God, upon this enterprise, that it may be carried to successful completion, and may answer the end for which it was designed. Grant that each of us may so adorn our minds and hearts with grace that we may be fitted as living stones for that spiritual building, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens; and unto Thy holy and ever-blessed name will we ascribe honor and praise, through Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. Amen."
The Grand Master then said, "The Grand Treasurer will place in the corner-stone articles prepared for the purpose." Which was done.
The Grand Master then said, "The Grand Secretary will read a list of the articles so deposited."
The list of articles deposited in the corner-stone was then read as follows:
1. "History of the Saratoga Monument Association," by the society.
2. "The Campaign of General Burgoyne," by Wm. L. Stone.
3. "The Saratoga Battle-Gun," by Ellen Hardin Walworth.
4. The centennial addresses of George G. Scott, J.S. L'Amoreaux, General E.F. Bullard, and N.B. Sylvester.
5. "Major-General Philip Schuyler," by General T.W. De Peyster.
6. J. Austin Stevens' historical address at the celebration of Bemus Heights.
7. Copies of the Troy Daily Press, Troy Daily Times, Troy Daily Whig, Troy Northern Budget, Troy Observer, Sunday Trojan, Schuylerville Standard (daily), Daily Saratogian, Saratoga Sun, Albany Argus, Press, Express, Journal, Times, and Post, New York Herald, Times, Tribune, Sun, World, and Express.
8. Relics of Burgoyne's campaign.
The Grand Master then spread the cement upon the stone.
Music by the band, and the stone was lowered to its place.
The Grand Master then seating the lodge, proceeded as follows:
G.M. - "Brother D.G.M., what is the jewel of your office?"
D.G.M. - "The square."
G.M. - "What does it teach?"
D.G.M. -"To square our action by the square of virtue, and by it we prove our work."
G.M. -"Apply your jewel to this corner-stone and make report."
D.G.M. -"The stone is square, the craftsmen have done their duty."
G.M. - "Brother S.G.W., what is the jewel of your office?"
S.G.W. - "The level."
G.M. - "What does it teach?"
S.G.W. - "The equality of all men, and by it we prove our work."
G.M. - "Apply your jewel to this corner-stone and make report."
S.G.W. - "The stone is level, the craftsmen have done their duty."
G.M. - "Brother J.G.W., what is the jewel of your office?"
J.G.W. - "The plumb."
G. M. - "What does it teach?"
J.G.W. - "To walk upright before God and man, and by it we prove our work."
G. M. - "Apply your jewel to this corner-stone and make report."
J.G.W. - "The stone is plumb, the craftsmen have done their duty."
The Senior and Junior Grand Deacons advanced to the stone, bearing trowel and gavel The Grand Master, preceded by the Grand Marshal, advanced to the stone, took the trowel, and spread cement, then took the gavel and struck three blows on the stone, retired to his station and said, "I, John P. Couch, Grand Master of the Masons of the State of New York, declare this stone to be plumb, level, and square, to be well formed, true and trusty, and duly laid."
The Grand Stewards proceeded to the stone, followed by D.G.M., S.G.W., and J.G.W., bearing the corn, wine, and oil.
The D.G.M., scattering the corn, said, "May the blessing of the Great Architect of the universe rest upon the people of this State and the corn of nourishment abound in our land."
The S.G.W., pouring the wine, said, "May the great Architect of the universe watch over and protect the workmen upon this monument, and bless them and our land with the heavenly wine of refreshment and peace."
The J.G.W., pouring the oil, said, "May the Great Architect of the universe bless our land with union, harmony, and love, the oil which maketh man be of joyful countenance."
The Grand Marshal presented the architect, saying, "I present the architect of this monument. He is ready with craftsmen for the work, and asks the tools for his task."
The Grand Master handed him the plumb, level, and square, and directed him to proceed with his work.
The Grand Master then said, "Men and brethren, we have assembled here to-day as regular Masons, bound by solemn engagements to be good citizens, faithful to the brethren, and to fear God. We have commenced the erection of a monument which, we pray, may be a memorial for ages to come. May wisdom, strength, and beauty abound, and the fame and usefulness of our ancient and honorable institution be greatly promoted."
The Grand Marshal then made the following proclamation: "In the name of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York, I proclaim that the corner-stone of this monument has this day been found square, level and plumb, true and trusty, and laid according to the old custom by the Grand Master of Masons."
After the laying of the corner-stone the procession marched to Schuyler square, the field in which the exercises had been held.
Sunrise salutes were fired by the battery from different points in the village, while away on historic Mount Willard the people of Easton sent back answering thunder. The road leading from Saratoga was black with vehicles. The Greenwich road was in the same condition.
The various organizations began to arrive at ten o'clock, but it was twelve before the last one arrived. The Albany soldiers left their homes before breakfast, and were served in the large dining-tent at eleven o'clock. At half-past twelve o'clock everything was in readiness and the pageant moved.
The line of march was gone over in an hour, and then the corner-stone of the monument was laid. The opening prayer was made by Rev. Mr. Webster, R.W. Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Masons. One very remarkable circumstance was the presence of Edwin Gates, of Brooklyn, who is a descendant of General Gates (who was the "grand sword-bearer" of the American army in the North in 1777) and who is the grand sword-bearer of the Masonic grand lodge. Grand Master Couch used a gavel made from a piece of the Hartford charter oak. The stone is Cape Ann granite. Besides the articles mentioned elsewhere, the box contains a Bible, a copy of Mrs. Willard's History of the United States, an American flag, report of the canal commissioners, architect's statement of the progress of the work, an appeal to the people of the United States to erect the monument, by J.C. Markham; silver half-dollar coined in the reign of George III., dated 1777, and a half-dollar coined in 1877.
After the stone had been lowered, and after Masonic proclamation had been made, Grand Master Couch made a brief address. He said it was fitting that a single word be spoken by him on this occasion. We are conscious that we are standing on historic ground. As citizens we commemorate the birth of the nation one hundred years ago. As Masons we represent an antiquity far more remote. The speaker referred to the relations which Masons held to the events which occurred a century ago. He held this to be a truth, that the civilization of a people is proved by its architecture. Look back into the history of Egypt. We find in the pyramids this great truth exemplified and crystallized in a single word - mystery. In Grecian architecture, represented in the Acropolis, the same story is told and crystallized in a word - classic art. Rome's story of architecture is symbolized by the Parthenon and crystallized, too, in a word - empire. All over Europe is a class of architectural ruins, in which we read the story of feudalism. Crossing the channel the same story of crystallization is told by the same monuments. Out of this combination of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Gothic, the art of architecture has crystallized. This monument, the corner-stone of which we have just now laid, is but the crystallization of the thoughts of the people. We shall pass away, but behind us let us leave a monument which shall tell the story of this people's civilization in one word - patriotism.
After the address had been concluded, the procession marched to the field, where the following exercises were held:
Music, Doring's band.
Prayer, Rev. Rufus W. Clark, D.D., of Albany.
Introductory Address by president of the day, Hon. C.S. Lester.
Oration by ex-Governor Horatio Seymour.
Oration by Hon. George William Curtis.
Reading of poems.
Address by Hon. L.S. Foster, of Connecticut.
Colt's Armory band, Hartford, Conn.
Prayer by the chaplain of the day.
Address by Hon. B.W. Throckmorton, Subject: "Arnold."
Fitz Greene Halleck's "Field of the Grounded Arms," read by Gen. James Grant Wilson.
Historical Address, by William L. Stone, of New York city.
Short Addresses, by Hon. A.A. Yates and H.L. Gladding.
The addresses upon this memorable occasion are given at length in the memorial volume which has been issued. They are replete with historic value and patriotic eloquence.
Judge Lester said, "It was in defense of their homes, in defense of their liberties, in defense of their families from the 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 the 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 like Schuyler's, flocked to the standard of Gates to aid in repelling the invader."
Hon. Horatio Seymour said, "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 here 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 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."
George William Curtis closed as follows: "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 deadliest conflict the constancy and the courage of all the States, which, proud to be peers, yet own no master but our united selves, - we renew our hearts' imperishable devotion to the common American faith, the common American pride, and 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."
Hon. George W. Schuyler said, "The memory of General Philip Schuyler needs no eulogy from one who bears his name, and in whose veins is only a trace of collateral blood. History will yet do him justice. Posterity will crown him the hero of Saratoga. The nation will recognize him as the general who prepared the battle which won our freedom."
Wm. L. Stone read a long and valuable historical address.
B. W. Throckmorton, of New Jersey, spoke upon "Arnold."
H.L. Gladding closed his remarks with a plea for the monument.
A. A. Yates also devoted a brilliant passage to the monument: "Let, then, this monument rise till it meets the sun in its coming, whose first rays, lingering on Mount Willard to gild the spot where the faithful sentry stood, shall glitter and play upon its summit. Grand and everlasting, its solid firmness shall commemorate the faith of those who stood so proudly here one hundred years ago, and perpetuate the memory of those whose dust has been traceless for a century within sight of its sphere. Let the last rays of the evening fasten its shade on the pathway our fathers walked amid the ringing praises of their grateful countrymen. Let us all come close together beneath its base. We, too, have had our sorrows. We have had our killed in battle. We have the mourners who go about the streets; we have the widow and the fatherless; we have the poor in heart. The evening of our first century has been red as theirs with the scarlet tinge of blood."
To this account of the celebration at Schuylerville, and the laying of the corner-stone of the monument, we add the names of the officers of the monument association:
President. - Horatio Seymour, Utica.
Vice-President. - James H. Marvin, Saratoga Springs.
Secretary. - William L. Stone, New York city.
Corresponding Secretary. - Ed. W. B. Canning, Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Treasurer. - Daniel A. Bullard, Schuylerville.
Standing Committees. - Committee on Design: William L. Stone, Charles H. Payn, E.W.B. Canning, James M. Marvin, Leroy Mowray.
Committee on Location: Asa C. Tefft, Benson J. Lossing, E.F. Bullard.
Building Committee: Charles H. Payn, Asa C. Tefft, William L. Stone.
Executive Committee: Leroy Mowray, James M Marvin, Daniel A. Bullard, D.F. Ritchie.
Advisory Committee: E.F. Bullard, P.C. Ford, B.W. Throckmorton, Oscar Frisbie.
Trustees. - Horatio Seymour, William J. Bacon, Utica; James M. Marvin, Charles H. Payn, E.F. Bullard, David F. Ritchie, Saratoga Springs; William L. Stone, Gen. J. Watts De Peyster, Algernon S. Sullivan, B. W. Throckmorton, New York city; Daniel A. Bullard, P.C. Ford, H. Clay Homes, Schuylerville; Leroy Mowray, Greenwich; Asa C. Tefft, Fort Miller; Charles W. Mayhew, Victory Mills; E.R. Mudge, Boston, Massachusetts; E.W.B. Canning, Stockbridge, Massachusetts; Webster Wagner, Palatine Bridge; Frank Pruyn, Mechanicville; James H. Kelly, Rochester; Giles B. Slocum, Trenton, Michigan; Benson J. Lossing, Dover Plains; Gen. John M. Read, Lemon Thompson, Albany.
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