Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 586
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proprietors and the owners of the Schenectady, Clifton Park, and Half Moon Patents, which were
not settled until after the Revolution.


The first settlements in the co. were made hy the Dutch, within a few years after their first colo¬
nization of the country about Albany. These settlements commenced near Waterford, on the
Mohawk, and gradually extended up the valley of the Hudson. Lying in the great thoroughfare
between the English settlements at Albany and the French posts on Lake Champlain, the continual
passing of military parties checked the progress of settlement and exposed the few hardy pioneers
to all the dangers and anxieties of border warfare. Immediately after the conquest of Canada, in
1,760, settlements rapidly extended along the river valleys and to some distance into the interior.
During the Revolution, some of the most important events of the war transpired within the
of this co. Upon the approach of Burgoyne in 1777, Gen. Schuyler retreated from Fort Edward
and made a stand first at Saratoga, then at Stillwater, and finally at the mouths of the Mohawk.1
This last stand he considered the best position for checking the advance of the enemy, which he
was expecting both from the n. and w. The inhabitants of the co. above fled in consternation to
Albany, leaving their homes and fields of grain to be destroyed by the advancing foe. The islands
at the mouth of the Mohawk were fortified about the 1st of August, and Burgoyne took possession
of Fort Edward at nearly the same time. While the armies lay in this position, two events took
place which served greatly to embarrass Burgoyne and to render sure his final defeat. The first
of these was the defeat of Baum at Bennington, and the second the retreat of St. Leger from the
siege of Fort Schuyler.2

The American army in the mean time, under Gen. Gates, who had superseded Gen. Schuyler,
advanced toward the enemy, and about the 1st of September took possession of and fortified the
high bluffs known as Bemis Heights, upon the river, in the n. part of Stillwater.3 Greatly perplexed
and embarrassed, Burgoyne finally concluded to continue his march toward Albany. On the 14th
of September he crossed the Hudson, above the mouth of the Batten Kil, into the k. part of Sara¬
toga, and continued his march southward. On the 19th the first battle of Stillwater was fought, in
front of the American intrenchments at Bemis Heights. The American loss was 315 and the
British 500, the former returning to their camp and the latter retaining possession of the battle
field. On the 7th of October another severe battle was fought, in which the British lost 700 and
the Americans 150. During the succeeding night the British abandoned their camp and retreated
northward, and finally took position upon the heights of Saratoga, just w. of the present village of
Schuylerville. Here Burgoyne found himself completely hemmed in. A victorious and hourly
increasing army was in front; a strong detachment was posted on the
E. bank of the river to pre¬
vent his crossing that stream; Fort Edward, in his rear, had been taken by the Americans; his
bravest officers had fallen in battle; Lord Howe had failed to afford the promised support from
New York;1 and his army was reduced to the last extremity for want of provisions. Under these
circumstances, the British commander reluctantly yielded to an imperative necessity, and on the
16th of October signed articles of capitulation. On the 17th the whole British army laid down their
arms and were marched eastward to Mass.4 The close of this campaign left the co. stripped of
nearly every evidence of civilized occupation. The fear of continued Indian hostilities prevented
the immediate re-occupation of the abandoned lands; but after the close of the war settlements
rapidly spread. Since this period few incidents of general interest have occurred, and the history
is but the record of the everyday events connected with the conversion of a wilderness into fruitful
fields and happy homes. •

BAIiliSTOM'6—was formed from.Saratoga as a district, April 1, 1775, and was organized as a
town, March 7, 1788. Charlton, Galway, and Milton were taken off in 1792, and the line of CharL

the direction of Kosciusko, then holding the office of engineer in
the army. They were so constructed as to completely command
the passage down the river. The position afterward chosen by
the British was about 1 mi. distant, and separated from tho
American works by a deep ravine.

4 Instead of co-operating with Burgoyne and sending the pro¬
mised aid up the Hudson, Lord Howe had marched to Phila¬
delphia, leaving the British forces in N. Y. under the command
of Sir Henry Clinton. The latter officer made a' diversion in
Burgoyne’s favor, but too late to be of any service.

6 The place where the British laid down their arms was a
green on the river, N. of the mouth of Fish Creek. It was in
front of Fort Hardy, an old fortification erected by Dieskau in
1755. The number of the .army at the time of the surrender
was 5,792, of whom 2,412 were Germans. The Americans also
captured 42 brass cannon, 4,647 muskets, 6,000 dozen of car¬
tridges, and a large amount of carriages and camp equipages.

6 Named from Key. Eliphalet Ball, one of the first settlers.


This retreat was occasioned by the limited number of Schuy-.
ler’s forces and the fact that the militia were every day flocking
to his standard. Burgoyne’s progress was arrested by felling
trees across the roads, breaking down .bridges, and by ev.ery
other possible means of annoyance. Every hour thus gained
added to the strength of the Americans and weakened the
British forces; so that, when all the obstacles were finally over¬
come, the American army was in a condition to meet the British
in open battle.


Gen. St. Leger, at the head of a body of tories and Cana¬


dians, was to cooperate with Burgoyne by marching through


siege until the 22d, when, learning that an American re-enforce¬
ment was approaching, he hastily retreated.


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