It is beautiful country, and autumn is a great time to visit.
BTW, the Battle of Saratoga (actually 2 battles that took place within a few weeks of each other) was a turning point in the Revolutionary War. Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne surrendered his army to the Americans which ended the British invasion from Canada. The colonial victory encouraged the French to support the American cause.
There is a side story to the battle – the heroics of a man who is widely vilified in the Untied states – Benedict Arnold.
Some say that it was Arnold who personally turned the tide of the battle. He was wounded twice, the second time after his horse was shot out from under him leading a decisive charge. There is this monument to Arnold’s heroics.
Yes, it is a monument to Arnold’s injured foot and is called the Boot Monument.
Many do not realize that Arnold had been a zealous fighter for independence, and had led the failed assault against Canada. Yes, Americans were somewhat obsessed about invading Canada back then. We would try again in the war of 1812. Back to the story. Arnold then stalled the British invasion from Canada leading the colonial effort at the Battle on Lake Champlain.
Meanwhile, there were grumblings from the Continental Congress in Philadelphia that Arnold could not account for the expenses incurred in the Canadian invasion. Arnold denied that he had misappropriated any funds — but his documents were lost to the British in the battle on the lake. He could offer no proof of the expenses. Ooops! This made Arnold vulnerable to a hanging offense.
Hmm … it is a little remembered fact that his betrayal of his country was not done just on a whim. There was another factor — his very pretty wife from Philadelphia (Peggy Shippen) was pro-British and no doubt put a few words in his ear. Here is good old Peggy
As it turns out, the documents that Arnold had lost were re-discovered in Canada a few decades ago. They showed that Arnold had been truthful. His expenses were in order.
And what happened to Peggy? When Arnold’s plot to sabotage the defenses of West Point (a key defensive position on the Hudson River) was discovered, he had to flee by boat. He could not take Peggy with him, so he told her that when Washington and his officers arrived to start creaming. The plan was that Washington would think she had gone mad with grief and release her to be with her husband. And so it happened.
Arnold was paid by the British for his betrayal. BTW, Peggy was too! But Arnold squandered his money and died in 1801, leaving many unpaid bills. Peggy, now living in London, managed to pay off his bills by auctioning off her possessions, but died at a young age of 44,.
You can dive much more deeply into Arnold’s story in this biography.
Ben and Peggy are buried in St. Mary’s Church in London, and ironically burial spot sports a tombstone paid for and erected … by an American Why would an American do that? As acknowledgment that Arnold had saved the revolution before he betrayed it!
You can share this tale when you visit the Boot Monument!
If you are thinking about this jaunt, you might consider heading west after your stay in Saratoga Springs to visit Aurora, on Lake Cayoga. There fantastic inns on the lake there! From Fathom
Live like a 19th-century patrician on holiday in one of four meticulously refurbished inns situated on the banks of Lake Cayuga. You can’t go wrong between the Federal-style Aurora Inn, the Italianate limestone E.B. Morgan House, the contemporary Rowland House, and the ornate Wallcourt Hall — all are furnished with custom fabrics, worldly antiques, and art from local philanthropist Pleasant Rowland’s personal collection