By ACHP Intern Amelia Gordon, Rutgers University
Saratoga National Historical Park is not only an exciting and educational experience for visitors but also a significant site to American history. During the Revolutionary War in 1777, American and British troops battled in Saratoga, New York, and the Continental Army came out victorious. The American victory at Saratoga marked the first time in world history that a British Army had surrendered and would go on to change the course of history around the world. The victory gained support for the Revolutionary Army from foreign powers and even led to other international battles.
Visitors to Saratoga National Historical Park can explore the historic battlefield as well as the many other sites the park has to offer. The Philip Schuyler House gives insight into life on a plantation in the late 18th century. Schuyler was a Revolutionary War general and businessman and the father-in-law of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Saratoga Monument, which was built in the late 19th century, commemorates the historic American victory and is decorated with life-size sculptures of Revolutionary War leaders and plaques depicting crucial scenes of the war. Visitors also can explore Victory Woods, where the British forces made their last stand against the American troops before the historic British surrender, marking a turning point in the fight for American independence.
For those who want to follow the historic path of the Continental Army, they can hike along the exact route where soldiers traveled to and from the Battles of Saratoga. The Wilkinson Trail is 4.2 miles long and offers an audio tour. One monument in Saratoga National Historical Park holds a more controversial history than the rest. Boot Monument commemorates Gen. Benedict Arnold, a famous traitor of the Revolutionary War. Arnold was a crucial part of the American victory at Saratoga but was wounded in battle. After his recovery, Arnold’s resentment toward his time in the Continental Army led him to switch sides and share military intelligence with British forces.
Saratoga National Historical Park offers guests great insight into the many historic elements of one of America’s most significant victories in the fight for independence. The many sites within the park tell the heroic stories of those involved in the battle while also depicting how Saratoga has changed the course of both American and world history. It is thanks to the preservation of such educational historic sites that visitors are able to not only learn about turning points in American history but also see and experience them for themselves.
For more information see: Saratoga National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)