The Saratoga Surrender Site, where the British Army surrendered during the 1777 Battles of Saratoga, will now be managed by the National Park Service as part of the Saratoga National Park.
Millbrook, NY-based Open Space Institute, which acquired the 19-acre property in 2006, will retain ownership of the parcel, which is located in the Town of Saratoga, a half-mile south of Schuylerville on U.S. Route 4. The site is open to visitors from dawn to dusk throughout the year.
The Saratoga Surrender Site marks the location of the first instance in world history that the British Army capitulated. British General John Burgoyne surrendered his army to American General Horatio Gates on October 17, 1777 at the site, prompting French recognition of United States’ independence.
By drawing France into its war with Great Britain, the new nation was making evident its power to play a critical role in world affairs. It distracted Britain and siphoned away her resources, tipping the scales in favor of her European adversaries during the global wars of the 1780s. Needing to extricate itself from its wars with Spain, Netherlands and others, which it was fighting simultaneously, Britain sued for peace and recognized United States’ independence in 1783.
America’s latent power – to intervene in world affairs to its advantage – would not become obvious to ordinary Americans for another 115 years, when it entered the First World War on the side of the allies.
Today, the focal point of the Saratoga Surrender Site is an observation plaza overlooking the Hudson River and a landscape relatively unchanged since the Revolutionary War.
“Saratoga Battlefield National Historical Park is one of our nation’s most valuable historic resources. OSI is proud to have protected this significant, storied and visually stunning acreage and is pleased to have turned day-to-day management of the Saratoga Surrender Site over to the National Park Service,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO.
“Thanks to our current management partnership with the National Park Service, and the significant effort of the Friends of Saratoga Battlefield to raise the funds for and install the amenities at the site, this scenic property will be maintained forever.”
Photo of Saratoga Surrender Site provided by the National Park Service.