From the winter 1812 “Camp Saranac” (Pike’s Cantonment) to the fortifications built for the defense and protection of the village of Plattsburgh and the important military stores in 1814 (Forts Brown, Moreau, and Scott, the wooden barracks and two additional forts – Forts Gaines and Tompkins – in 1815), the Plattsburgh Stone Barracks in 1838, the brick “brownstones” of the 1890s, to the establishment of the Army’s “Plattsburgh Barracks” in 1945 and the “new base” of the Air Force in the 1950s, the military presence in Plattsburgh have had a long and interesting past. [Read more…] about 1888: The First National Monument to Unknown Soldiers
War of 1812
By any measure, things were looking very grim for General Alexander Macomb and his army on September 3, 1814. Scouting reports indicated that as many as 11,000 battle-hardened British troops were moving south along the western shore of Lake Champlain with Plattsburgh in their sights, and most Plattsburgh inhabitants had left for safer quarters. [Read more…] about Aitkin’s Rifles: Mementos of the Battle of Plattsburgh
Peter Gansevoort Jr. was born into the Dutch aristocracy of Albany to Harman Gansevoort (1712–1801) and Magdalena Douw (1718–1796). His younger brother Leonard Gansevoort, was politically active, serving in the state assembly and senate, as well as the Continental Congress. [Read more…] about Albany’s Peter Gansevoort, “The Hero of Stanwix”
Alexander Macomb, the elder, (1748–1831) was a fur trader, land and currency speculator, and slaveholder who supported the British during the American Revolution and provided the occupying British army with trade goods. [Read more…] about The Two Alexander Macombs: A Slaveholder & A Duplicitous Negotiator
While carrying a large sum of money on a business trip in 1805, the well-to-do city of New York merchant, David Low Dodge, who had been fast asleep in a tavern, was suddenly awakened by the noise of someone jiggling the lock to his bedroom door. Startled by the rattling doorknob and as the door slowly opened, Dodge, not taking any chances, quietly turned and reached for the pistol he always carried for protection.
And then, just before he was about to discharge his pistol, he recognized the suspected intruder as the innkeeper who had come to prepare the room for other guests. [Read more…] about David Lowe Dodge: The Merchant Peacemaker
John Isaac De Graff (October 2, 1783 – July 26, 1848) was a U.S. Representative from New York. Born in Schenectady, De Graff attended the common schools and Union College and engaged in mercantile pursuits and the practice of law in that city.
He served in the War of 1812 and was elected as a Jacksonian Democrat to the Twentieth Congress (March 4, 1827 – March 3, 1829). [Read more…] about John Isaac DeGraff: Schenectady’s First Elected Mayor
In August 1814, Capt. Opie of the 5th Regiment of U.S. Infantry placed a bounty in the Plattsburgh Republican offering a $200 reward for the return of four deserters, including Simeon Ford, who was accused of deserting for the third time.
Ford was described as 24 years of age, 5-feet-7 and a half inches tall, with dark hair and eyes and a fair complexion. His occupation: brick layer. He was also described as a cunning, artful, imposing fellow possessing a “superior degree of loquacity” which he used “in a most imposing manner.” [Read more…] about Simeon Ford: Deserter & War of 1812 Hero
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World, Nicholas Guyatt, a Professor of North American History at the University of Cambridge, joins us to investigate the War of 1812 and the experiences of American prisoners of war using details from his book, The Hated Cage: An American Tragedy in Britain’s Most Terrifying Prison (Basic Books, 2022). [Read more…] about Prisoners of War and the War of 1812
The War of 1812 began on June 18, 1812, when President James Madison signed a declaration of war which began: “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That war be and is hereby declared to exist between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the dependencies thereof, and the United States of America and their territories.”
The causes of the war are quite clear. [Read more…] about The War of 1812 in the Capital District
In 2018, Saratoga National Historical Park received funding to produce an ethnohistorical study of the Saratoga area. Professor Karim Tiro from Xavier University was chosen to conduct the research and compile the report.
Dr. Tiro specializes in North American history during the colonial, revolutionary, and early national periods with a focus on the history of Native Americans, the War of 1812, and epidemics. [Read more…] about Saratoga Area Ethnohistoric Survey Nears Completion