Colonial Saratoga: War and Peace on the Borderlands of Early America

OAH member David Preston, Ph.D., recently completed a Historic Resource Study of Saratoga National Historical Park in Saratoga, New York. Historic Resource Studies are primary source driven narratives akin in size and style to traditional historical monographs, but with the added mission of expanding how the National Park Service understands and interprets its resources.

Dr. Preston skillfully situates the colonial history of the Saratoga Patent within borderlands historiography. Through the individual lives and experiences of figures like Philip J. Schuyler, Rene Poupart dit Lafleur, John Henry Lydius, and many others, Preston weaves a vivid tapestry depicting Saratoga as a fluid place of trade, cultural exchange and diversity, and stable coexistence along the borders of four major nations (New France, the Iroquois Confederacy, the Algonquians, and the northern British colonies) prior to the Seven Years’ War. Dr. Preston enriches existing scholarship relating to King George’s War and the Seven Years’ War through exhaustive research in the George Clinton, Thomas Gage, and Lord Loudoun papers. These resources further illuminated Saratoga’s significance in these conflicts, particularly in the Seven Year’s War.

Dr. Preston presented a public lecture covering some of the major findings from the report to an audience of park staff and public at Saratoga Town Hall in Schuylerville, NY on September 22, 2018.