by Grace M. Dechant
Richard M. Ketchum’s Saratoga: Turning Point of America’s Revolutionary War, published in 1977, presents a very detailed accounting of not only the two Saratoga battles, but also the July confrontation at Fort Ticonderoga, and the August Battle of Bennington, both of which led up to the September happenings in Saratoga County. The key players in this series of conflicts were Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne, Benedict Arnold, General Arthur St. Clair, and General Horatio Gates. Of course we have the benefit of knowing the outcome. When you come to the convention, you will be able to view the gentle hills and far stretching fields adjacent to the Hudson River where these battles played themselves out.
Perhaps when you think of Saratoga, you imagine it in the era of Edna Ferber’s Saratoga Trunk. Penned in 1941, it is the story of Clint and Clio Maroon. Hollywood transformed it into a movie in 1943 with Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman in the starring roles; in 1959, it became a Broadway Musical with Howard Keel and Carol Lawrence.
Samantha at Saratoga by Marietta Haley (1836-1926) is one in a series of fiction that visits various historical locations in the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
In 1956, Ian Fleming offered his Diamonds are Forever, in the James Bond series with Saratoga playing a role in this espionage classic.
More recently, Stephen Dobyns has executed a series of mysteries centered around fictional characters in the Saratoga Springs region. His hero, Charlie Bradshaw, resides on Saratoga Lake and sometimes, reluctantly, becomes involved with mishaps and misdeeds in that city. One of my favorites focuses upon “Uncommon Grounds”, a coffee shop on Broadway which you will be able to visit when you attend the April 2012 Convention. See you there!