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Throughout the history of the area now known as Saratoga County, there have been many portions of the population which have not been well-represented in the published histories. These historic minorities were ignored in those publications in favor of the more illustrious, the more wealthy, the more mainstream citizenry.
The contributions of members of those minorities to the formation of our nation, state and local community were no less worthy of recording, and records of their lives are now highly prized. The collection of records and histories presented here is our attempt to present the context of these minorities, to document their existence and to illustrate their contributions to society. We hope this might stimulate the discovery and exposition of yet more records, and we will gladly accept contributions of documented histories in this category.
Saratoga County has had African-American citizens since its creation in 1791. Their contributions, experiences and sometimes even their existence were ignored in most of the history written about our county. As the examples here will show, there were many well-respected and upstanding African-American citizens. Their experiences need to be reported, respected and remembered. Please note that a dedicated volunteer at the Saratoga County Historian's Office is assembling a collection of references to documents, articles and reports of these citizens' lives and contributions.
It is important that we not forget that some of the early settlers of this
region, and some of their descendants, were among those who disagreed with the
decision to break away from the rule of the English monarch. Their loyalty to
their King was to cost most of them their lives, or fortunes and sacred honor:
qualities that were pledged by the signers of the Declaration of Independence
in agreeing to seek that independence.
The histories of those early settlers, living here before the American Revolution and helping to tame the land and bring in the industries, are sometimes more difficult to find. We'll present in this section the results of some research into their lives.
The following is an excerpt from the History of Saratoga County written by Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester. "It is stated in gazetteers that the first settlements within the present limits of the Town of Malta were made by two men named Drummond and McKelpin. They were here before the Revolution, were Loyalists, and obliged to leave during the war. Little is known of them and it is believed they never returned. It is by no means certain however that they were here in advance of John Hunter and Ashbel Andrews. John Hunter came here with the Connecticut colony to Stillwater as early as 1764 and settled near Round Lake on what is now the Scotland place."
One Loyalist family's story is told in the following paper prepared by a high-school student in 1976. Well-documented and well-written, it "illuminates the American Revolution from a new and significant perspective."
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Heritage Hunters of Saratoga County
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