History & Culture

An over head view of a large wooden fort. Green surrounds it with a small path moving towards the gate.

A Historic Site for All Time

For thousands of years the ancient trail that connects the Mohawk River and Wood Creek served as a vital link for people traveling between the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Ontario. Travelers used this well-worn route through Oneida Indian territory to carry trade goods and news, as well as diseases, to others far away. When Europeans arrived they called this trail the Oneida Carrying Place and inaugurated a significant period in American history--a period when nations fought for control of not only the Oneida Carrying Place, but the Mohawk Valley, the homelands of the Six Nations Confederacy, and the rich resources of North America as well. In this struggle Fort Stanwix would play a vital role.

men stand in formation on the corner of a fort wall as they level their muskets, smoke billows around them

Known as "the fort that never surrendered," Fort Stanwix, under the command of Col. Peter Gansevoort, successfully repelled a prolonged siege, in August 1777, by British, German, Loyalist, Canadian, and American Indian troops and warriors commanded by British Gen. Barry St. Leger. The failed siege combined with the battles at Oriskany, Bennington, and Saratoga thwarted a coordinated effort by the British in 1777, under the leadership of Gen. John Burgoyne, to take the northern colonies, and led to American alliances with France and the Netherlands. Troops from Fort Stanwix also participated in the 1779 Clinton-Sullivan Campaign and protected America's northwest frontier from British campaigns until finally being abandoned in 1781.

Timeline will be displayed here

A Brief History of Fort Stanwix NM
A black line drawing of an elaborate angled fort near a river 1758
The Building of Fort Stanwix
Built by the British in 1758, to protect the Oneida Carry area from French attack during the French & Indian War. It was named for British commander, Gen. John Stanwix. About 2,000 to 12,000 men worked on the site; primarily from New York & New England.
a map of the 13 colonies with a thick black line down the Appalachians separating native from colonial lands 1768
The Boundary Line Treaty is Signed
In 1768, Sir William Johnson, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, brought the various leaders of the Six Nations and other eastern Indian nations together to settle land disputes establish a clear line between colonial settlements and Indian land.
soldiers repair the walls and fence of a fort. they work in a line. 1774
The British Abandon the Fort
By this time, the fort's importance had once again diminished, and the regular garrison consisted of only a half pay British officer and a handful of men. By 1774, except for a local trader, the fort was abandoned and in great disrepair.
a sleek black line map of an angled fort with support structures and a garden 1776
Americans occupy, repair, & rename old fort as Ft. Schuyler
With the beginning of the Revolution in 1775, American leaders recognized the importance of the Oneida Carry area. In 1776 the old fort was repaired & renamed in honor of Gen. Philip Schuyler. Col. Dayton & the 3rd NJ Regiment garrisoned it.
a red and white striped flag with a British Union Jack in the corner flies in the breeze over the fort walls 1777
British Lay Siege to American Fort Schuyler
In August of 1777, the fort successfully withstood a 21-day siege by a mixed force of British, German, Canadian, Loyalist, and Indian forces. This helped make possible the American victory at Saratoga in the fall of 1777.
map of NY and PENN states with red lines marking trail heads and waysides 1779
The 1st NY Regiment & Van Schaick Raid Against the Onondaga
This expedition left the afternoon of April 18, 1779 and did not return until the 30th, by which time the destruction of the Onondaga villages had been completed. This was part of the larger Clinton-Sullivan Campaign. Not one party member was lost.
an orange glowning fire in a field burns a building to ash 1781
Flood & Fire Destory the Fort
In the spring of 1781, a combination of heavy spring rains and fire destroyed a good deal of the fort & rendered it indefensible. The Americans then abandoned the fort.
a tan and fading paper with hand written script and re ink seals on it 1784
Treaty & Land Transaction of 1784 is Signed
The U.S. gave peace to the Six Nations, while recognizing the allegiance of the Oneida & Tuscarora Nations. They then established a reservation for the Six Nations. The Six Nations ceded land west & north of the boundary line negotiated in 1768.
purple and beads overlap a parched paper with many signatures a red wax stamps 1788
1788 – 1794, Treaties & Land Transactions Signed by New York State & the Six Nations
These treaties opened land for settlers & speculators. Also, interests in lands were given by the state to veterans of the American Revolution. In future years towns, cities, & canals were built the lands ceded by the Oneida, Onondaga, & Cayuga Nations.
a structure that looks like one log cabin perched on top of another with a soldier waking past it 1794
A Blockhouse is Constructed
In 1794 the State of New York built a blockhouse for storing military supplies on the parade ground of the old fort. By 1815 it was already in disuse.
a map of city streets shows outlines of where a fort used to stand under the city blocks and canal 1830
The City of Rome Builds Over the Remains of the Fort
In the 1830s the last remains of the Ft.Stanwix were covered over by increasing development, bringing the fort's history to a close. However, with the fort gone canals, railroads, & new industry allowed the Oneida Carry area of New York to flourish.
black and white: a man in a white uniform stands at a podium in a small fort 1927
The Sesquicentennial Celebrations of the Campaign of 1777
These historic plays and re-enactments took place across the State of New York, in Rome, Oriskany, and Saratoga. Cmdr. Robert Byrd attended the one in Rome speaking of how proud he was to stand near the grounds of Fort Schuyler.
yellowing newspaper, words: Rome Sentinel: Roosevelt Signs Ft. Stanwix Bill. Gov't has permission to accept land grants, makes way for new nat'l shrine. 1935
The Fort Stanwix Act is Signed
After years of work by citizens of the City of Rome, NY, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Wagner-Sisson Bill on August 21, 1935, to establish Fort Stanwix National Monument "for the benefit and inspiration of the people."
an overhead view of a city. An outline of a angular building is drawn on top. 1963
1960s - Urban Renewal / Rome Donates Land to National Park Service
The 1935 act establishing Fort Stanwix as a national monument used an interesting clause that stated that if the site were to be developed, the property &/or the money to purchase the property had to be donated. This didn’t happen until the early 1970s.
two women sit in a hole digging near bricks, a cityscape behind them 1970
1970-1973, Archeological Investigations Begin
Fort Stanwix Archeological (Excavation) Unit. One of the later features of the fort is this bakehouse with its fireplace and oven. Approximate Year: 1970. These are only a fraction of the volunteers who showed up to unearth the remains of Fort Stanwix.
a black line drawing of a fort, located in Oneida County, NY. it has many interesting angles. 1973
Construction Begins on the "New" Fort Stanwix
After many years of waiting, planning, and archeological excavations the City of Rome, NY and the National Park Service began rectruction of Fort Stanwix/Schuyler in 1973.
3 views of the same location from above, it appears to have aged backwards in time with old buildings and forts appearing over brick and mortar 1976
Fort Stanwix National Monument Opens for the Nation’s Bicentennial
The mission of Fort Stanwix National Monument is to preserve the location & objects associated with the military, political, & cultural events that occurred at the site & provide opportunities for visitor understanding & appreciation of these events.
A collage of photos of the fort and city streets from multiple time periods. small things change in each photo till today 2010
The 75th Anniversary of Fort Stanwix National Monument
The history of Fort Stanwix & the City of Rome are inseparably intertwined due to the passion the people of Rome have for their local history. One that has profound affects on national & international history.

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