Drawing 2 illustrates the legend that Catherine Schuyler set fire to her wheatfields along the Hudson to deny sustenance to the approaching British. Although Mrs. Schuyler never actually did this, her husband, General Philip Schuyler, did attempt to slow Burgoyne's advance down the Hudson River Valley in a number of ways.
General Schuyler, who commanded the defense of the Hudson Valley until the eve of the first battle at Saratoga, had soldiers and residents destroy or carry away food and livestock so the British would not capture it. They also destroyed bridges, blocked roads by cutting down trees, and dammed creeks to turn pathways into swampland. Delayed by these obstructions and his supply train, Burgoyne averaged only one mile a day after leaving Fort Ticonderoga.
Questions for Drawing 2
1. Study Drawing 2 carefully. How did they carry fire to the wheatfield to burn it?
2. How would destroying food supplies help the Continental Army defeat Burgoyne?
3. This drawing comes entirely from the artist's imagination. Look for people, things, actions, or behaviors that seem out of place or out of character. List your findings with a brief explanation of why they seem unreal.
4. Who are the other people accompanying Mrs. Schuyler? Provide clues to support your hypothesis. Why do you think the artist included them?
* The drawing on this screen has a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a larger version of Drawing 2, but be aware that the file will take as much as 36 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.