Join in a Service of Remembrance honoring Indigenous people killed or forced off their land as a result of the 1779 Sullivan-Clinton campaign of the Revolutionary War. Organized by the Rev. Becky Drebert and the Rev. Kay Drebert, members of the diocesan Antiracism team, the service will be held on Saturday, September 11th at 11:00 a.m. at Newtown Battlefield State Park in Shelter 5 at the top of the hill near the War Memorial. Please email the organizers if you plan to attend: [email protected] or [email protected].
The service will also be live-streamed at facebook.com/cnyepiscopal.
If you’re driving to the event, check out this driving guide to the Sullivan-Clinton campaign published by the Chemung Valley Museum.
A message from the organizers follows:
One of the defining events in the formation of upstate New York was the Sullivan-Clinton campaign in 1779 during the Revolutionary War. Not only was it a victory for the colonists against the British, but it also opened up lands for settlement at a time when population pressure for expansion was high. But it came at a great cost. General Sullivan drove north through Pennsylvania while General Clinton followed the Susquehanna River from Cooperstown. Along the way many Indigenous villages were destroyed, crops burned, orchard trees girdled. Many in the Haudenosaunee nation were killed and the peoples were forced to migrate in order to find any food. Many starved to death. The campaign has historically been seen as a great victory for the Americans. But for the Haudenosaunee it was a genocidal tragedy. Even the Oneida who had fought with the Americans were not spared. The final battle of the campaign occurred at Newtown, near Elmira.
To remember the people who lost their lives and their land, we would like to hold a service of remembrance at the Newtown Battlefield State Park on Saturday, September 11th. We will read the Thanksgiving Address which is offered before every Haudenosaunee council meeting to honor the ways in which the Haudenosaunee people relate to creation. We will also offer our own prayers for reconciliation, contrition, and hope, along with explanation and comment about what took place at Newtown.
Following our service at 11:00 a.m., we will have a picnic and will provide hamburgers and hot dogs. We have reserved a shelter for us to meet.
We do need to have some idea of the interest in this event, and would appreciate an email note from anyone who would like to attend. Please email Becky and Kay Drebert at [email protected] or [email protected].
We are looking forward to this event as part of our participation in the Diocesan Racial Reconciliation team as an opportunity to enlighten ourselves and honor those who died there, both colonists and Indigenous people.
Please do join us.