Museum to host event on 1780 British raid

FORT PLAIN — The Fort Plain Museum, 389 Canal St., will commemorate the Aug. 2, 1780, British raid on Canajoharie at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The museum will remember the sacrifices of that day with speeches by area officials, a wreath laying at the museum’s flagpole dedication monument, and a musket salute by the Tryon County Militia.

After the commemoration, at 7 p.m., Wayne Lenig, a member of the Fort Plain Museum board of trustees, will present researched details of the raid. The museum will also provide light refreshments and free tours will be available.

Original accounts of the raid began appearing in major newspapers about two weeks after the attack. A London newspaper dated Oct. 21, 1780, reprinted on Aug. 17, 1780, article from Pennsylvania Gazette stated the following:  “accounts of the damage done by the motley allies of Great Britain, up the Mohawk River, are very imperfect. It is reported they have burnt the principal part of Canajohary, a fine settlement about 36 miles from Albany.”

Another account, dated Sept. 9, 1780, stated the following: “At the fort now called Fort Ransalaer (Fort Plain), Sir John Johnson and Captain Brant have burnt 51 houses, 42 barns, 17 killed, and 52 prisoners.”

This day is also known as Women’s Day at the fort. While the Tryon County militia was on their way to Fort Stanwix and as Brant and his allies attacked, the women and children sought protection at Fort Plain. The women decided to dress like members of the militia to give the appearance that the fort was well guarded, thus leading to the fort’s avoiding any attacks.

For the day, women of all ages will receive free admission to the museum and a 10 percent discount at the museum gift shop and bookstore. The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to the end of the program.

For more information, visit or email

If you go…

When: Wednesday at 2 p.m.

Where: 389 Canal Street

Fort Plain

For more information: or email or call (518) 993-2527

By Patricia Older

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