Saratoga Springs, 1798

Morse, Jedidiah
Jaques Gérard Milbert, ‘Itinéraire pittoresque du fleuve Hudson et des parties latérales de l'Amérique du Nord, d'après les dessins originaux pris sur les lieux’, Bibliothèque nationale de France, 1812.


"If we look into this hole we see the mineral warer boiling vehemently like a pot over the fire; the water is nevertheless intensely cold..."


SARATOGA, or Saraghtoga, a township of New-York, situated in Saratoga co. on the W. side of Hudson's river 56 miles N. of Albany. It contains few houses in a compact state. In 179o, when it belonged to Albany co. it contained 3,071 inhabitants; and these were here in 1796, 542 electors. It will ever be distinguished in history for being the place at which Gen. Burgoyne was obliged to surrender his army, in 1777. This town is also famous for its medicinal waters, called the Saratoga Springs. They are 10 miles from Ballstown, in a shallow vale or marsh, in several respects resembling that of Ballstown. These waters appear to have received as strong, if not stronger, impregiation of the same kind of ingredients that enter those of Ballstown, and may be a stream of the same fountain running through the same kind ot calcareous earth. One of these springs is covered over by a natural cretacious, or rather calcareous pyramid, about five or fix feet high. This hollow pyramid, or cone, has a hole in the top about six inches over. If we look into this hole we see the mineral warer boiling vehemently like a pot over the fire; the water is nevertheless intensely cold, and is said to be, in every respect, smarter than that at Ballstown. The calcareous matter extends for several rods ffrom the basis of this pyramid. There are several idle stories related of this spring; one is, that it overflows at certain stages of the moon. This is not true. As this is solnd to be false, they tell you it overflows once a year; but this has as little foundation in truth as the other. People who live at the springs think they must relate something marvelous by way of enhancing the value of the waters, and reconciling you to the great expense attending there visits. 


Jedidiah Morse, The American Gazetteer, Exhibiting, in Alphabetical Prder, a Much More Full and Accurate Account than Has Been Given, of the States, Provinces, Counties, Cities, Towns, Villages, Rivers, Bays, Harbours, Gulfs, Sounds, Capes, Mountains, Forts, Indian Tribes, and New Discoveries, on the American continent, also of the West India islands, And other Islands Appendant to the Continent...Printed in Boston, New England. London: reprinted for J. Stockdale, Piccadilly ; C. Dilly, Poultry ; and T.N. Longman, Paternoster Row ([London]), Edition: 2, 1798, p. 492-493. Transcription by Alain Kerhervé. Full text in ECCO.