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Gates-Schuyler Controversy

Gates-Schuyler Controversy

GATES-SCHUYLER CONTROVERSY. The antipathy between New Englanders and New Yorkers—an aspect of the factionalism in revolutionary America—forced Generals Horatio Gates and Philip Schuyler into the roles of contending champions. It was not that either had any particular animosity toward the other, but the New Englanders felt their interests would be served if Gates commanded the Northern Department whereas the New Yorkers wanted Schuyler to hold this position. In March 1777 the New England faction prevailed in Congress, and Gates succeeded Schuyler. The latter managed to have himself reinstated the next month. On 4 August 1777 Congress, dissatisfied with the abandonment of Fort Ticonderoga before Burgoyne's offensive, ordered Schuyler superseded by Gates. The northern army remained split into partisans of the two generals; the Schuyler supporters could not make a hero out of their general during the Revolution, but they conducted a successful postwar campaign to make a villain out of Gates.

SEE ALSO Factionalism in America during the Revolution; Gates, Horatio; Schuyler, Philip John.


Billias, George Athan, ed. George Washington's Generals. New York: Morrow, 1964; Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1980.

                         revised by Michael Bellesiles

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