This weekend the DAR is dedicating a marker to Gen. Horatio Gates at Trinity Church in New York. Gates was buried somewhere in the churchyard, but the exact location of his grave has been forgotten.
These days Gates is most famous for two things: his plummet from the hero of Saratoga in 1777 to the laughingstock of Camden in 1780, and his association with the Conway Cabal’s attempt to sabotage Washington’s command. It only took a few years, a series of disastrous miscalculations, and a generous dose of narcissism to send his career into a tailspin. He’s sort of like the M. Night Shyamalan of Rev War generals.
Here’s the site of the Battle of Long Island—the largest battle of the Revolutionary War and the first battle waged by an army of the independent United States of America.
More bleak news about the travails of trying to manage a cultural attraction while the economy’s in the toilet.
When I was an intern, I spent a fair amount of time manning a cash register in a museum lobby. Some visitors used to complain about admission costs (a paltry four or five bucks per adult back in those days), remarking that we must have been glad we such a nice little cash cow going. They were so wrong it wasn’t even funny. In many museums, admissions revenue rarely even comes close to meeting operating expenses. Indeed, in many cases, it doesn’t even cover basic maintenance costs. Keep that in mind the next time you feel like griping to the guy at the ticket counter.