Angeline Tubbs - “The witch of Saratoga”
This photo of her at 97 may be the only
photo of a woman who crossed the Park
grounds in 1777 when she followed
“Angeline lived in Saratoga for a very long time, from the American Revolution to the Civil
War. During that time, she was mostly mocked, feared, shunned, or ignored. People either
called her “touched in the head” or a witch. Nowadays, people marvel that she survived
and call her a heroine.” Margaret French
Following is an account published by William L. Stone in 1890 as published:
...In traversing the country and the village, she uniformly wore a red cloak with a hood ; a
handkerchief, in imitation of a turban, was bound upon her head, over which she brought
the hood in foul weather. Indeed, from her appearance and occupation it was fortunate for
herself that she lived more than a century after the tragedies enacted by our Puritan
ancestors at Salem.
I have said that at the period of which I write she was without doubt fully ninety years of
age. It was rarely that she could be persuaded to come out of her gibbering moods save to
tell a fortune; but, occasionally, to the late Mrs. Washington Putnam, to whom she was
always more communicative than to others-owing, doubtless, to the kindness with which
that lady always treated her-she would detail glimpses of her past history. Mrs. Putnam was
always of the opinion that Angeline's statement to the effect that she was a girl of fifteen at
the time of Burgoyne's surrender was true. Other circumstances, moreover, which I have
not the space to mention in detail, convinced me also that her story was correct.
For example, she has narrated to me anecdotes connected with that campaign which a
person of her ignorance would have found it impossible to obtain otherwise than from
personal observation and remembrance. Old residents of the town, likewise, who first knew
her as early as 1820, inform me that she seemed as old and wrinkled at that time as when
she died in 1865. The truth regarding her early history is very difficult to obtain. The late Dr.
Steel, however, who knew more of it than any other, was wont to say that he had been
informed by early settlers that in her youth she had been a girl of surpassing beauty. Having,
however, in early life been seduced under promise of marriage, she had been cast oft and
thrown *'like a loathsome weed away," when, becoming crazed, she had ever afterwards
led a wandering life and this, probably, is the truth.*
We may never know the whole story of her live but it appears that she now a legendary individual among those who have crossed
Hudson Crossing Park. The following summarizes her story from a collection of sources:
In 1777, along with the British army, it was a custom to bring family and loved ones commonly referred to as Camp Followers.
Among this group was a young woman named Angeline Tubbs. It is said that she was a charming and beautiful young girl of 15
when she was a part of the followers but her story is filled with mystery. Her ability to talk in detail about antidotes of the Battles of
Saratoga convinced historians that she was really there. She was cast aside by her fiancé and possibly accused of sorcery.
Traumatized and unable to return home, she settled in the now Saratoga Springs area, just north of the High Rock Spring and took
to a life of eccentric solitude. It is said that she would stand on the ledge of rocks near her home during storms and cry into the
winds. Carl Cramer's story "The Screaming Ghost" depicts such an event. Angeline had searing black eyes and earned money by
telling fortunes. She was known to always wear a red cloak and it's said that many of her predictions came true.
One historian happened on a session where she was visiting an astrologer in Bear Swamp (just east of the city) who predicted that
she would live as long as her cats were alive. here is no record if that prediction came true.
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