Saratoga County interested in acquiring Schuyler statue

Saratoga County wants controversial Philip Schuyler statue

An official request has been made by Saratoga County leaders. The statue was taken down last June because Albany leaders say they did not want to continue to idolize a war general who owned slaves.

Saratoga County is interested in acquiring the Philip Schuyler statue, which was removed from the front of Albany City Hall last June after a lengthy debate.

Clifton Park Supervisor Phil Barrett, chairman of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors, spoke before the Albany Common Council meeting on Thursday to make the request.

He spoke with NewsChannel 13 on Friday, saying that Saratoga County would be a logical place for the statue. The village of Schuylerville is located in the county as is the Schuyler Estate at Saratoga National Historical Park. 

“His legacy is quite strong in Saratoga County,” he said.

Mayor Kathy Sheehan’s office did respond with a statement:

“Since 2020, Mayor Sheehan has made it clear the City of Albany will keep the Schuyler Statue. Our Monument and Public Art Commission will be tasked with determining where the statue should be relocated and how to properly contextualize it.”

Barrett said he understands that Albany did not want to display the statue anymore and his county would welcome it.

“I don’t think canceling history is a good way to teach the next generation about history,” he said.

He did not cite a specific location for the monument.

Barrett said there was no immediate action by the council. He plans to speak at future meeting to make the case again.

Barrett said he believes bringing the statue 40 minutes north could create an additional tourist attraction.

“I think people would be very interested in it, especially with the recent history of being taken down. I think it creates more interest.”

The statue was removed last June after a lengthy debate. General Philip Schuyler was born in Albany and was a prominent figure in the Revolutionary War. Schuyler owned the most slaves in the city.

The Times Union was first to report the story.