Uring the Revolution the valley of the Hudson was the central and critical ground of the war. Of supreme importance was it that the navigation of this river should be controlled. Had the English ever secured its entire length, the New England colonies would have been cut off from those to the south and west. The rebellion would thus have been severed in twain and its suppression made easy. In part the valley was lost more than once — twice through military valor and again through treason, but lost entirely it never was. Around the conﬂict for control of it, revolved the battles of Long Island and Harlem Heights, of Princeton and Trenton, the Brandywine and Germantown, Monmouth and Stony Point, Oriskany and Saratoga, and finally the treason of Arnold. Here, indeed, at the mouth of the Hudson, the war, in the sense of actual fighting, first began — in that battle of Golden Hill, fought in John street, New York City, in 1770, where was shed the first blood of the Revolution. After Golden Hill the first armed conﬂicts took place near Boston, but these engagements were scarcely more than preliminary events in the greater war which followed. So soon as this rebellion was found to be no longer local, so soon as thirteen colonies instead of one were seen to be in revolt, the scene shifted to New York, where in this valley lay the prize to be fought for. The British might well have hoped for success. The Tory party in New York was in control. New York was the administrative center of the British power in America. Its chief city had long been the center of a small court, modelled after the court of London. Society and public life had derived their tone from a royal example. New York harbor, indeed, commanded the Hudson Valley, and nearly forty British ships of war had sailed into it, while the Americans had no ships of war. First among Americans who saw the importance of holding this valley was a man whose name was repeatedly to be covered with martial glory, but a name that is remembered now almost wholly for his act of treason Benedict Arnold. Immediately after the fight at Lexington, Arnold started with an army for the capture of Ticonderoga and Crown Point. Ethan Allen met him on the way and together they pressed on to demand surrender in famous words In the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress. Crown Point was next taken and then St. John.