THE BURNING OF KINGSTON

The Burning of Kingston is a weekend-long celebration that draws thousands of visitors to Kingston New York. It is a unique story in American history commemorating bravery, sacrifice, resilience and renewal. On a Fall October day in 1777, British troops set fire to the newly established capital of the State of New York - Kingston. Since most of the local militia were fighting battles elsewhere (such as at the Battle of Saratoga), the vulnerable city burned down with over 300 buildings lost in just hours. Since many of the buildings were made of stone, we can still see examples of them standing today. The event was a dramatic moment in the American Revolutionary War that hardened the determination of colonists to gain their independence, and for local citizens to rebuild Kingston, stronger than ever.

The Burning of Kingston is a biennial event celebrating its 20th anniversary of the reenactments and 240th anniversary of actual events.


Watch presentation on the actual events of the Burning of Kingston in October of 1777 >>

Friday, Oct. 13

Colonial Kingston "Committee of Safety" meeting at the historic Persen House Museum

Saturday, Oct. 14

Landing of British Troops at Kingston Point

Sunday, Oct. 15

'Battle of Upper Forsyth Park' tactical demonstration showing American and British troops battle

On October 13, 14 and 15th 2017, various re-enactments will take place throughout Kingston, recreating scenes that happened 240 years ago during the American Revolutionary War. Open and free to the public, visitors may witness street battles, view British military camps, exhibits and historical recreations, tour original colonial-era stone houses, and dance at a costume ball. There is also the charming City of Kingston to enjoy which offers numerous museums, restaurants, art galleries, shopping, live music and recreation

In addition to re-enactors and local volunteers, visitors are encouraged to join in on the fun by dressing in colonial costumes while visiting. And lastly, visitors that weekend should be sure to bring their "Loyalty Papers" or the Redcoats may detain you….! Kingston – Historic is just our beginning!

Volunteers & Reenactors

Do you enjoy meeting new people? History? Theater? Community? We are looking for volunteers to help, including re-enactors, information guides, security, and logistics for the Burning of Kingston.

Click here

"…We proceeded up the river destroying a number of vessels as we sailed along without stopping until we arrived at Ezopus Creek, where we found two batteries; one of two guns the other of three guns erected, and an armed galley at the mouth of the creek…It was determined to land and destroy them…"
- Jas. Wallace to Commodore Hotham, Oct. 17, 1777

"….at 1/2 past 10 a.m., the Rebles begun to Cannonade us from their Battery at the mouth of Esopas Creek fired 9 twenty four pounder round shot at the Battery and Reble Galley that were playing on us…."
- 'Dependence' Ship Log

"Sir, I had the Honor of proceeding by your Order with the Troops under my Command on the 15th inst. And destroyed all the Enemy's Vessels and Houses til our Arrival off Esopus on the 17th, and upon my Reconnoitering the Rebel Situation there, I perceived a Battery of 5 Pieces more…."
- Gen. Vaughan to Sir Henry Clinton