Richard M. Ketchum, an author and editor who writings include Saratoga: Turning Point of America’s Revolutionary War and Divided Loyalties : How the American Revolution Came to New York, died on January 12 at a retirement home in Shelburne, Vermont. He was 89 and until four years ago had lived on his nearly 1,000-acre farm, Saddleback, in Dorset, VT.
Author David McCullough describes “like Shelby Foote unfolding the drama of the Civil War, Richard M. Ketchum writes of the Revolution as if he had been there . . . No novelist could create characters more memorable than the protagonists on both the American and British sides”
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Ketchum, ten years ago in Olympia Hall in Schuylerville. He volunteered to speak one night as one of the activities commemorating the 225th Anniversary of the Battles of Saratoga. He and his wife were very generous with their time. He mentioned that night that there were others in the room that knew more about the Battles. I remember thinking then that they may be knowledgeable, however there is not a better writer and storyteller of this history than Richard Ketchum. I know that my community and all those with an interest in the American Revolution will be forever grateful for the writing of Richard Ketchum.
To learn more about Richard Ketchum visit this The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer Transcript
A full obituary can be read in the New York Times.
Sean Kelleher is the Historian for the Town of Saratoga and Village of Victory in the Upper Hudson Valley. He has a particular interest in colonial history, being active as a reenactor for 34 years and has served as a Commissioner on the New York State French and Indian War 250th Anniversary Commemoration Commission.
One thought on “Richard Ketchum, 89, American Revolution Author”
Just now learned of Richard Ketchum’s passing. Comparison w/ Shelby Foote is spot-on. As a native, long-since-removed, of Ticonderoga, NY, I especially loved “Saratoga.”