National Cemetery proposal (1945-1958)
In 1945 a National Cemetery for veterans was proposed for the Troy area. Land east of Oakwood Avenue and south of the Plank Road was specifically suggested, land in the Town of Brunswick that had been part of the Patent of Stone Arabia from which the Village of Lansingburgh had been formed.
Troy newspaper coverage for the proposal in 1945 exceeded even the newspaper coverage surrounding the actual creation of Oakwood Cemetery and the Earl Gardner Chapel. Efforts remained fairly steady into 1949, even as newspaper column inches devoted to it declined.
The last interest shown in the proposal seems to have been in late 1958, during which time some of the people involved with it began to seek national recognition of Troy’s Samuel Wilson as “Uncle Sam.” In that lesser effort they were more successful, obtaining recognition from Congress in 1961 (despite the lack of direct evidence).
The printed 1945 proposal Troy, New York The Birthplace of Uncle Sam Its Proposal for a National Cemetery included many endorsements for the plan, and some sections aimed at convincing the federal government to adopt the plan. Hilda Goodwin’s “Historical Background of Troy, N. Y.” noted some of Lansingburgh’s history, that “citizens have always been conscious of their duty to the nation as a whole. An early indication of this spirit is shown in a declaration of independence written by the people of Lansingburgh, now an incorporated part of the City of Troy, and dated May 22, 1775.” After quoting a portion of the declaration, Goodwin noted “This declaration is an indication of the spirit which has always pervaded this area. The men who signed it proved their patriotism by serving with the militia in the Revolution.”