Mrs General Schuyler General Schuyler


Major General Philip John Schuyler

Congressional Biography
Henry's Revolutionary War Journal
Baby Catrina's Escape
Portfolio Memorial

Major General Philip John Schuyler
(20 Nov 1733, Albany NY)
(18 Nov 1804, Albany NY)
+ Catharine Van Rensselaer
(4 Nov 1734, 4 November 1734)
(7 Mar 1803)

    Elizabeth Schuyler[married Alexander Hamilton]
    Philip Jeremiah Schuyler[married Mary Ann Sawyer]
    Angelica Schuyler[married John Barker Church]
    Catharine Van Rensselaer Schuyler[married Samuel Bayard Malcolm]
    Margaret Schuyler[married Lt. Governor Stephen Van Rensselaer]

Rev. Timothy Dwight, Travels through New York and New England, 1821

Biographical Directory of the American Congress
SCHUYLER, Philip John (father of Philip Jeremiah Schuyler), a Delegate and a Senator from New York; born in Albany, N.Y., November 20, 1733; attended the common schools of Albany and studied under a private tutor in New Rochelle, N.Y.; served in the British Army and was commissioned captain June 14, 1755; served under Gen. Phineas Lyman; appointed chief commissary in 1756; resigned from the British Army in 1757; in 1758 rejoined General Bradstreet as commissary with the rank of major; sent to England to settle colonial claims in 1758; returned in 1763 and engaged in the lumber business in Saratoga, N.Y.; built the first flax mill in America; commissioner to settle the boundary between New York and Massachusetts in 1764; Member of the Continental Congress 1775-1777; appointed one of the four major generals in the Continental Army in 1775, but became involved in military disputes and resigned in 1779; again a Member of the Continental Congress 1778-1781; State senator from the western New York district 1780-1784 and 1786-1790; elected as a Federalist to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1789, to March 3, 1791; unsuccessful candidate for reelection; again a member of the State senate 1792-1797; elected to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1797, to January 3, 1798, when he resigned on account of ill health; died in Albany, N.Y., November 18, 1804; interment in Albany Rural Cemetery.

Henry's Revolutionary Journal
Note: Henry's Journal is quoted without attribution in Lossing's Schuyler.

November 27.-This morning we hoisted & stood up towards Ticonderoga That fortress being 15 miles from Crownpoint-It being calm we row’d the vessells up. At 3 in the afternoon we arriv’d under the Fort & saluted it with 13 guns-landed & waited on General Schuyler.

December 2-I was very Ill when I set out from Smiths and riding on a Bearskin without any stirrups, thro a small snow too, did not contribute to alleviate my distemper. I got as far as Saratoga & lodg’d at the Generals, Mrs. Schuyler & her daughter being there.

Baby Catrina's Escape
Born at Albany on the 20th of February, 1781, nine months before the surrender of Cornwallis, she was almost literally rocked in the cradle of revolution. She was baptized in the Dutch Reformed church, General and Mrs. Washington being two of her sponsors. Her name was the same as that of her mother, who was a daughter of the distinguished family of Van Rensselaer. When only six months old she was the central figure of a most romantic yet terrifying scene.

Though General Schuyler had withdrawn from the army, he was still active in the cause of his country, and the British and Tories were anxious to get possession of his person. He was aware of the fact, and a guard of six soldiers had been furnished him, three of whom were on duty at a time. Nevertheless, a bold ruffian named Waltermeyer, accompanied by a gang of Tories, Canadians, and Indians, made the hazardous attempt. Just at twilight on a sultry August day the general and his family were collected in the front hall of his house in the suburbs of Albany. The three guards off duty were asleep in the basement; the others were lying on the grass outside and not very vigilant. A servant announced that a stranger wished to speak with the general at the back gate. A trap was at once suspected, the doors were instantly barred, the family ran up-stairs, and the general sprang for his arms. Waltemeyer's gang surrounded the house, the three guards who were barred out fled, and the doors were soon broken in. The three soldiers below rushed up to the back hall where they had left their arms, but these had been removed by some of the family, and they were quickly overpowered.

At that moment it was discovered that the infant Catrina was asleep in its cradle in the basement. Margarita, the general's third daughter (then a brave girl of twenty-two, afterwards the wife of the celebrated patroon, General Stephen Van Rensselaer), instantly rushed down the two flights of stairs, snatched up the child, and bore it to the upper rooms. As she fled up-stairs one of the cut-throats flung a tomahawk at the heroic girl. It whizzed past the head of little Catrina, slightly cut the dress of Margarita, and was buried in the railing of the stair. A moment after Waltermeyer met her, but supposing her to be a servant allowed her to pass, exclaiming, “Hello, wench, where is your master?"

“Gone to alarm the town," replied the quick-witted girl. The general heard her, flung up a window, and called at the top of his voice,- “Come on, my brave fellows, surround the house and secure the scoundrels!" A panic seized on the marauders, who immediately fled, carrying off their three prisoners and a large quantity of silver plate.


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