Henry Livingston, Jr.


Peter Schuyler

People of Colonial Albany
Notable Americans

Mayor Peter Schuyler
(17 Sep 1657, Albany NY)
(19 Feb 1724, The Flatts, Albany NY)
+ Engeltie Van Schaick (bef 1681) (1659)

Margarita, born November, 1682, married, August 26, 1697, Robert Livingston, the Nephew
Philip, baptized October, 1684, died young
Anna, baptized September 12, 1686, died aged twelve years
Gertrude, baptized August 17, 1689, died young

+ Maria Van Rensselaer (14 Sep 1691, Albany NY)
(25 Oct 1672, Rensselaerwyck NY)
(Albany NY)

Maria, baptized May, 1692
Gertrude, baptized February 11, 1694, married, June 13, 1714, Johannes Lansing
Philip, baptized January 15, 1696, died in 1758, without issue, married, December 29, 1720, Margarita Schuyler
Pieter, Jr., baptized January 12, 1698, married December 29, 1722, Catherine Groesbeck
Jeremiah (twin), baptized January 12, 1698, buried at The Flatts, December 10, 1753, married Susanna

People of Colonial Albany, by Stefan Bielinski

Peter SchuylerPieter Schuyler was born in Beverwyck in 1657. He was the eldest son of New Netherland pioneer Philip Pieterse Schuyler and Margarita Van Slichtenhorst - daughter of the director of Rensselaerswyck. In 1686, he was appointed first mayor of the new city of Albany.

Pieter Schuyler grew up in the family home on State Street. He followed his father to success in the fur trade and beyond to acquire extensive lands in and around Albany and elsewhere in New York province. Emergence as Albany's most prominent native son brought him into contact with future brother-in-law, Robert Livingston, and helped set the stage for his ascendancy at the provincial level.

In July 1686, he was appointed first mayor of the city of Albany under the Dongan Charter. At age twenty-nine, he was Albany's active leader who brought the city government through Leisler's Rebellion and served in the mayor's office until 1694. In 1692, he was the first Albany man appointed to the provincial governor's advisory Council.

By 1681, Pieter Schuyler had married Albany native Engeltie Van Schaick. She died following the birth of their fourth child in 1689. Their daughter, Margarita, further cemented ties to the Livingstons when she married Robert Livingston, Jr. in 1697. In 1691, Pieter Schuyler re-married. Maria Van Rensselaer - daughter of the patroonship and Van Cortlandt Manor as well, bore him five more children. These Schuylers settled into their own riverside home on Court Street near the Ruttenkill. Both were pillars of the nearby Dutch church where Pieter was a church officer.

As mayor of Albany, Pieter Schuyler headed the Albany Commissioners for Indian Affairs. The city charter had invested these city fathers with the exclusive right to negotiate with the Indians. Schuyler's trading background and facility with native dialect brought him to the front of frontier diplomacy. A long time active member, as colonel of the Albany militia, he led the attack on La Prarie in 1691. By the end of the century, he was a reknowned field leader who travelled to New England, New France, and New York. In 1710, he sailed across the Atlantic - accompanying the "Four Iroquois Kings" to the court of Queen Anne. Respected by neighbors, other colonials, and adversaries, he was known to native peoples as "Quidor" or "brother."

Returning from England to an Albany County about to begin three decades of peace and growth, Colonel Schuyler settled in as the dean of native Albanians - beyond an active role in city affairs, but managing still expanding real estate holdings, continuing to sit with the Albany Indian commissioners, serving on the Council and as a royal emmisary, and presiding over Albany's most important traditional family while transitioning his base of operations more to the family farm on the flats north of the Van Rensselaer manor house.

Pieter Schuyler's portrait painted by Nehemiah Partridge between 1710 and 1718 is now in the collection of the City of Albany.

Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans

SCHUYLER, Peter, soldier, was born in Albany, N.Y., Sept. 17, 1657; son of Philip Pietersen and Margarita (Van Slichtenhorst) Schuyler, and grandson of Brant Arent Van Slichtenhorst, who immigrated to America in 1647, and was commissioned director of the Rensselaerwyck, president of the court of justice, and immediate manager of the whole estate of the Van Rensselaer family. Philip Pietersen Schuyler emigrated from Amsterdam, Holland, in 1650, and died at Albany, N.Y., March 9, 1684.

Peter was appointed justice of the peace in 1685, and upon the incorporation of Albany as a city be was sent to New York in company with Robert Livingston to procure the charter, under which he was appointed first mayor of the city in 1686, serving till 1694. He was commissioned lieutenant of state militia in March, 1688, became commander of militia in the northern department of New York, and was given command of the fort at Albany, where he successfully resisted the attack upon the fort made by Milborne. In June, 1700, he led a small force into Canada and penetrated to Laprairie, and after several skirmishes with the French and Indians, returned to Albany. He was a member of the New York assembly, 170103.

In 1710 he went to England with five elders of the Five Nations, for the purpose of impressing them with the greatness of the English nation.

He was appointed a member of the King's council in New York in 1714; served for a time as president of the council, and during the absence of Peter Burnet, served as acting governor, 171920. He was commissioner of Indian affairs, obtaining great influence over the Five Nations.

He was twice married; first, in 1681, to Elizabeth Van Schaick, and secondly to Maria Van Rensselaer. He died in Albany, N.Y., Feb. 19, 1724.


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