Cuyler Reynolds.

Genealogical and family history of southern New York and the Hudson River Valley : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the building of a nation (Volume 2) online

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Following this Mr. Schoonmaker continued
the practice of law independently until his
death. Pie was elected a member of the stat°
senate in 1840. and in 1850 was chosen to
represent the then tenth congressional district,
serving in the thirty-second congress. He was
one of the seventeen Whisrs in the state spnate.
who barely controlled that body, and did not
resign his seat to go to congress until the
election of a United States senator had been
settled. Although his district was strongly
Democratic, his personal popularity secured
his election to congress. He declined a re-
election and continued in the practice of his
profession until he was appointed in Jannarv.
iS';©, auditor of the canal department of the
«tate. After one year in this position he wa«
transferred to the hanking department, of
which he was made superintendent, from
which he resigned to again resume the nrac-
tice of law. He was a member of the conven-
tion of 1867 to revise the state constitution,
was active in the public interest and especially
in securing the system of free and graded



schools which is still in use. For nine years
he served as president of the Kingston board
of education, beginning with its organization.
In 1866-69-70 he was president of the village
of Kingston. Everywhere he was known as
a safe counsellor, an honest attorney and up-
right and valuable citizen. He married, De-
cember 13, 1837, Elizabeth Van Wyck, daugh-
ter of Rev. Cornelius Depew Westbrook, D.D.,
and his wife, Hannah (Van Wyck) West-
brook, of Kingston. Children: i. Cornelius
Marius, who graduated from the U. S. Naval
Academy at AimapoHs, June, 1859, and re-
ceived a commission in the United States navy
during the civil war. He was drowned in the
great tidal wave disaster at Apia. Samoa,
March 16. 1889, while in command of the
U. S. S. "A'andalia." 2. Henry Barnard, who
studied law with his father, and died in 1867,
aged twenty-three years, at the opening of
what promised to be a brilliant legal career.
3. Julius, mentioned below. 4. Ella, wife of
Henry D. Darrow, deceased, of Kingston.

(VHI) Julius, third son of Marius and
Elizabeth \'. W'. (Westbrook) Schoonmaker,
was born January 6, 1847, '" Kingston. He
was associated with his father until he was
appointed to succeed his father as custodian
of the senate house at Kingston, a position
he still retains.

(V) Abraham, second son of Cornelius and
Arriantie (Hornbeck) Schoonmaker, was
born April 26, 1752, in Shawangunk, where
he resided, and died Januarv' 10, 1814. He
was adjutant on Colonel Hasbrouck's staff
during the revolutionary war. He married
Sarah Adriance. born in 1755, died in 1837,
supposed to have been a native of Long Is-
land. Children: John, died in infancy: Cor-
nelius. David, John A., George, Dr. Albert.
Abraham. Moses, Selah.

(VI) John A., fourth son of Abraham and
Sarah (Adriance") Schoonmaker, was born
May 21, 1786, in Shawangunk, died in that
town, July 26, 1863. He married Rachel Sam-
mons, born January 26. 1788. who survived
him nearly fifteen years, dying March 19,
T878. Children: i. .\braham, born Novem-
ber 10. 1808, died at Moore Park. Michigan.
February s. 1882 2. Hiram, July 16. 181 t,
resided in Moore Park. Michigan. ^. Rachel.
May 28. T813, married Johannes LeFever, and
died at Climax, Michigan, in 187^. 4. Sarah,
twin of Rachel, died young. 5. Maria Katlia-

rine, married Selah Tuthill Jordan, and died
in Newburg, 1892. 6. Eliza, October 15, 1817,
married James Schoonmaker, and resided in
Shawangunk, afterward in Newburg, died
October 15, 1904. 7. Isaac, March 10, 1820,
resided in Gardiner, New York, afterward
Paducah, Kentucky, and later at Wallkill,
Ulster county, where he died in 1904. 8. Mar-
garet, November 6, 1822, married DuBois Le-
Fever, and lived in Shawangunk. 9. Jacob,
August 9, 1825, resided in Gardiner, drowned
on the "Henry Clay", July 26, 1852. 10. John,
mentioned below.

(VII) John, youngest child of John A. and
Rachel (Sammons) Schoonmaker, was born
Jamiary 25, 1830, in what is now Gardiner,
Ulster county. New York, died January i,
1904, in Newburg, New York. He was edu-
cated in the district schools of Shawangunk
and in the Seminary at Armenia, Dutchess
county. New York. In 1852 he opened a gen-
eral store at Tuthilltown in partnership with
his brother, Jacob. The business was but
fairly established, when the elder brother was
drowned at the destruction of the ill-fated
steamer "Henry Clay" on the Hudson, during
a trip to New York. John Schoonmaker then
sold out the business and removed to New-
burg, where he became a clerk in the general
store of Isaac Wood. In January, 1863. he
formed a partnership with Samuel C. Mills and
.A. Y. Weller and they conducted a dry goods
business at No. 80 Water street, Newburg,
which has continued to the present time and
is now the largest dry goods establishment in
Newburg. Mr. Mills retired July i, 1885, and
the firm became Schoonmaker & WeHer, con-
tinuing thus until June I, 1890. when Mr.
Weller retired. Following this, Mr. Schoon-
maker's son. Samuel V.. was associated with
him in the business and this arrangement con-
tituied until the death of the father. The
latter was a trustee of the Newburg Savings
Bank. Politically he was a Democrat and
joined the Republican party upon its forma-
tion. His first presidential vote was cast for
Franklin Pierce. He was long an elder of the
First Presbyterian Church and was superin-
tendent of Bethel Mission until failing health
compelled him to abandon this position. He
married Mary A. Vail, born April, 1831.
daughter of Simon Raymond Vail. Children :
.'\nna, Elizabeth M., Samuel V., Margaret Le-
Fever. wife of William Clement Scott.



(VIII) Samuel \'., only son of John and
Mary A. (.Vail) Schoonmaker, was born
March 13, 1867, in Newburg. He attended
the public schools of his native town and
graduated from Philips Exeter Academy, Ex-
eter, New Hampshire, with the class of 1885.
On leaving school he became associated with
his father in business, and in 1888 opened a
branch store on Broadway, Newburg, in as-
sociation with Frank S. Weller. This busi-
ness was closed in i8qi and Mr. Schoonmaker
formed a partnership with A. R. E. Remillard
and Frank S. Weller, conducting a dry .goods
store until 1895. when he disposed of his in-
terest and entered the employ of the firm of
Schoonmaker & W'eller. In '1898 Mr. Weller
retired and S. V. Schoonmaker acquired his
interest and the firm became John Schoon-
maker & Son. After the death of John in 1904
the daughters, Elizabeth M. and Mrs. W. C.
Scott, became interested in the business, Sam-
uel \'. being the only active member. He
married. February i. 1899, Lillian West War-
dell, daughter of Robert L. and Elizabeth
(Henderson) \^'ardell, and they have two
sons, John, born June 10, 1900. and Samuel
V. Jr., born May 23, 1902.

The family name of Schuy-
SCHUYEER ler was originally "van
Schuyler" when coming to
this country, and by it was meant one resid-
ing in a place of shelter, from the Dutch
"schuiler", a hider; or "schuil", a shelter; and
possibly also from the German word "schu-
ler". a scholar, the intention being to signify
a family of education, or scholarly. The pro-
srenitor of the familv in America commonly
wrote his name "Philip Pieterse", excepting
when he signed contracts, deeds or other im-
portant documents, when he added "Schuij-
'er", which could also be expressed bv writing
it "Schuyler", bv placiner the two small marks
over the letter "y". After the year 1667 he
nsuallv wrote his name in full; but after 1672
he had dropped the name "Pieterse", sienifv-
ine that Peter was his father as one mitrht
now drop the "Junior" after the death of a
father, and he siened his will "Philin Schuii-
ler". In the early familv records he wrote
the names of seven of his children with the
prefix "van". Thus one traces the transition,
with its definite reasons, to the present form.
The Schuyler arms : Shield : \''ert. a sin-

ister cubit arm, vested or, cuffed or, holding
on the hand a falcon sable, beaked, membered,
hooded or. Crest : A falcon as in shield.
Motto : "Semper fidelis" . Arms as blazoned
above were on the stained glass window in
the old Dutch Church and were a few years
ago in the possession of a Miss Schuyler who
showed them to Mr. M. Roosevelt Schuyler.

Two brothers of the name of Van Schuyler,
Philip and David, were among the earliest
settlers of Beversvvyck, who came to this
country from Holland, and it is from them
all of the name in .\merica have proceeded,
which for the first century and a half after
their arrival was distinctively an Albany name.
Unfortunately by the year 1900 it became
extinct in that city, but was still held in high-
est respect in memory. There were many of
them who attained high distinction, especially
in military valor, in governmental affairs, and
as owners of very large estates. Five of the
name were mayors in Albany, and hardly a
more illustrious name appears in .American
history than that of General Philip .Schuyler,
of the revolution.

(I) Colonel Philip Pieterse \'an Schuyler
was the son of Pieter Van Schuyler, of .Am-
sterdain, Holland. He was the better known
of the two brothers who settled in New Neth-
erland, and is recognized as the head of the
family in America, or progenitor of the
Schuyler family. He purchased the property
four miles north of Albany, on the public
highway to Saratoga, which has been the
home of the Schuyler family to this dav. The
original house on this bouwerie was the resi-
dence of Arent Van Curler, a cousin of the
first Patroon. Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, who
came with the colonists to Rensselaerswyck in
1630. He hafi married, in 1643, and on his
return from his bridal journey to Holland
settled on his farm, known as The Flatts. even
as at present it is styled. After him it was
owned by Richard Van Rensselaer, a son of
the Patroon. who relinquished it when he re-
turned to live in Holland. The entry in the
account-book of the Van Rensselaer estate
reads : "Debit : Philip Van Schuyler, for the
Rouwery called de AHachte (The Flatts) and
the Island, sold to him for 700 beavers and
T.600 florins Holland monev. together 8.000
florins. Contra : Credit, a bill of Exchange
drawn on Jan Raptist \^an Rensselaer, calcu-
lated at 2,400 florins; 650 whole Beavers;


A leader of the foremost i^nk among New York's Revolutionary officers, com-
manding the Army of the North. In whom Washington ever reposed greatest confi-
dence; Member of the Colonial Congress. 1779; first U. 5. Senator from New York
State, 1789. Born at Albany. Nov. 1 1. 1733; died at Albany, Nov. 18, 1804. From the
painting by John Irumbull.



5,200 do. : 50 do. ; 400 do. ; total 8,000 florins".
The county clerk's records show : "Jeremias
Van Rensselaer in his life time That is to say
on. the two and twentieth day of June in the
year of our Lord Christ one thousand six hun-
dred seventy, and two for an in consideration
of the sum of five thousand Holland guilders
to him in hand paid did grant Bargain and sell
unto the said Philip Schuyler his heirs and
assigns for ever all that farm Tract and par-
cell of Land commonly called The Flatts as
also one Island over against said flatts com-
monly called the great Island of the flatts situ-
ate on the west side of Hudson river in the
Colony of Rensselaerswyck in the like man-
ner as the said farm heretofore has been oc-
cupied and enjoyed by Mr. Richard van Rens-
selaer". Colonel Van Schuyler's son. Colonel
Pieter Schuyler, inherited The Flatts, and he
lived there twelve years, when he leased it to
his son PhiliD, who inherited it in turn, but,
having no children, by his will dated June 28,
1748, he gave the "Creat Island" to his
brother Jeremy, and to his brother Pieter he
left The Flatts. In the latter's will, drawn
April 27. 1771. he left it to his grandson,
Stephen Schuyler, and in iqio it was occu-
pied by the widow of Richard Schuyler
(Susan Drake), because he was the son of
Stephen R. Schuyler and Catherine Elizabeth
Schuyler, who was the son of Peter S. Schuy-
ler and Catherine Cuyler, who was in turn
the son of Stephen Schuyler and Engeltie Van
Vechten. whose parents were Pieter Schuyler
Jr. and Catherine droesbeck, and his father
was Mayor Pieter Schuyler. In 1910, in the
hallway of The Flatts, hangs the old oil por-
trait of "Ouidor", the Indian name for Pieter
Schuyler, meaning the "Indian's Friend", and
in the brick mansion standing on the brow of
the hill, west of the Troy road, hangs the
seven-foot oil portrait of Pieter Schuyler, first
mayor of Albanv, painted in England in 1710,
by order of Queen Anne, and now owned by
the children of John Cuvler Schuyler, uncle
of the late Richard P. Schuyler.

It is interesting to learn a few facts about
this old mansion, as described by Mrs. Grant
more than a century ago in her famous "Me-
moirs of an American Lady", wherein she
writes :

"It was a large brick house of two, or
rather three stories ffor there were excellent
attics), besides a sunk storv. finished with ex-

actest neatness. The lower floor had two spa-
cious rooms, with large, light closets; on the
first there were three rooms, and in the upper
one four. Through the middle of the house
was a wide passage, with opposite front and
back doors, which in summer admitted a
stream of air peculiarly grateful to the languid
senses. It was furnished with chairs and
pictures like a summer parlor. Here the fam-
ily usually sat in hot weather, when there
were no ceremonious strangers. One room,
I should have said, in the greater house only,
was opened for the reception of company ; all
the rest were bedchambers for their accom-
modation, while the domestic friends of the
family occupied neat little bedrooms in the
attics or the winter-house. This house con-
tained no drawing-room — that was an un-
heard-of luxury; the winter-rooms had car-
pets ; the lobby had oilcloth painted in loz-
enges, to imitate blue and white marble. The
best bedroom was hung with family portraits,
some of which were admirably executed ; and
in the eating-room, which, by the by, was
rarely used for that purpose, were some Scrip-
tural paintings.

"The house fronted the river, on the brink
of which, under shades of elm and sycamore,
ran the great road toward Saraotga, Still-
water, and the northern lakes ;" a little simple
avenue of morella cherry trees, enclosed with
a white rail, led to the road and river, not
three hundred yards distant".

The place may be reached by taking a drive
four miles to the north of Albany, or about
one mile beyond the Rural cemetery, then
turning abruptly to the east, crossing the canal
by the "Schuyler's Bridge", and continuing a
fourth of a mile towards the Hudson. The
road passes between rows of elms evidently a
century old, and the low, brick house stands
to the right, facing the river, while across the
road is the old family burial-ground, contain-
insf some sixty graves, whose rows of invari-
able brown sandstone, some tottering to the
right or left, look wierdly like a decrepit army,
for thus have they stood during two centuries,
bearing testimony in verse to the exalted mem-
ory of many a soldier Schuyler. This head of
the Schuvler line was a man much esteemed
bv his acquaintances and by representatives of
the Dutch government. He was the first man
in the colony to receive the commission of
captain. He died at The Flatts. May Q. 1683,



and was buried in the old Dutch church which
then stood at the intersection of Broadway
and State street, Albany.

Colonel Philip Pieterse Van Schuyler mar-
ried, at Rensselaerswyck, December 12, 1650,
Margarita Van Slechtenhorst, in the presence
of tlie officers of Fort Orange, Antoni de
Hooges, secretary of the colony, officiating.
She was born at Nykerck, Holland, in 1628,
died at Rensselaerswyck in 171 1, and was the
daughter of Brant Arentse Van Shlcchten-
horst, who came to Rensselaerswyck in 1648,
acting as an official for Van Rensselaer. Chil-
dren: I. Gybsbert, born at Rensselaerswyck.
July 2, 1652, died young. 2. Geertruj, born
at Rensselaerswyck, February 4, 1654, died
about 1719; married, at Rensselaerswyck. Sep-
tember 10, 167 1. Stephanus Van Cortlandt,
born May 7, 1643, died November 25, 1700,
son of Olof Stevense Van Cortlandt and An-
neke Loockcrmans. 3. Alida, born at Rens-
selacr.swyck, February 28, 1656; married
(first) at Rensselaerswyck, February 10, 1675,
Rev. Nicholaas Van Rensselaer, born in Am-
sterdam. Holland, in 1636, died November,
\fi/S:. and was the son of first Patroon Kiliaen
Van I'iensselaer and Anna Van Wely ; mar-
ried (second) July 9, 1679, Robert Livingston,
secretary of Albany from 1675 to 1721, who
was born abroad and was buried in the Dutch
church at Albany, April 21, 1725. 4. Pieter,
born at Rensselaerswyck, September 17, 1657;
first mayor of .Vlbany. officiating from date
of the charter, July 22, 1686, to October 13.
1694; died at Rensselaerswyck. Februarv 19.
1724; married (first) at Rensselaerswyck. in
t68i, Engeltie (Angelica) Van Schaick. born
at Rensselaerswyck in 1659, died there in
1689, daughter of Captain Goosen Gerritse
\'an Schaick and .^nnatje Lievens ; by whom :
i. Margarita, born November, 1682; married.
.^up'nst 2.T, 1607. Robert Livingston Jr. ii.
Philip, baptized October. 1684, died voung.
iii. .^nna. baptized September 12, t686. died
aged twelve years, iv. Gertrude, baptized Au-
gust 17. 16S9. died young. He married (sec-
ond) at Rensselaerswyck. September 14, 1691,
Maria Van Rensselaer, born at Rensselaers-
wyck. October 25. 1(172. daughter of Colonel
Tcremias Van Rensselaer, the third Patroon.
and Maria Van Cortlandt; bv whom: v. Maria,
baptized May, 1692. vi. Gertrude, baptized
February ti, 1694; married. June 13. 1714,
Johannes Lansing, vii. Philips baptized Jan-

uary 15, 1O9O, died in 1758, without issue;
married, December 29, 1720, Margarita Schuy-
ler, viii. Pieter Jr., baptized January 12,
1698; married, December 29, 1722, Catherine
Groesbeck. ix. Jeremiah (twin), baptized
January 12, i(J98, buried at The Flatts, De-
cember 10, 1753; married Susaima . 5.

Brandt, born at Rensselaerswyck, December
18, 1659; resided on Broad street, New York,
in 1686; died August 15, 1752; married, July
12, 1682, Cornelia Van (Cortlandt, baptized
November 28, 1655, daughter of Olof Stev-
ense Van Cortlandt and Anneke Loockermans,
by whom : i. Philip, baptized November 6.
1(583; married, August 28, 1713, Ann Eliza-
beth Staats, who was baptized December 21,
i(X)o. ii. Olof, born December 12, 1686, died
without issue, iii. John, baptized January 15.
1(390. died without issue. 6. .-Xrent, mentioned
below. 7. Sybilla, born at Rensselaerswyck,
November 12, 1664, died December, 1664. 8.
Philip, born at Rensselaerswyck, February 8,
1666, died May 24, 1724; married (first) in
New York. July 25, i(S87, Elizabeth De Meyer,
who died; married (second) in Albany, May
TO. 1 719. Mrs. Catherine Schierph, widow of
Ritsiert Brouwer. By his first wife he had:
Nicholas, born in New York, September 11.
1691, died July 3, 1748; married (first) De-
cember 2, 1714, Elsie Wendell, who died .^pril
8. 1744; married (second) Mary Stephenson,
who survived him. By his second wife Philip
had no child. 9. Johannes, born at Renssel-
aerswyck. .A.pril 5, i6(>8. died February 27,
1747: married, in 1(195. Elizabeth .Staats, wid-
ow of Johannes Wendell, who died June 3,
1737. TO. Margaret, born at Rensselaerswyck,
January 2, 1672. died May 15, 1748; married
(first) September 8, 1(591, Jacobus Ver
Planck, son of Isaac Ver Planck and
Abigail Uytenbogart, who died in 1700;
married (second) November 2. 1701, Lieu-
tenant John Collins, wdio died April 13, 1728,
wife surviving. By her first husband: i.
Tannetie. baptized in Albanv. April 13. 1(193.
ii. Philip, baptized in New York. June 3. 1(595.
Bv her second husband: iii. Edward, bap-
tized July ,-?o. T704 ; married Margarita
Bleecker. and was buried in the Dutch
church. March 29., 1753.

(TT) Arent, son of Colonel Philip Pieterse
and Margarita (Van .Slechtenhorst) .'^chuvler,
was born at Rensselaerswvck (Albany, New-
York) Tune 25, 1662, died November 26, 17.30:



The codicil of his will was dated October 30,
1730. In July, 1684, shortly after attaining
his majority, and having fitted himself for the
life of a merchant or trader, also possessing
a sutificient sum of money to embark, he began
preparations for marriage and housekeeping
by buying a house on Pearl street, "where the
eagle hangs out", from his mother, paying her
two hundred beavers in two installments. In-
stead of a door plate, in order to represent
his name by its significance, he hung outside
a live eagle in a cage. He selected for his
wife, Jenneke Teller, daughter of William
Teller, who had come to Fort Orange in 1639,
and Margaret (Donchesen) Teller, and he
married her in Rensselaerswyck, November
26, 1684, two years before the city received its
charter as Albany. A few months after their
marriage they appeared before a notary to
make a joint will. It was filed in Albany and
written in Dutch, and read in part as follows :
"The worthy Mr. Arent Schuyler and Jenneke
Teller, lawfully wedded husband and wife,
living here in Albany, both sound in body and
in mind, able to walk and stand, memory and
s])eecli unimpaired, who together having met
and moved by their mutual affection and love,
and together having meditated on the certainty
of death, and the uncertainty of the hour of
it, have directed without being persuaded or
influenced by anybody, to have their last will
and testament drawn up''. His wife died in
the year 1700, and he married (second) at
Albany, January 2, 1703. Swantje Van Duyck-
huysen. It is recorded in one family nar-
rative, "Taylors' Annals", that he married a
third wife, Maria ^^'alte^, in 1724, who was
living in Belleville, New Jersey, in 1734. Chil-
dren : I. Mareareta, baptized at Albany, Sep-
temlier 27, 1685. 2. Philip, September 11,
1^187 ; married Hester, daughter of Isaac
Kingsland. of New Barbadoes Neck, New Jer-
sey. 3. Maria, October 6, i68q, died young.
A. Olivia, mentioned in the father's will. 5.
Judik. March 11, 1602, died voung. 6. Cas-
parus, mentioned below. 7. Wilhelmus, June
2. T7O0. 8. John, died February 12, 1773:
married Anne Van Rensselaer. 0. Pieter, bap-
tized about 1710. TO. Adonijah, 1717. ti.
Eve, married Peter Bayard: died in 1737. 12.

Arent Schuyler continued to attend his
t'lrivine business for some time, something
like five vears of his married life, and then

was called more and more into public service.
He served on a committee for providing fuel
and other comforts for the houses occupied
by Indians when on their trading expeditions
to Albany. He was also on the committee to
raise funds for fortifications and he partici-
pated energetically in the proceedings of the
Albany convention in opposition to the pre-
tensions of Jacob Leisler. After the Indians
and French had accomplished the destruction
of Schenectady in 1690, he joined the party of
Captain Abraham Schuyler, who were direct-
ed to proceed to Otter Creek and remain four
weeks to watch the lakes and surrounding
country in case of attack. He volunteered to
lead a scouting party into Canada at this time,
and although it consisted of eight Indians, and
himself, the only white man, he was undaunt-
ed. They went through the wooded wilder-
ness and through the lake, down the Sorel
river to Fort Chambly, and under its walls
killed two and took one Frenchman prisoner.
By this exploit he was the first man of the
English or Dutch to lead a hostile party from
this province into Canada. He was thereafter
widely known as a courageous man, and was
commissioned captain. In August, 1692, the
acting governor. Ingoldesby, was apprised of
the fact that a delegation of southern Indians,
who had been at war with the Five Nations,
was on the way to visit their enemies and to
sue for peace. They had arrived at the Dela-
ware river, and were waiting for permission
to continue their journey. The governor and
his council considered this an important busi-
ness, requiring unusual wisdom in its man-
agement. They concluded that Captain Arent
Schuyler, then in New York, was exactly
suited to the delicacy of the undertaking, and
decided to despatch him to meet the Indians,

Online LibraryCuyler ReynoldsGenealogical and family history of southern New York and the Hudson River Valley : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the building of a nation (Volume 2) → online text (page 53 of 95)