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The biography Catherine Schuyler: A Woman of the Revolution by Mary Gay Humphreys (C. Scribner’s Sons, 1897), highlighting an important figure in Albany and American History, has been republished by HVA Press.
She married leading Albany citizen Philip Schuyler, who had taken part in the battles of Lake George, Oswego River, Carillon (now Fort Ticonderoga) and Fort Frontenac during the French and Indian War. He would go on to become among the most important military leaders of the American Revolution in the North.
While her husband was a war in revolt against the British Crown, it fell to Catherine to manage the household, raise the children, and protect them from the attacks of Loyalist, their Indigenous allies, and British regulars. From providing food for billeted soldiers to setting fire to her family’s own fields as the British approached, she faced the experience with courage.
When her convalescent husband was taken to Fort Ticonderoga, she made the journey to him from Albany. She traveled in an open wagon, by ferry, through rapids and swampland, and finally at night in a boat with a blanket for a sail up Lake George.
After Catherine Schuyler nursed her husband back to health, she returned to Albany to manage their home and their children. She managed 80 acres of farmland and was named in her husband’s will to be the sole supervisor of the estate. For a husband to give his wife that kind of authority was very unusual for that time.
Catherine Schuyler was at the epicenter of the social life of Albany, entertaining such distinguished guests such as George Washington, Ben Franklin, and British General Burgoyne. She was the mother of 15 children, eight of whom survived, including Elizabeth Schuyler, who married Alexander Hamilton.
In Catherine Schuyler: A Woman of the Revolution, author Mary Gay Humphreys, a journalist and women’s rights activist, provides a compelling and well-rounded look at Catherine’s rich and fascinating life.
Mary Gay Humphreys was born in Ridley, Ohio. She served as a nurse in the Civil War and the Philippines. After the war she was an author, book reviewer, magazine and newspaper contributor. She also wrote a number of popular novels under the pen name Henry Somerville. Humphreys was also active in supporting Women’s Rights. She died in 1915.
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