By 1642, the number of inhabitants of Rensselaerwyck (spelled Rensselaerswijck in Dutch), at the time basically what is now Albany and Rensselaer Counties, had grown and Patroon Kiliaen Van Rensselaer willingly complied with a requirement of the Dutch West India Company to secure a clergyman for a Dutch Church to conduct services for the settlers. [Read more…] about New Netherlanders’ Views of Indigenous People
In the early 1750s, the French were establishing trading posts and building forts along western the frontiers of the British colonies. In the fall of 1753, in part to protect his own land claims, Virginia Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie had sent 22-year-old George Washington (then a militia leader and surveyor) to deliver a letter to Fort Le Boeuf at what is today Waterford in northwest Pennsylvania, demanding they stop.
When Washington returned without success, Dinwiddie sent a small force to build Fort Prince George at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers (today Pittsburgh). Soon a larger French force arrived, torn down the small British fort, and began and built Fort Duquesne, named for then Governor-General of New France, Marquis Duquesne. [Read more…] about The French and Indian War: A New York Perspective
In 1652, New Netherland Dutch Director General Peter Stuyvesant granted land to the Dutch Church in Albany to construct a house to shelter the poor. In 1683, English Governor Thomas Dongan convened the first representative Assembly in the Colony of New York.
One of the first laws passed by the Colonial Assembly was a law regarding the treatment of orphans. [Read more…] about Albany’s Distressed Children & The Albany Orphan Asylum: Some History
Albany, New York’s Dutch Church started a “Poor Fund,” probably shortly after the arrival of Dominie Johannes Megapolensis (1603–1670) in 1642. Disbursements were being made from the fund by 1647. Albany’s Patroon, Dutch merchants and others contributed to the collections of the church and the church in turn was made contributions to support the community’s impoverished residents. [Read more…] about Caring for Albany’s Poor: Some History
Just prior to victory of American colonists at the Battles of Saratoga, the Continental Congress replaced Major General Philip Schuyler as Commander of the Northern Army with General Horatio Gates. Many colonial military units from New England had been reluctant to assist at Saratoga to serve under a “Dutch commander” but readily reported to serve under the English-born Gates. [Read more…] about Marquis de Lafayette at Albany During the Revolution
Abraham Ten Broeck was born in 1734 to Dirck Ten Broeck (1686-1751) and Margarita Cuyler (1682–1783). Abraham was one of twelve children born to the couple. Abraham first-generation grandfather had come to America from Holland in 1626 on the same ship with Peter Minuit, the first Director General of the Dutch colony of New Netherland. [Read more…] about Albany’s Abraham Ten Broeck: A Short Biography
William Alexander was born on December 25, 1726 in the city of New York to well-known lawyer James Alexander and his wife Mary. Mary and James had emigrated from Scotland in 1716. When they married, Mary was already a widow with six children and she and James had seven more. William was the second son of Mary and James, but when his older brother died in 1731, William became the male heir to the Alexander clan. [Read more…] about Major General William Alexander, Lord Stirling: A Short Biography
Seth Wheeler was born in Chatham, Columbia County, NY on May 18th, 1838 to a successful and affluent family. His father, Alonzo Wheeler, owned Wheeler, Melick & Co. one of the foremost manufacturers of agricultural equipment; his mother was Harriet Hatch Wheeler. At the time, agriculture was the foremost industry supporting the Upstate New York economy and demand for agricultural equipment was strong. Begun in 1830, Wheeler, Melick & Co. moved to Albany in 1849. [Read more…] about Albany’s Seth Wheeler: Inventor of Modern Toilet Paper
William O. Stillman was born on September 9th, 1856 in Normansville, now known as Elsmere in the town of the Bethlehem, Albany County, NY. His parents were Rev. Stephen Lewis Stillman and Lucretia (Miller) Stillman.
Rev. Stephen Lewis Stillman was a Methodist minister at the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Adamsville (now Delmar) and a descendant of a family that had emigrated from London, England. Lucretia (Miller) Stillman was of Dutch descent. Rev. Stephen suddenly died in 1869, when William was 12 years old. After his father’s death, William and his mother moved to Albany. [Read more…] about William O. Stillman: Leader of Humane Societies, Friend of Animals & Children
John Swinburne was born May 30, 1820 in Denmark, Lewis County, New York. He attended school in the communities of Lowville and Denmark, and in Fairfield, Herkimer County, all in New York. He was an excellent student and upon completion of his studies, he took a job as a teacher.
In 1841, at the age of 21, he began the study of medicine and in 1843 entered Albany Medical College where he was a student under the tutelage of Dr. James H. Armsby, a founder of the college. He eventually went to work for Dr. Armsby and upon his graduation in 1846, started his own practice. [Read more…] about Dr. John Swinburne’s Life in Crime, War & Politics