Geertruy Schuyler: Birth: 1694. Death: 13 Jun 1744
Note: !Colonel and Mayor Pieter (Peter) Schuyler was born at Albany (then Beverwyck), New York. He was the second son of Philip Pieterse Schuyler, an emigrant from Amsterdam, and his wife, Margarita (Van Slichtenhorst), daughter of the resident director of Rensselaerwyck. Philip Pieterse, whose name first appears in the Albany records on the occasion of his marriage in 1650, was engaged in trade and held the offices of magistrate and Captain under both the Dutch and English governments. This son, Peter, may have attended a school founded at Albany in 1650, but his education was derived chiefly from early and prolonged applications to public affairs in periods of incessant border warfare. At twenty-seven he was a Lieutenant of cavalry in the Albany militia, later he was advanced to the rank of Colonel, and when in 1686 Albany received its charter from Governor Thomas Dongan, Schuyler became its first mayor, and thus head of the board of Indian commissioners. Three years later, Jacob Leisler, who had seized control of New York, ordered the election of new aldermen and a new mayor of Albany, but the citizens refused to recognize his authority and Schuyler continued in office. After the massacre at Schenectady and the distruction of that town by French and Indians, February 9, 1690, he wrote to the governor of Massachusetts appealing for help and asking cooperation in a spring campaign against the French, expressing the conviction that only the conquest of New France would arrest the scourge from which the newer settlements were suffering. In the face of danger and upon the advice of Massachusetts and Connecticut, the men of Albany in March yielded to Leisler's demands, but his commissioners promptly reinstated Schuyler and the other officers. In the following summer Schuyler took part in the unsuccessful cooperative campaign led by Fitz-John Winthrop of Connecticut against Quebec. In October, he was removed as mayor of Albany by order of Leisler, but after the arrival of Governor Sloughter in March 1691 and Leisler's imprisonment Schuyler resumed his duties as if they had never been interupted. Schuyler seemed to hold himself responsible for the safety of the pioneer front and always maintained a remarkable influence over the New York Iroquois (by whom he was affectionately called Quidor - their version of Peter), attending numerous conferences with them and visiting their villages to curb operations of Canadian emissaries as well as to cement the old treaty between the Five Nations and the colony. In 1691 he led a company to Canada, proving in several engagements his superior soldierly qualities, and two years later he routed a party of French near Schenectady. Governor Sloughter made him judge of common pleas in 1691 and recommended him for the council, and in March 1692, under Governor Fletcher, he was appointed. Having enjoyed the favor of Fletcher, Schuyler could not win the graces of his successor, Richard Coote, Earl of Bellomont, who adopted all the quarrels of preceding ten years in the colony and was jealous, furthermore, of Schuyler's influence in Indian affairs. Nevertheless, in 1698 Bellomont sent him to Frontenac to announce the terms of the Treaty of Ryswick and provide for the return of prisoners of war, and employed him in provisioning the troops. In preparing for the abortive expeditions of 1709 and 1711 against Canada, Schuyler displayed characteristic energy. Between those undertakings he visited the court of Queen Anne, taking with him several Mohawk chiefs, including the famous Hendrick. On this occasion, it is said, he declined the dignity of knighthood (G. W. Schuyler, post, II, 37; for a disparaging view see E. B. O'Callaghan, "The Documentary History of the State of New York," 4th edition, volume III, 1850, pp. 541-542). Schuyler commanded the esteem of Governor Robert Hunter; and, on Hunter's return to England, Schuyler as president of the council was acting governor from July 13, 1719, to September 17, 1720. Some of his appointments alarmed Hunter as indications of a policy of change, and the new governor, William Burnet, fearing Schuyler as a dangerous leader of opposition, brought about his removal from the council, after nearly fifty years of public service. Peter Schuyler was married twice: in 1881 to Engeltie Van Schaick, by whom he had four children, three of whom died young, and in 1691 to Maria Van Rensselaer, daughter of Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, who also became the mother of five. Margarita, only surviving daughter of his first wife, married the nephew of the first Robert Livingston; Philip, one of three sons of the second wife, married his cousin Margarita Schuyler. Peter Schuyler owned numerous land grants, of which the most extensive was in the Saratoga patent.
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