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Jeremiah Van Rensselaer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jeremiah Van Rensselaer
Jeremiah Van Rensselaer (1738-1815).jpg
Portrait believed to be Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, attributed to Richard Morrell Staigg
Lieutenant Governor of New York
In office
GovernorGeorge Clinton
Preceded byStephen Van Rensselaer
Succeeded byJohn Broome
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 6th district
In office
March 4, 1789 – March 3, 1791
Preceded byNew district
Succeeded byJames Gordon
Personal details
Born(1738-08-27)August 27, 1738
Rensselaerswyck, Province of New York, British America
DiedFebruary 19, 1810(1810-02-19) (aged 71)
Albany, New York, U.S.
Judith Bayard
(m. 1760; died 1764)

Helena Lansing
(m. 1764; died 1795)
ChildrenJohannes Jeremiah Van Rensselaer
Parent(s)Johannes Van Rensselaer
Angelica Livingston

Jeremiah Van Rensselaer (August 27, 1738 – February 19, 1810), from the prominent Van Rensselaer family, was Lieutenant Governor of New York and a member of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing New York in the 1st United States Congress.

Early life

Nassau Hall, at Princeton University (then, the College of New Jersey)
Nassau Hall, at Princeton University (then, the College of New Jersey)

Jeremiah Van Rensselaer was born on August 27, 1738, at the main home of his family's manor, "Rensselaerswyck" in the Province of New York, in what is now the city of Watervliet.[1] His parents were Johannes Van Rensselaer (1708–1793) and Engeltie "Angelica" Livingston (1698–1747),[2] who married in 1734.[3][2] He was the third of six children: Catherine (b. 1734), Margarita (b. 1736), Jeremiah, Robert (b. 1740), Hendrick (b. 1742), and James (b. 1747).[2] His mother died before he was 10 years-old and his father remarried, to Gertrude van Cortlandt.

His older sister was Catherine van Rensselaer (1734–1803) who in 1755 married Philip Schuyler (1733–1804), a Revolutionary general and United States Senator from New York. This relationship made him the maternal uncle to Angelica Schuyler (1756-1814), who married British MP John Barker Church, Elizabeth Schuyler (1757-1854), who married Alexander Hamilton, the first United States Secretary of the Treasury, Margarita Schuyler (1758-1801), who married Stephen Van Rensselaer III, the son of Jeremiah's first cousin, Stephen van Rensselaer II (1742–1769), and Philip Jeremiah Schuyler (1768-1835), who also served in the United States House of Representatives.[4]

His younger brother was Robert Van Rensselaer (1740–1802), a Brigadier General during the Revolutionary War, a member of the New York Provincial Congress from 1775 to 1777 and later a member of the New York State Assembly in the 1st, 2nd and 4th New York State Legislatures. Robert's son and Jeremiah's nephew was Jacob Van Rensselaer (1767–1835), a Federalist member of the New York State Assembly and the Secretary of State of New York from 1813 to 1815.[5]


Van Rensselaer was tutored at the manor house, attended private school in Albany, New York, and attended college at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) where he graduated in 1758.[6]


Jeremiah was descended from and married into "the best provincial families"[1] in New York including the Livingstons, Schuylers, Van Cortlandts, Van Schaicks, and Bayards.[7]

His paternal grandfather was Hendrick van Rensselaer (1667–1740), director of the Eastern patent of the Rensselaerswyck manor, and his paternal grandmother was Catharina Van Brugh, daughter of merchant Johannes Pieterse Van Brugh (1624–1697).[8] He had many noteworthy cousins, including Killian K. Van Rensselaer (1763–1845), who was also a U.S. Representative that served in Congress from 1803 until 1811.[9]

His maternal grandparents were Robert Livingston Jr. (1663–1725) and Margarita Schuyler (b. 1682). His maternal great-grandparents were Pieter Schuyler (1657–1724), the first Mayor of Albany, and Engeltie Van Schaick (d. 1689).


Van Rensselaer became a land agent, merchant, and surveyor. He owned slaves.[10] In 1766, he was a signer of the constitution of the Albany Sons of Liberty and became a member of the Albany Committee of Safety. During the American Revolutionary War he was commissioned as an ensign in the third regiment of the New York Line where he served as a paymaster.[1]

He was elected to the First United States Congress and served from March 4, 1789, to March 3, 1791,[6] but lost his bid for reelection to the Second Congress to James Gordon.[6]

In 1789, he was member of the New York State Assembly. In 1791, he was a member of the first board of directors of the Bank of Albany, and from 1798 through 1806, served as president of the bank.[11] He was a presidential elector in 1800, voting for Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr.[6]

Van Rensselaer was Lieutenant Governor of New York from 1801 to 1804, serving under Governor George Clinton. He was curator of the Evangelical Lutheran Seminary at Albany in 1804.[1]

Personal life

On July 3, 1760,[12] he married Judith Bayard, the great-granddaughter of Nicholas Bayard (1644–1707). Together, they had one son:[13]

  • Johannes "John" Jeremiah Van Rensselaer (1762–1828),[13] who married Catharina Glen (1765–1807).[2]

In February 1764, after his first wife's death of Yellow Fever,[12] he married Helena "Lena" Lansing.

He died on February 19, 1810, in Albany and was buried in the Dutch Reformed cemetery there. His body was later moved to the Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands, New York.[6]


Although Van Rensselaer only had one son, he had many grandchildren, including:

  • Catharina Glen Van Rensselaer (1785–1866), who married Nanning Visscher,[3][14]
  • John Jeremiah Van Rensselaer (b. 1790), who died young,[3]
  • Jeremias "Jeremiah" Van Rensselaer (1796–1871),[2] a well known physician who was the first American to climb Mont Blanc, who first married Charlotte Foster and later Anne F. Waddington[3][15]
  • Glen Van Rensselaer (b. 1795)
  • Elizabeth Bayard Van Rensselaer (b. 1797)
  • Cornelius Glen Van Rensselaer (1801–1871), who married Catharine Westerlo Bleecker, daughter of John Bleecker and Elizabeth Van Rensselaer (the daughter of Stephen Van Rensselaer II)
  • Archibald Van Rensselaer (b. 1803).[2][3]


  1. ^ a b c d Bielinski, Stefan. "Robert Livingston, Jr". The People of Colonial Albany Live Here. The New York State Museum. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Munsell, Joel (1871). Collections on the History of Albany: From Its Discovery to the Present Time; with Notices of Its Public Institutions, and Biographical Sketches of Citizens Deceased. Albany, NY: J. Munsell. p. 184e. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e Reynolds, Cuyler (1914). 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. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 1158. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  4. ^ Spooner, Walter Whipple (January 1907). "The Van Rensselaer Family", American Historical Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 1, p. 207.
  5. ^ Larry E. Gobrecht (July 1982). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Jacob Rutsen Van Rensselaer House and Mill Complex". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. Retrieved July 3, 2010. See also: "Accompanying 28 photos". Archived from the original on October 13, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d e "VAN RENSSELAER, Jeremiah - Biographical Information". United States Congress. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  7. ^ "Descendants of Robert Livingston and Alida Schuyler". InterMedia Enterprises. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  8. ^ Bergen, Tunis Garret (1915). Genealogies of the State of New York: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation. Vol. 3. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. OCLC 39110613.
  9. ^ "VAN RENSSELAER, Killian Killian - Biographical Information". United States Congress. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  10. ^ "Congress slaveowners", The Washington Post, January 13, 2022, retrieved July 5, 2022
  11. ^ Johnson, Dale T. (1990). American Portrait Miniatures in the Manney Collection. Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 9780870995972. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  12. ^ a b McLachlan, James (March 8, 2015). Princetonians, 1748-1768: A Biographical Dictionary. Princeton University Press. ISBN 9781400870776. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  13. ^ a b "Judith Bayard Van Rensselaer". New York State Museum. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  14. ^ Munsell, Joel (1871). Collections on the History of Albany: From Its Discovery to the Present Time ; with Notices of Its Public Institutions, and Biographical Sketches of Citizens Deceased. Albany, NY: J. Munsell. p. 184p. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  15. ^ "Van Rensselaer Family". New York State Library. Retrieved May 11, 2021.

Further reading

U.S. House of Representatives
New district Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Lieutenant Governor of New York
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 25 April 2023, at 04:36
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