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Killian K. Van Rensselaer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Killian K. Van Rensselaer
Kiliaen K Van Rensselaer Semirestored.png
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 7th district
In office
March 4, 1809 – March 4, 1811
Preceded byBarent Gardenier
Succeeded byHarmanus Bleecker
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 9th district
In office
March 4, 1803 – March 4, 1809
Preceded byBenjamin Walker
Succeeded byThomas Sammons
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 8th district
In office
March 4, 1801 – March 4, 1803
Preceded byHenry Glen
Succeeded byHenry W. Livingston
Personal details
Killian Killian Van Rensselaer

(1763-06-09)June 9, 1763
Greenbush, Province of New York, British America
DiedJune 18, 1845(1845-06-18) (aged 82)
Albany, New York, U.S.
Political partyFederalist
Margaret Sanders
(m. 1791; died 1830)
ParentsKiliaen Van Rensselaer
Ariantje Schuyler
RelativesHenry K. Van Rensselaer (brother)
Philip K. Van Rensselaer (brother)
Hendrick Van Rensselaer (grandfather)
Alma materYale College
ProfessionLawyer, politician

Killian Killian Van Rensselaer (June 9, 1763 – June 18, 1845) was an American lawyer and Federalist politician who served in the United States Congress as a Representative from the state of New York.[1]

Early life

Killian Killian Van Rensselaer was born on June 9, 1763 at the old family mansion owned by his uncle Johannes in Greenbush in the Province of New York[2][3] to Kiliaen Van Rensselaer (1717–1781) and his first wife, Ariantje "Harriet" Schuyler (1720–1763), who died four months after his birth.[1] Killian was therefore the youngest of nine children born to his parents, including older brothers Henry Kiliaen Van Rensselaer (1744–1816) and Philip Kiliaen van Rensselaer (1747–1798), and Nicholas Van Rensselaer (1754–1848). His elder sister, Catharine Van Rensselaer, married William Henry Ludlow (1740-1803).[2] His father was commissioned as a Colonel of the 4th Regiment, Albany County Militia on October 20, 1775,[4] and was wounded during the Battles of Saratoga and received the highest compliments about his courage from General George Washington.[5]

Killian K. completed preparatory studies and attended Yale College, where he studied law.[1]

Extended family

On his father's side, he was the cousin of Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, who was also a U.S. Representative. 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).[6]

His maternal grandfather, Nicholas Schuyler (1691–1748), was the nephew of Pieter Schuyler (1657–1724), the first mayor of Albany, and the grandson of Philip Pieterse Schuyler (1628–1683), the Dutch fur trader who became the progenitor of the American Schuyler family.[7]


He was admitted to the bar in 1784, and commenced practice in Claverack, New York. He was private secretary to General Philip Schuyler (1733–1804), a general in the American Revolutionary War and later a United States Senator, and also a cousin through his mother.

In 1794, he corresponded with James Madison regarding a letter of introduction for Robert S. Van Rensselaer, the son of his brother Philip, on his trip to Europe, at which time he met with members of the extended Van Rensselaer family in Holland.[8]

United States Congress

Van Rensselaer was elected as a Federalist to the Seventh United States Congress, taking his seat on March 4, 1801, during the first Congress that met in Washington, D.C.,[2] as the previous congresses had met in New York and Philadelphia.[9] The start of seventh Congress immediately followed the election of Thomas Jefferson over Aaron Burr by the preceding United States House of Representatives. Van Rensselaer went on to serve in the Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh United States Congresses, serving until March 3, 1811.[10]

While in Congress, he was placed on the Ways and Means Committee. He was invited and dined at the White House with President Jefferson and President Madison, as well as at The Octagon House, the residences of Col. John Tayloe - a close friend of George Washington. He was associated with Count Fyodor Palen, the Plenipotentiary of the Czar of Russia to the United States, and Louis Marie Turreau, Napoleon's Ambassador to the United States.[2]

Afterwards, he returned to Claverack and resumed the practice of law.[10][11]

Personal life

On January 27, 1791, Van Rensselaer married Margaretta "Margaret" Sanders (1764–1830), daughter of John Sanders (d. 1782) and Deborah Glen (d. 1786) of Scotia, and a cousin of his brother Philip's wife. Together they had five children, one of whom died in infancy:[2]

  • John Sanders Van Rensselaer (1792–1868), who married Ann Dunkin (1795–1845)[2]
  • William Van Rensselaer (1794–1855)[2]
  • Deborah Van Rensselaer (1795–1796), who died in infancy[2]
  • Richard Van Rensselaer (1797–1880),[12] who married Elizabeth Van Rensselaer (d. 1835), and later Matilda Fonda Van Rensselaer (d. 1863)[2]
  • Bernard Sanders Van Rensselaer (1801–1879), who married Elizabeth Hum (d. 1834), and later Mary Targee (d. 1858).[2]

They lived at 112 State Street, a home built for them in 1801, at the same time Philip S. Van Rensselaer, the Mayor, built his home on the corner of Chapel Street (which was later purchased by Erastus Corning). Van Rensselaer died on June 18, 1845 in Albany, New York, aged 82, and was interred in a private cemetery at East Greenbush.[13]


Killian's grandson was Charles van Rensselaer (1823–1857), the first officer on the SS Central America, when it was lost during a hurricane in September 1857.[14]


  1. ^ a b c Bielinski, Stefan. "Kiliaen K. Van Rensselaer". New York State Museum. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Van Rensselaer, Maunsell (1888). Annals of the Van Rensselaers in the United States, especially as they relate to the family of Killian K. Van Rensselaer. New York: Albany, C. Van Benthuysen & sons. p. 272. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  3. ^ A descriptive rather than politically precise term referring to that part of Rensselaerswyck across the river from Albany and extending up the hill to the east. Perhaps, it paralleled the present-day towns of East and North Greenbush - but maybe not extending all the way to today's Troy! It covered most of the more substantial country seats of the Van Rensselaer, Douw, and Cuyler families.
  4. ^ [1] New York In The Revolution as Colony and State by James A. Roberts, Comptroller. Compiled by Frederic G. Mather Second Edition 1898
  5. ^ [2] - Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs: Van Rensselaer
  6. ^ 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. 3. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. OCLC 39110613.
  7. ^ Calnek, William Arthur (1897). History of the County of Annapolis: Including Old Port Royal and Acadia : with Memoirs of Its Representatives in the Provincial Parliament, and Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of Its Early English Settlers and Their Families. Annapolis: William Briggs. p. 575. Retrieved September 6, 2016. Amelia Mathews ritchie.
  8. ^ Madison, James; Van Rensselaer, Killian K. "Killian K. Van Rensselaer to James Madison, November 14, 1794". The Library of Congress. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  9. ^ Journal | of the | House of Representatives | of the United States | Being the Second Session of the Eighth Congress | 1804. Gales & Seaton. 1826. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  10. ^ a b "VAN RENSSELAER, Killian Killian - Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  11. ^ "KILLIAN K VAN RENSSELAER". C-SPAN. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  12. ^ "Obituary Notes". The New York Times. March 30, 1880. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  13. ^ "Killian Killian Van Rensselaer". New Netherland Institute. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  14. ^ Loss of the Central America; September 21, 1857 New York Times article; Retrieved August 1, 2013.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Henry Glen
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 8th congressional district

Succeeded by
Henry W. Livingston
Preceded by
Benjamin Walker
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 9th congressional district

Succeeded by
Thomas Sammons
Preceded by
Barent Gardenier
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 7th congressional district

Succeeded by
Harmanus Bleecker

This page was last edited on 30 March 2021, at 06:35
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