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Alida Livingston (Schuyler)

Nicknames: "Van Renesselaer"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Rensselaerswyck, New Netherlands
Death: Died in Livingston Manor, Sullivan County, New York
Place of Burial: Livingston Manor, Sullivan, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Phillip Pieterse Schuyler and Margarietje van Slichtenhorst
Wife of Nicholas Van Rensselaer and Robert Livingston the Elder
Mother of Johannes Livingston; Margaret Vetch; Col. Philip Livingston, 2nd Lord of the Manor; Robert 'of Clermont' Livingston; Gilbert Hubertus Livingston and 3 others
Sister of Geertruy Schuyler; Brandt Schuyler; Col. Pieter Philipse Schuyler; Brandt Van Schuyler; Arent Philipse Schuyler and 6 others

Occupation: Homemaker
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Alida Livingston (Schuyler)

Alida Schuyler was born in 1656, the third of the ten children of Beverwyck pioneers Philip Pieterse and Margarita Van Slichtenhorst Schuyler. Alida grew up in the Schuyler family home - a center of Albany activity in the years after the English takeover in 1664.


As the daughter of Albany's foremost fur trading family, it was not so surprising that nineteen-year-old Alida would be matched with Nicholas Van Rensselaer, the thirty-nine-year-old son of the founder of Rensselaerswyck - thus joining two of the pre-eminent fortures in the region. The couple had no children before Van Rensselaer died in 1678.

Less than a year later, Alida married Robert Livingston - a recently arrived Scottish opportunist and former clerk of her deceased husband. That union was for life and produced a large family of nine children who went on to establish the Livingstons and the Schuylers in the first rank of New York society.

The couple took up residence in what had been a Van Rensselaer house at the Elm Tree Corner. Encouraged by the Schuylers, Livingston pressed the Van Rensselaers for the balance of Alida's inheritence - making Livingston their sworn enemy and straining the relationship between Alida's family and the patroonship.

Robert Livingston's business frequently took him away from Albany and Alida took charge of her husband's extensive Albany operations. For the first two decades of their marriage, the often expecting wife received instructions from New York, Boston, and London where her husband was forging the largest and most active new fortune north of New York City. Her letters to Robert Livingston over a long period of time testify to the scope of her activities, the depth of her business acumen, and also to the stress the separations placed on their relatiionship.

With the coming of age of her son, Philip, middle-aged Alida became less active in their Albany business. By the end of the 1700s, both parents had relocated to the Livingston country estate forty miles south of Albany. While Robert Livingston rarely returned to the place that had caused him much anxiety in the past, Alida frequently visited the Schuylers and her grandchildren in Albany.

By 1716, Alida was living on Livingston Manor and in poor health. Her weakened condition raised fears for her life and brought her husband from the New York Assembly chamber to her bedside for an extended period of time. Over the next decade, neither partner would be in good health. An invalid, Alida died in May of 1727 at the age of seventy-two. That autumn, her body was entombed in the church vault on Livingston Manor. Robert Livingston died a year later and was laid to rest with her in the family vault.

notes

The life of Alida Schuyler Livingston is CAP biography number 95. This profile is derived chiefly from community-based resources and from the extensive resources available for the Schuyler and Livingston families. More recently, Alida Livingston has been the subject of considerable scholarship by Linda B. Biemer. Chief among her works is "Business Letters of Alida Schuyler Livingston, 1680-1726," in New York History 63:2 (April 1982), 182-207, which features translations of twenty-two letters to Robert Livingston - providing unparalleled windows on their business and personal relations. Alida is one of the exceptional women profiled in Biemer's Women and Property in Colonial New York: The Transition from Dutch to English Rule, 1643-1727 (Ann Arbor, MI, 1983).

-------------------- Alida Schuyler Livingston

by

Stefan Bielinski

Alida Schuyler was born in 1656, the third of the ten children of Beverwyck pioneers Philip Pieterse and Margarita Van Slichtenhorst Schuyler.possibly Alida Schulyer - 1675 Alida grew up in the Schuyler family home - a center of Albany activity in the years after the English takeover in 1664.

As the daughter of Albany's foremost fur trading family, it was not so surprising that nineteen-year-old Alida would be matched with Nicholas Van Rensselaer, the thirty-nine-year-old son of the founder of Rensselaerswyck - thus joining two of the pre-eminent fortures in the region. The couple had no children before Van Rensselaer died in 1678.

Less than a year later, Alida married Robert Livingston - a recently arrived Scottish opportunist and former clerk of her deceased husband. That union was for life and produced a large family of nine children who went on to establish the Livingstons and the Schuylers in the first rank of New York society.

The couple took up residence in what had been a Van Rensselaer house at the Elm Tree Corner. Encouraged by the Schuylers, Livingston pressed the Van Rensselaers for the balance of Alida's inheritence - making Livingston their sworn enemy and straining the relationship between Alida's family and the patroonship.

Robert Livingston's business frequently took him away from Albany and Alida took charge of her husband's extensive Albany operations. For the first two decades of their marriage, the often expecting wife received instructions from New York, Boston, and London where her husband was forging the largest and most active new fortune north of New York City. Her letters to Robert Livingston over a long period of time testify to the scope of her activities, the depth of her business acumen, and also to the stress the separations placed on their relatiionship.

With the coming of age of her son, Philip, middle-aged Alida became less active in their Albany business. By the end of the 1700s, both parents had relocated to the Livingston country estate forty miles south of Albany. While Robert Livingston rarely returned to the place that had caused him much anxiety in the past, Alida frequently visited the Schuylers and her grandchildren in Albany.

By 1716, Alida was living on Livingston Manor and in poor health. Her weakened condition raised fears for her life and brought her husband from the New York Assembly chamber to her bedside for an extended period of time. Over the next decade, neither partner would be in good health. An invalid, Alida died in May of 1727 at the age of seventy-two. That autumn, her body was entombed in the church vault on Livingston Manor. Robert Livingston died a year later and was laid to rest with her in the family vault.

notes

the people of colonial AlbanyThe life of Alida Schuyler Livingston is CAP biography number 95. This profile is derived chiefly from community-based resources and from the extensive resources available for the Schuyler and Livingston families. More recently, Alida Livingston has been the subject of considerable scholarship by Linda B. Biemer. Chief among her works is "Business Letters of Alida Schuyler Livingston, 1680-1726," in New York History 63:2 (April 1982), 182-207, which features translations of twenty-two letters to Robert Livingston - providing unparalleled windows on their business and personal relations. Alida is one of the exceptional women profiled in Biemer's Women and Property in Colonial New York: The Transition from Dutch to English Rule, 1643-1727 (Ann Arbor, MI, 1983).

Portrait by an unidentified artist possibly of Alida Schuyler at the time of her first marriage in 1675. This information accompanies a black and white likeness reproduced in Ruth Piwonka, A Portrait of Livingston Manor (Clermont, NY, 1986), 102. The "colored" image reproduced here was found unattributed on an ineresting Livingston website. Like many early American portraits, the attribution of it as Alida is highly speculative.

As Robert Livingston's nephew, Robert Livingston, Jr., and son-in-law, Samuel Vetch, proved more interested in pursuing their own enterprises, Alida Livingston was called on to manage the daily operations of her husband's diverse business.

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Alida Livingston's Timeline

1656
February 28, 1656
Rensselaerswyck, New Netherlands
1675
February 10, 1675
Age 18
Rensselaerwyck, New York
1679
July 9, 1679
Age 23
Albany Co.,NY
1680
April 26, 1680
Age 24
Albany, Albany, New York, United States
1681
December 5, 1681
Age 25
Albany, Albany, New York, United States
1686
July 9, 1686
Age 30
Albany, New York
1688
July 24, 1688
Age 32
Albany, Albany, New York, United States
1690
April 3, 1690
Age 34
Albany, Albany, New York, United States
1692
March 17, 1692
Age 36
Albany, NY
1694
December 10, 1694
Age 38
Albany, NY