David Pieterse Schuyler, Capt. (1636 - 1690) MP

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Nicknames: "/David/"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Death: Died in Albany, Albany County, New York
Occupation: Fur trader; Alderman of Albany, Fur trader, Captain and merchant
Managed by: Clarice Nykorchuck
Last Updated:

About David Pieterse Schuyler, Capt.

David Pieterse Schuyler was a pioneer member of early Albany's most important New Netherland family.

He was born in Holland in 1636, a younger son of German-born Amsterdam baker Pieter Diercks and Geertruy Philips van Schuyler. He spent the first decade and a half of his life in Amsterdam. By the mid-1650s, he had emigrated to New Netherland with his older brother, Philip Pieterse.

Settling in Rensselaerswyck, the Schuylers initially were carpenters but quickly found fortune in trading for furs. By 1660, both brothers were listed among the principal fur traders of the community.

In 1657, he married Catalina Ver Planck - the daughter of a New Amsterdam trader. Settling along the Albany waterfront near the north gate, David Schuyler traded for furs and for countryside produce. His marriage produced eight children between 1659 and 1678. He was a member and officer of the Albany Dutch Church.

After serving in a number of civic positions during the 1660s, '70s, and early 1680s, in 1686, this city father was appointed alderman under the Albany city charter. He served as alderman for the third ward until his death.

David Pieterse filed his will in May 1688. Calling himself a merchant of Albany City, he named his wife Catalina as executor and chief beneficiary. Also mentioned were his eight surviving children. To them he left his two Albany houses and other property. He died in February 1690 - according to bible records two days after fleeing from the Schenectady massacre. He lived about fifty-four years. -------------------- David Schuyler

by

Stefan Bielinski

David Pieterse Schuyler was a pioneer member of early Albany's most important New Netherland family.

He was born in Holland in 1636, a younger son of German-born Amsterdam baker Pieter Diercks and Geertruy Philips van Schuyler. He spent the first decade and a half of his life in Amsterdam. By the mid-1650s, he had emigrated to New Netherland with his older brother, Philip Pieterse.

Settling in Rensselaerswyck, the Schuylers initially were carpenters but quickly found fortune in trading for furs. By 1660, both brothers were listed among the principal fur traders of the community.

In 1657, he married Catalina Ver Planck - the daughter of a New Amsterdam trader. Settling along the Albany waterfront near the north gate, David Schuyler traded for furs and for countryside produce. His marriage produced eight children between 1659 and 1678. He was a member and officer of the Albany Dutch Church.

After serving in a number of civic positions during the 1660s, '70s, and early 1680s, in 1686, this city father was appointed alderman under the Albany city charter. He served as alderman for the third ward until his death.

David Pieterse filed his will in May 1688. Calling himself a merchant of Albany City, he named his wife Catalina as executor and chief beneficiary. Also mentioned were his eight surviving children. To them he left his two Albany houses and other property. He died in February 1690 - according to bible records two days after fleeing from the Schenectady massacre. He lived about fifty-four years.

WILL

Will of David P. Schuyler - 1688

In the name of God, Amen, the 21st day of May 1688. I, David Schuyler of the City of Albany, merchant, being in good and perfect health, do make this my last will and testament.

I leave to my eldest son Peter Schuyler, my house and lot lying in this city upon the hill between the house of Captain John Wendell and Mr. Wyndert Hermanse. I leave to my wife Catalyntie, all that my great house where I now dwell, situate in this city on the East Side of the street next to the north gate, for 99 years or during her natural life. He also leaves her articles of personal property. After her decease it is to go to my eight children. My children that are under age, viz. David, Margaret, Jacobus and Catalyntie shall have £30 when they come of age or are married, and an equal share with the rest, namely, Peter, Gertruyd, Abraham and Marytie. Make his wife executor. Witnesses, John Peek, Robert Livingston.

notes

Will dated May 21, 1688. Printed in Abstract of Wills volume 25, pp. 179-80.

notes

the people of colonial AlbanyThe life of David Pieterse Schuyler is CAP biography number 1262. He identified himself fairly consistently as "David Schuyler." Many works have been issued on the family of Philip Pieterse and David Pieterse Schuyler. A listing of them appears on the Schuyler family webpage.

Fur Traders - 1660

The year 1660 marked a cresting or high point for the Fur Trade in the Hudson-Mohawk region. It also marked the appearance in the historical record of competitiveness between two groups of would-be traders.

That spirit is revealed in two petitions sent to the court of Fort Orange/Beverwyck in May 1660. These documents were signed by a total of seventy-nine individuals and constitutes the earliest, base list of Beverwyck fur traders.

The first petition (dated May 25) came from a group of twenty-five traders who expressed concern that the "general decline and utter ruination" of the community would occur if "Christians" were allowed to "run into the woods" and use "surreptitious and improper ways to get the trade entirely into their hands." They asked that trading be confined to "this community and its inhabitants." This petition represented the more well-established (principal) fur traders - several of whom would serve as magistrates.

PRINCIPAL TRADERS

Volkert Jansz

Jacob Schermerhooren

Philip Pietersen

Leendert Philipsen

the mark of Jan van Aken

Jan Thoomasz

Aernout Cornelissen

Gerrit Slechtenhorst

Jan Mangelsen

Pieter van Alen

Mathias Jansen

Dirck Jansen Croon

Gysbert Jansen

Abraham Staets

Lambert Albersen

Hans Hendricksen

Theunis Cornelissen

Willem Teller

Adriaen Gerritsen

Carsten Frederiksen

Baerent Meyndersen

Willem Brouwer

Baerent Jansen

Lourens van Alen

David Schuyler

Two days later (May 27, 1660), another group of Beverwyck inhabitants petitioned the court that "the Dutch may be allowed to go into the woods as brokers, which, although of dangerous consequence, cannot be prevented without causing greater mischief." This larger group of eighty, less well-established would-be traders further observed that "some of the petitioners" have said that they would trade in the wooks whether it was permitted or not!

SMALL TRADERS

Jan Dircksen van Breemenn

Arent Jansen van Hoeck

Jan Harmsen

Rem Jansen

Jacob Thijsen van der Heyden

Cornelis Theunesen Bosch

Daniel Verveelen

Jacob Jansen

the mark of Lambert van Valkenburch

Pieter Loockermans

Jan Jansen van Ekelen

the mark of Meyndert Fredricksen

Thoomas Pouw[elsen]

the mark of Jan Fransen

the mark of Sijmon Volkerts

the mark of Theunes Cornelissen

the mark of Willem Fredricksen

the mark of Jan Harmsen

the mark of Mattheus Abrahamsen

the mark of Jan Cornelissen [ perhaps Jan C. Viselaer - but see below ]

Pieter Loockermans de Jonge

the mark of Jochem Ketteleyn

Jacob Loockermans

Willem Jansen Schut

the mark of Reynier Albertsen

Jan Vinhagel

Hendrick Anderiesen

Anderies de Vosch

Jan Schekel

Pieter Winnen

Jan Cornelissen Leyden [ but see ]

Jan Michaelsen

Jochem Wessel

Jurrian Theunesen

Daniel Rinckhout

Pieter Bronck

Harmen Bastiaensen

Jacob Van Laer

Cornelus Bogardus

Pieter Adriaensenn

Claes Marrechael

Philip Hendricksen

Adriaen Appel

Sijmon Sijmonsen

Barent Meyndersen

the mark of Wouter Albertsen

Gilles Pietersen

Hendrick Roseboom

Clees Jacobsen

Cornelis Vosch

Willem Jansen Stol

Wijnandt Gerritsen vande Poel

Lambert van Neck

notes

The trade and these traders are the subjects of an article by Thomas E. Burke, Jr. entitled "The New Netherland Fur Trade, 1657-1661: Response to Crisis," A Beautiful and Fruitful Place, pp. 283-91.

Petitions and lists of names printed in Court Minutes of Beverwyck 2:255-56.

The Dongan Charter

Albany was granted a municipal charter by Governor Thomas Dongan on July 22, 1686. Almost identical in form to the charter awarded to New York City just three months earlier, the Albany charter was the result of the agency of and negotiations conducted with royal officials by Robert Livingston and Pieter Schuyler.

first paragraph of the Dongan Charter

The so-called "Dongan Charter" gave the Albany fur traders a number of unique rights and responsibilities that were primarily responsible for the growth and development of an early American city in the center of a large and emerging agricultural region.

First, the charter incorporated the city of Albany - legally establishing a separate municipal entity in the heart of Van Rensselaer Manor. The charter fixed Albany's boundaries, set-up a municipal government, named the first officers, and endowed the city corporation with a number of special privileges. Chief among these were the exclusive right to negotiate with the Indians, the establishment of Albany as the sole market town in the upper Hudson region, and permission to acquire tracts of land at Tionnderoge (Fort Hunter) and Schaghticoke.

Based on that corporate structure, the municipal government began to function. The first meeting took place at the former stadt huys on July 26, 1686. Mayor Pieter Schuyler and the other new municipal officers took the oath of office. The charter had empowered Albany to govern its own affairs. Almost immediately, however, by-laws were passed to enable the city fathers to undertake the day-to-day operations of city government. These annual supplements were enacted with increasing frequency over the next three centuries as the city grew in size and complexity. In 1773, the corporation published a compilation of these laws and ordinances.

Albany and New York City were the only cities in New York until Hudson was chartered in 1785 and Schenectady in 1798. As New York became The Empire State, subsequent State laws codified a range of local municipal enactments - making the governmental structures of cities and villages more uniform across New York. Technically, Albany's Dongan Charter remained in force for more than 300 years, although many things important in 1686 (principally Indian diplomacy, the fur trade, and frontier lands) were no longer relevant.

In 1986, Albany celebrated the 300th anniversary of its chartering with a year-long "Tricentennial" commemorative. The "Albany Tricentennial Commission" held gala events, staged popular programming, and, in the best tradition of Albany government, licenced an almost interminable number of tricentennial products. It also sponsored a historical exhibition that opened at city hall on January 1, 1686 and moved around Albany over the next year; a reprinting of the charter text in booklet form; a social history of the charter and its impact on Albany called Government by the People; and a lecture series on the charter and on city government that was rebroadcast several times on public access television.

After much discussion and debate, in 1998 Albany voters approved a new charter that incorporated the basic structure of its predecessor and added new provisions to streamline city government and make it more directly responsive to the needs of a community that had grown tremendously since 1686.

Timeline

notes

Photograph of the beginning of the charter document. Original held at the Albany County Hall of Records. The charter was printed in The Colonial Laws of New York from the year 1664 to the Revolution (Albany, 1894), 1:195-216. It was reprinted during the Albany Tricentennial in 1986 as The Dongan Charter, with an introduction by its editor, Robert W. Arnold III.

Wards

By the time of the adoption of the Dongan Charter in 1686, Albany's political subdivisions called "wards" already had been defined. At that time, the city had three wards and those jurisdictions were called into play in the earliest municipal matters.

At this point, we know of no other written description of the boundaries of the individual wards. The earliest known "ward lines" appeared on the development version of the city map made by Simeon De Witt about 1790.

By that time, however, ward lines were pretty well established and caused little official concern. Simply put, Albany people knew the ward in which they lived! Ward-level residency lists can be derived from the census of 1790 and from freeholders lists such as the one presented for 1720. For most of the eighteenth century, we believe the boundaries were as follows:

The FIRST WARD encompassed all property south of and including both sides of State Street (principally on State and Court streets, in "Cheapside" or Southside, at the foot of Gallows Hill, and into the "Pastures"). During the eighteenth-century, about half the city's people lived in the first ward. As South Pearl Street became more developed after the Seven Years War, settlement spread south through the Hallenbeck family tract, across Lydius Street, and later into the Pastures. The first ward included the Ruttenkill and the Beaverkill, Schuyler Mansion, and ended at Albany's southern boundary - near today's Second Avenue. By the early nineteenth century, the city's population growth in the "South End" caused additional wards to be defined.

The SECOND WARD encompassed property west of and including North Pearl Street and north of but not including State Street. Actually, the eastern ward line appeared to run along Middle Alley. The Second Ward chiefly represented Pearl Street and the lesser streets (Chapel, Lodge, Pine, Steuben, Columbia, and Maiden Lane located up the hill. Fox and Orange Streets above Pearl and the mostly unsettled land west of Pearl and North of the King's Highway (Lion Street) were technically part of the Second Ward.

The THIRD WARD included property east of Pearl and north of State streets (chiefly along both sides of Market Street and down to the river). A number of contemporaty diagrams depict houselots on Market Street. This area sometimes was referred to as the North End.

Generally speaking, early Albany's First Ward had twice as many people as the Third Ward which had twice as many people as the Second Ward. Generally speaking, that is! The benchmark census of 1790 counted 1,612 people in the First Ward; 878 people in the Second Ward; and 1,004 inhabitants in the Third Ward.

Today, the city of Albany has fifteen wards as most of its people live outside of the original settlement area.

view all 15

David Pieterse Schuyler's Timeline

1634
January 10, 1634
Amsterdam, Holland
1636
February 12, 1636
Amsterdam, Netherlands
February 12, 1636
Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam, Holland
February 12, 1636
Amsterdam, Holland
1657
October 13, 1657
Age 21
New York, NY, USA
1659
April 18, 1659
Age 23
Albany, NY
1660
1660
- 1660
Age 23
1661
September 19, 1661
Age 25
Albany, Albany, NY, USA
1663
August 16, 1663
Age 27
Albany, Albany, NY, USA
1666
September 29, 1666
Age 30
Albany, New York, United States