Anthony Armstrong Rutgers

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Anthony Armstrong Rutgers

Birthdate: (36)
Birthplace: New York City, New York County, New York, United States
Death: May 11, 1799 (32-40)
Bermuda (Died from wounds suffered in maritime attack by French off of Curaçao)
Immediate Family:

Son of Capt. Anthony A. Rutgers and Gertrude Burnet
Husband of Cornelia Rutgers
Father of Gertrude Rumney and Mary Gouveneur Mizner
Half brother of Isaac G. Burnet, 1st Mayor of the City of Cincinnati and David G. Burnet, Interim President, 2nd VP & Sec. of the Rep. of Texas

Managed by: John Foster Ringwalt
Last Updated:

About Anthony Armstrong Rutgers

Descended from a Dutch family that had settled in New Amsterdam in the 1630s and risen to affluence from brewery profits wisely invested in Manhattan real estate. A well-traveled merchant who at one time lived in Curaçao, Dutch Antilles, Rutgers was a founding shareholder in the lucrative Tontine Coffee House [].

Yale University has a locket with Rutgers' portrait with the name "Cornelia M Rutgers," engraved on the reverse, revealing that he gave his portrait to his new wife, twenty-year-old daughter of Hugh Gaine, an editor, publisher, and printer, probably on the day she took his name (Note that he and his wife also had a daugther named Cornelia Mathilda Rutgers and thus the locket may have belonged to the daughter instead of the wife).

When they were married on April 17, 1790, Rutgers's "Schooner-----, which lay in the East River, was decorated in honor of the occasion, with a very numerous variety of the colors of all nations, and exhibited a most beautiful appearance." Increasingly by the turn of the century, a wedding on this scale would have been commemorated by the presentation of a miniature.

At home in Curaçao, Cornelia Rutgers likely cherished her husband's portrait during his absences at sea overseeing his business affairs. Growing tensions between France and the United States in the late 1790s led French privateers to prey on American ships in the Caribbean, attacks that were met with armed resistance by American crews.

Tragically, Anthony Rutgers was mortally wounded aboard the schooner Flying Fish in an encounter with the French ship Henrietta when a gun burst in his hand on May 3, 1799. He died in Bermuda eight days later, leaving his pregnant wife widowed.

She returned to New York with their children.

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Anthony Armstrong Rutgers's Timeline

New York City, New York County, New York, United States
Age 33
May 11, 1799
Age 36