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About Arendt van Curler
Came to New York in 1638
He was an agent for his great uncle Killaen van Rensselaer of Amsterdam, a diamod merchant.
He befriended the Mohawk indians and was drowned in Lake Champlain.
ARENT, was one of those characters who deserve to live in history. His influence among the Indians was unlimited, and in honor of his memory, these tribes addressed all succeeding governors of New York by the name of "Corlaer." He possessed feelings of the purest humanity, and actively exerted his influence in rescuing from the savages such Christians as had the misfortune to fall into their hands, of whose danger he might receive timely notice. On his marriage with Antonia Slaghboom, the widow of Jonas Bronck, about 1643, he visited Holland, and on his return, moved to the Flatts above Albany, where he had a farm. He was proprietor of a brewery in Beverwyck in 1661. Being a cousin of the Van Rensselaers, he had considerable influence in the colony, where he was a magistrate to the time of his death. He was one of the leaders in the settlement of Schenectady in 1661-2, and on the surrender of New Netherland, was specially sent for by Governor Nicoll to be consulted on Indian affairs and the interests of the country generally. He was highly respected by the governors of Canada, and the regard entertained for him by M. De Tracy, viceroy of that country, will be best judged of by the following extract of a letter which that high personage addressed him, dated Quebec, April 30, 1667:
"If you find it agreeable to come hither this summer, as you have caused me to hope, you will be most welcome, and entertained to the utmost of my ability as I have great esteem for you, though I have not a personal acquaintance with you. Believe this truth and that I am, sir, your affectionate and assured servant, TRACY."
Having accepted this invitation, Mr. Curler prepared for his journey. Gov. Nicoll furnished him with a letter to the viceroy. It bears date 20 May, 1667, and states that "Mons. Curler hath been importuned by divers of his friends at Quebec to give them a visit, and being ambitious to kiss your hands, he hath entreated my pass and liberty to conduct a young gentleman, M. Fontaine, who unfortunately fell into the barbarous hands of his enemies, and by means of Mons. Curler obtained his liberty." On the fourth of July following, Jeremias Van Rensselaer writing to Holland, announces that "our cousin Arendt Van Curler proceeds overland to Canada, having obtained leave from our general, and being invited thither by the viceroy, M. De Tracy." In an evil hour he embarked on. board a frail canoe to cross Lake Champlain, and having been overtaken, by a storm, was drowned, I believe, near Split Rock. In his death this country experienced a public loss, and the French of Canada a warm and efficient friend. [O'Callaghan's Hist. N. Netherland, I, 322.] Van Curler's village lot in Schenectady was probably on the north corner of Church and Union Streets, and his bouwery, after his death called Juffrouw's Landt, comprised 114 acres lying immediately southwest of the village. After his death this farm was sold in parcels to divers individuals. His wid. continued to reside in Schenectady until her death, Jan. 15, 1676/7. In consideration of the loss of her husband in public service, and of her house, barn and corn by fire, she received a license from Gov. Lovelace in 1672 to trade with the Indians. It was thought also, that her license would stop the quarrels of the other two tapsters, Cornelis Cornelise Viele and Akes Cornelise Gautsh (Van Slyck), the Indian. [Orders in Council, p. 127.] Mrs. Van Curler's will was admitted to probate in New York, and letters of administration issued to Willem Beeckman, Jan. 15, 1676. He reported April 5, 1681, the proceeds to be 10,805 guilders, 17 stivers in beavers, debts 21,171 guilders, 7 stivers. [Court Proceedings, Albany, I 20, 51.]