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About Richard Varick DeWitt
Richard Varick, son of General Simeon and Jane (Varick) (Hardenbergh) De Witt, was born at Albany, New York, February 6, 1800, died at Albany, February 7, 1868. He inherited his father's scientific tastes, and was one of the founders of the old Albany Institute, as well as one of its first officers. Before that learned body he frequently displayed his scientific and literary attainments. He graduated at Union College, and after finishing his studies in the office of the late Harmanus Bleecker, afterwards United States Minister at The Hague, was called to the bar. He possessed a large property at Ithaca, New York, and while his natural tastes led him to literary pursuits, his prominent position forced him to a more active life. He established and maintained a line of steamboats on Cayuga lake, in their day considered models of speed and comfort. It was his pleasure to devote much spare time to architectural drawing; he has left behind many drawings of buildings and paintings in both water color and oil of the early types of steamboats, notably that of Fulton's "Clermont." Through his exertions and means, the Ithaca & Oswego railroad was constructed, which was one of the earliest lines in New York state; but unfortunately. in the financial disaster of 1837, he lost much of his property by the forced sale of this road. He was for many years both an elder and superintendent of the Sunday school of the Middle (or Second) Dutch Reformed Church of Albany. He was vice-president of the State Cincinnati Society, and during the absence of Governor Fish in Europe, acting president. His refinement was only one of his many charms, and throughout his whole life he maintained a spotless Christian character.