Having the last name Van Rensselaer and a family tree that traced its roots back to the first major landowner in the Hudson Valley was enough to ensure that Philip Van Rensselaer was a member of the upper class. However, class in 18th century America wasn't simple. Although his last name and pedigree ensured him a place in the upper level of 18th century Albany society, it did not mean that all upper class gentlemen were created equal. In fact, Philip Van Rensselaer would have been socially inferior to Albany gentlemen such as General Philip Schuyler and the Patroon Stephen Van Rensselaer. Much of what Philip did with his life and for his family seems to indicate his desire to propel his family further up the social ladder. His words and deeds show that he considered himself a gentleman, equal to any located at the apex of 18th century Albany society.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Philip and Maria's first child, a daughter named Ariantje, was born on December 5, 1768.
|High Chair, branded with "RS" (Robert Sanders). First half of the 18th century. Collection of the Albany Institute of History and Art.|
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Philip Van Rensselaer and Maria Sanders were married on February 24, 1768. They were married by Dominic Westerlo at the house of Peter Schuyler (Maria's grandfather) at the Flatts. The Schuyler Flatts are located in present-day north Menands, NY.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Maria Sanders was born Oct. 15, 1749. She was the oldest child of Robert and Elizabeth (Schuyler) Sanders of Albany.
|Cradle made of white pine and covered with leather and brass studding. The year 1749 is visible in brass studding. Historic Cherry Hill Collection.|
Maria Sanders’ father, Robert Sanders, died in 1765. Robert Sanders was a prominent
Albany merchant and served as the mayor of the city of from 1750-1754. After his death, Maria inherited several items from him. The items can be identified because they have been branded with “RS”. One such inherited item was an English side chair, shown here. More inherited items will be revealed in future posts! Albany
|English side chair, c. 1700. Historic Cherry Hill Collection.|
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Philip Van Rensselaer was born May 19, 1747. Philip's father, Col. Kilian Van Rensselaer (1717-1781), was active during the American Revolution, serving on the Committee of Correspondence in Albany, and after the war he was a member of the New York Assembly from 1777-1778. Philip's grandfather, Hendrick Van Rensselaer (1667-1740), was a younger brother of the third patroon of Rensselaerwyck Manor and received as a gift from his brother the patroon, 1500 acres at Greenbush, directly across the Hudson River from Albany. This land grant became known as the "Lower Manor" and the family home at Greenbush was called Fort Crailo.
|Present day view of Fort Crailo, now Crailo State Historic Site. It was the family home of Philip Van Rensselaer's father and grandfather.|