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.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

PVR Chronology: 1786

In 1786, Philip Van Rensselaer attempted to negotiate the terms of his deed for the land where Cherry Hill was to be built.

Friday, September 23, 2011

PVR Chronology: 1785

A tan yard was on the premises of the Cherry Hill property by 1785.  Also in 1785,
Philip Van Rensselaer was an Alderman of Albany and one of the Justices of the Peace of Albany County.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

PVR Chronology: 1784

Philip and Maria’s eldest daughter, Elizabeth, was instructed in drawing in Boston circa January 1784.

Philip and Maria's son, most likely Robert Sanders, 11, was receiving educational instruction from John Lovett at Lovett's academy in Albany in 1784.  Philip was also paying for the education of the sons of a Mrs. Catherine Woodworth at the same academy. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

PVR Chronology: 1778 to 1783

Philip and Maria’s seventh child, also named Pieter Sanders, was born "at the farm" on July 16, 1778..  "At the farm" referred to the Cherry Hill farm.  Pieter Sanders Van Rensselaer was baptized by DominieWesterlo.  

Philip and Maria’s eighth child, a son named Kilian P., was born at the Cherry Hill farm on October 24, 1780.

In 1782, Philip ordered “a full Suit of Clooth which you had in your state of a Crimson colour superfine and the trimmins…”, presumably for himself.

Philip and Maria’s ninth child, a son named Philip P., was born in Albany on January 20, 1783.  On October 4th of that same year,  Philip wrote to Governor Clinton asking for compensation for his work as Public Storekeeper during the Revolution.  Philip claimed that a lack of compensation had caused him to fall behind on his taxes.  While acting as Public Storekeeper during the war, Philip was often short of funds from the colonial government and had to use his own money and credit to obtain supplies for the troops.

Friday, September 16, 2011

PVR Chronology: July 17, 1777

Philip and Maria's sixth child, Peter Sanders, died on July 17, 1777.  He was buried at Jeremiah Ten Brook's property.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

PVR Chronology: June 1777

Philip and Maria’s sixth child, a son named Peter Sanders, was born on June 16, 1777.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

PVR Chronology: January 1776

Philip Van Rensselaer was appointed Public Storekeeper in January 1776.  He served in this capacity throughout the Revolutionary War.

Friday, September 2, 2011

PVR Chronology

Philip Van Rensselaer served on the Committee of Correspondence in Albany prior to the outbreak of the Revolutionary War.

Thursday, September 1, 2011