Philip Schuyler

Philip Schuyler

Infobox Senator
honorific-prefix =
name =Philip Schuyler
honorific-suffix =

imagesize =
jr/sr =United States Senator
state =New York
term_start =July 161789
term_end =March 31791
preceded ="(none)"
succeeded =Aaron Burr
term_start2 =March 41797
term_end2 =January 31798
preceded2 =Aaron Burr
succeeded2 =John Sloss Hobart
birth_date =November 201733
birth_place =Albany, New York, USA
death_date =death date and age|1804|11|18|1733|2|20
death_place =Albany, New York, USA
nationality =
party =Pro-Administration,
spouse =Catherine Van Rensselaer
relations =
children =Philip Jeremiah Schuyler,
Angelica Schuyler Church,
Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton,
Margarita Schuyler
residence =
alma_mater =
occupation =
profession =Soldier, Statesman
religion =

website =
footnotes =

Philip John Schuyler (November 201733 - November 181804) was a general in the American Revolution and a United States Senator from New York. He is usually known as Philip Schuyler, while his son is usually known as Philip J. Schuyler.

Early life

Philip was born at Troy, New York, on November 201733, to a wealthy colonial family. His family had gradually expanded their holdings and influence in the New World. His father, John Schuyler, Jr., was the third generation of the family in America, when he married Cornelia Van Cortlandt, connecting them with another prominent family. (A cousin of John Schuyler, Jr., was Peter Schuyler who commanded the "Jersey Blues". Another Cousin of Philip Schuyler was Hester Schuyler married William Colfax, a veteran of George Washington's Life Guards and later a general in the New Jersey milita who also commanded the "Jersey Blues" {These were also the grandparents of Congressman Schuyler Colfax}. A nephew of Peter Schuyler was Loyalist Arent Schuyler De Peyster. A brother-in-law of Philip Schuyler was Director General of the Military Hospitals of the Continental Army, Dr. John Cochran (military physician). [ [ John Cochran] Office of Medical History] )

His father died when Philip was seven years old. After attending the public school at Albany he was educated by tutors at the Van Cortlandt family estate at New Rochelle. He joined the British forces in 1755 during the French and Indian War, raised a company, and was commissioned as its Captain by his cousin, Lt. Governor James Delancey.Later in that war, he served as a quartermaster, purchasing supplies and organizing equipment.

In September of 1755, he married Catherine Van Rensselaer [ [ Catherine Van Rensselaer] Find A Grave] (1734-1803) at Albany.This cemented his relationship with another powerful New York family. Although the marriage was urgent (their first daughter Angelica was born in February, 1756), they were a devoted couple for the rest of their lives, and had eleven children.

From 1761 to 1762, Schuyler made a trip to England to settle accounts from his work as quartermaster. During this time his home in Albany, later called Schuyler Mansion, was built. His country estate at Saratoga (which is now Schuylerville, New York) was also begun. After the war he also expanded his estate at Saratoga, expanding his holdings to tens of thousands of acres, adding slaves, tenant farmers, a store, mills for flour, flax, and lumber. His flax mill for the making of linen was the first one in America. If they had been situated in the South, Schuyler's holdings at Saratoga would have been called a plantation. He built several schooners on the Hudson River, and named the first "Saratoga".

Schuyler began his political career as a member of the New York Assembly in 1768, and served in that body until 1775. During this time his views came to be more opposed to the colonial government. He was particularly outspoken in matters of trade and currency. He was also made a Colonel in the militia for his support of governor Henry Moore.

Revolutionary War

Schuyler was elected to the Continental Congress in 1775, and served until he was appointed a Major General of the Continental Army in June. General Schuyler took command of the Northern Department, and planned the Invasion of Canada (1775). His poor health required him to place Richard Montgomery in command of the invasion.

As department commanding General, he was active in preparing a defense against the Saratoga Campaign, part of the "Three Pronged Attack" strategy of the British to cut the American Colonies in two by invading and occupying New York State in 1777. In the summer of that year General John Bugoyne marched his British army south from Quebec over the valleys of Lakes Champlain and George. On the way he invested the small Colonial garrison occupying Fort Ticonderoga at the nexus of the two lakes. When General St. Clair surrendered Fort Ticonderoga in July, the Congress replaced Schuyler with General Horatio Gates. The British were eventually stopped and defeated at the Battle of Saratoga by Colonial forces then under the command of Benedict Arnold. That victory, the first wholesale defeat of a large British army at the hands of Colonials, is largely thought to have brought France into the war on the American side. When Schuyler demanded a court martial for his role, he was vindicated but resigned from the army in 1779. He then served in two more sessions of the Continental Congress in 1779 and 1780.

Later career

He was a member of the New York State Senate from 1780 to 1784, and at the same time New York State Surveyor General from 1781 to 1784. Afterwards he returned to the State Senate from 1786 to 1790, where he actively supported the adoption of the United States Constitution.

He was elected a United States Senator to the First United States Congress, serving from July 161789 to March 31791. Losing his bid for reelection, he returned to the State Senate from 1792 to 1797. He was elected again to the U.S. Senate and served in the 5th United States Congress from March 41797 until his resignation because of health problems on January 31798.


*His daughter Elizabeth married Alexander Hamilton, who was later Secretary of the Treasury.
*His son Philip Jeremiah Schuyler also had a political career and served in the United States House of Representatives.
*Another daughter, Margarita, married a cousin Stephen Van Rensselaer III 8th Patroon of the name.
*Angelica married John Barker Church Member of Parliament.
*Schuyler's family line continues; descendants of him and his children are living today.Philip's country home had been destroyed by British General John Burgoyne's forces in September, 1777. Starting later that year, he rebuilt on the same site, now located in southern Schuylerville, New York. The 1777 home is maintained by the National Park Service as part of the Saratoga National Historical Park, and is open to the public.

Schuyler died at his mansion in Albany on November 18, 1804, and is buried in the Albany Rural Cemetery at Menands, New York. Schuyler County, Illinois, and Schuyler County, New York, were named in his honor.

In 1833, construction of a fort began on the tip of the Throggs Neck peninsula in New York, to protect the western end of the Long Island Sound. The installation of armament was completed in 1856, and the fortification was named Fort Schuyler in his honor. Fort Schuyler now houses the Maritime Industry Museum and the State University of New York Maritime College.

Albany, New York erected a statue of Schuyler by sculptor J. Massey Rhind in 1925.



*cite web| last=Barbagallo|first=Tricia|url=|title=Fellow Citizens Read a Horrid Tale|date=March 10, 2007|accessdate=2008-06-04
*"Revolutionary Enigma; A Re-Appraisal of General Philip Schuyler of New York" by Martin H. Bush; 1969; (ISBN 0-87198-080-0).
*"Life of General Philip Schuyler, 1733-1804" by Bayard Tuckerman; 1903; (1969 reprint ISBN 0-8369-5031-3).
*"Proud Patriot: Philip Schuyler and the War of Independence, 1755-1783" by Don Gerlach; 1987; Syracuse University Press; (ISBN 0-8156-2373-9).
* [ "The New York Civil List" compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough (pages 37f; Weed, Parsons and Co., 1858)]

External links

* [ Co-Planner of the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign Against the Iroquois]
* [ Collection of Letters from Philip Schuyler]

NAME=Schuyler, Philip
SHORT DESCRIPTION=American statesman
DATE OF BIRTH=November 20, 1733
PLACE OF BIRTH=Albany, New York
DATE OF DEATH=November 18, 1804
PLACE OF DEATH=Albany, New York

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