John Beasley
Stefan Bielinski

John Beasley was born about 1678. In 1714, this middle-aged man was identified as a private in the Coxsackie company of the Albany County militia.

In 1723, the forty-five year old Beasley married widow Lydia Dealy (Dailey) Van Benthuysen in the Albany Dutch Church. The first of their two children was baptized there seven months later. However, Beasley's Albany family was much larger as Lydia's five Van Benthuysen children also were living in their first ward home.

John Beasley's Albany life was closely connected to the recently opened St. Peters Anglican Church. In 1730, he was identified as the schoolmaster at St. Peters. In the years that followed, he was paid by the SPG for instructing as many as fifty "negroes" in the cathecism. As late as 1768, Beasley and his wife still were mentioned as communicants at St. Peters.

In 1737, his lot was referenced in the will of a neighbor.

During the 1730s and 40s, John Beasley's name was associated with community-based activities including appearing as a qualified voter in 1742.

By the 1750s, Beasley appears to have left Albany. His Southside holdings devolved to his son, Henry, and son-in-law, Richard Cartwright. He was dead by August 1768 when letters of administration on the estate were granted to his son.


the people of colonial AlbanyThe life of John Beasley is CAP biography number 7287. This profile is derived chiefly from community-based resources. Subsequent documents identify him as fifty-five years old in 1733 - fixing Beasley's birth date as about 1678. However, little has been found on his origins, early life, or about the years after 1747.

The SPG or "Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts" was the missionary arm of the Church of England.

"Southside" is a term used to describe that part of the first ward behind State and Court Streets. This area was first settled by former garrison soldiers during the early 1700s. The heart of "Southside" was the intersection of Green and Beaver Streets.

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first posted: 1/17/01; last revised 8/7/11