Philip Cuyler was born in August 1733. He was the eldest surviving son of Cornelis and Catharina Schuyler Cuyler. Growing up in a large second ward family of a prominent merchant, Philip was sent to Newport, Rhode Island to represent his father and to make new business connections. Otherwise, he was excluded from his father's substantial estate.
In September 1757, he married Sarah Tweedy of Newport. These Cuylers first lived in Newport and in New York. He may have been the same Philip Cuyler who was a businessman in New York during the Seven Years War. Their child was baptized in New York in 1760.
Cornelis Cuyler died in 1765. By that time, Philip had returned to Albany to stay. He was a member and pewholder at the Albany Dutch church where his subsequent children were baptized.
In his early thirties, Philip Cuyler followed family business in the Indian trade and in its overseas connection as well. He took up residence on lower State Street, served in the militia, but otherwise maintained a low civic profile. In 1770, his brother, Abraham, was appointed mayor of Albany.
Unlike his brother, who was imprisoned as a royal official, Philip was able to avoid conflict with the revolutionaries and even subscribed a small sum for the relief of Fort Ticonderoga in 1775. After the war, he was accorded a land bounty right in conjunction with the city regiment of the Albany County militia.
Aged fifty at the end of the war, Philip Cuyler seems to have dropped from the local business scene. He did acquire another lot from the city. In 1790 and in 1800, the census showed Philip and his wife living alone in a house in the second ward on Barrack Street.After 1802, his name no longer appeared in the community record.
first posted: 2/15/04; updated 9/23/08