Samuel Dexter


Samuel Dexter was born in Northampton, Massachusetts in November 1756. He was the son of Ebenezer and Lydia Woods Dexter.

In May or June 1790, he married Eliza (Elizabeth) Province of Northhampton. In 1791, they both were confirmed in St. Peter's Episcopal Church. The marriage produced a number of children who became prominent lay Episcopalians.

By that time, the newlyweds had moved to Albany and were living near the waterfront in the third ward. Three years earlier, the Albany newspaper carried an advertisement for Samuel Dexter "apothecaries" at 49 Market Street. By the end of the decade, he had settled permanently in a house at what became 57 State Street.

Dexter was a prominent member and officer at St. Peter's Episcopal church.

He was an apothecary or druggist. His home and store at 57 State Street was a fixture of the Albany city directories beginning in 1813. However, in 1793, a great fire "laid waste" the entire block where his drug store was located. However, he soon re-established himself at that location. At that time he was in partnership with Thaddeus Pomeroy - a Harvard-educated physician who also was from Northampton. Pomeroy left Albany about 1806 and Dexter carried on alone.

In July 1807, Dexter witnessed the will of Jeremiah Van Rensselaer.

Samuel Dexter died on August 29, 1825 and was buried from 57 State Street, the residence of "Dr. Dexter." He had lived sixty-nine years. His will named Elizabeth as sole beneficiary with the children to share equally after her death. It passed probate in March 1827. In 1823, his daughter became the second wife of Architect Marcus T. Reynolds. Endowed by his family, the "Dexter Window" at St. Peter's Church commemorates his long life.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Samuel Dexter is CAP biography number 7870. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Care must be taken to not confuse this Albany resident with a number of same-named and more famous contemporaries.

first posted: 2/15/08