Johannes Hansen was born in Albany in 1695 the eldest son of future Mayor Hendrick and Debora Van Dam Hansen. He was known as "Hans Hansen" and was the most prominent of several like-named contemporaries.
Following his father in the fur trade that had moved beyond the Albany stockade, during his twenties Hans spent considerable time in the Indian country and was known as one who traded with the French.
At age twenty-eight, he married Sara Cuyler in 1723. The first of their seven children was born later that year.
Following the death of his father in 1724, Hans became more of an Albany-based merchant and was bolstered by property derived from his father's estate.
To the surprise of many, he was appointed mayor of Albany in 1731. Although he had served as a constable in 1721, this newly established frontier trader would serve his political apprenticeship later when he was elected second ward alderman first in 1736. His name appeared on a list of second ward freeholders in 1742. He was appointed mayor again in 1754, re-appointed, and was in office at the time of his death.
Hans Hansen made his will in March 1756 - noting that he was "sound in body." It mentioned his two surviving sons and daughter but made his wife sole heir to his estate. He died a month later and was buried from the Albany church.
first posted: 2000; last revised 1/20/08