George Metcalf


According to family-based sources, George Metcalf (or Metcalfe) was born at Askrigg in Yorkshire, England in March 1764. He was the eldest son of Simon and Catherine Metcalfe who emigrated to New York in 1765 - reputedly leaving baby George in England to be educated.

George Metcalf is said to have joined his parents when he was seventeen - stopping in Albany where the Metcalfs had taken up residence. In 1788, he was named as the owner of a house in the second ward that he shared with his mother. Simon Metcalf was an international trader who sought profit and adventure in the Pacific which ended when his crew was killed by natives on Queen Charlotte Island (Pacific Northwest) in 1794. His widowed mother was identified as an Albany householder in 1800.

In the meantime, the decade after the end of the war found George Metcalf in Johnstown practicing law in the district attorney's office and living next to the family of future governor Enos Throop. He is said to have been an ardent Federalist.

In March 1791, he married Eliza, the daughter of former naval officer Silas Talbot - a post-war purchaser of Johnson Hall. The marriage produced at least eight children, most of whom were christened in Albany.

He was an assistant district attorney covering the western district. In 1796, he was elected to the State Assembly representing Montgomery County. In that year Governor Jay appointed him assistant Attorney General.

In 1798, he took up residence in Albany where he continued to practice law while serving in the State government. He also trained a number of law clerks.

He first made his home on Pearl Street and also owned a lot in the third ward. By 1800, he was living near his widowed mother in a third ward home that included four children under ten and a slave as well as the parents. A decade later, the Metcalfs had five children living in their Albany home. In January 1808, he was a bearer in the funeral procession of an Albany contemporary. In 1809, his house and lot on Market Street was assessed substantially.

In 1799, his sister married Albany resident Henry Bleecker.

After many years in State government, in 1811, George Metcalf moved to New York City where he resumed his legal practice. After five years, he relocated again to Staten Island. George Metcalf served there as a district attorney. He died on Staten Island in 1826 at the age of sixty-two.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of George Metcalf has not been assigned a CAP biography number. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 10/25/08