Abraham Schuyler was born in December 1735. He was the sole surviving child in the small family of David and Maria Hansen Schuyler. Three siblings including an older Abraham died in childhood! The boy grew into manhood on the river. By the 1760s, he was skippering his own Hudson River sloop.
Past his twenty-eighth birthday, Abraham married Eva Beekman in December 1763. By 1775, their six children were baptized in the Albany Dutch church where both parents were members and where Abraham was a church officer.
These Schuylers set up their home with his parents in the third ward. Eva also inherited her father's Albany home. In time, Abraham Schuyler's Market Street home became an Albany landmark that was attended by as many as nine slaves. That property was complex and looked out on the river. He later kept boarders. Earlier, he also acquired another lot out on Lion Street.
Captain Abraham Schuyler was identified as a merchant as early as 1764. He also may have been a surveyor. He had some financial dealings with the city government but the particulars of his business activities are, at this point, not so clear.
After serving as constable and firemaster beginning in 1760, he was elected assistant alderman for the third ward in 1775. The war interrupted his civic duties but he was elected assistant in 1778 and alderman in 1781. He served on the city council for a number of years and was active in its operations.
In 1766, he stood with his neighbors in opposition to the Stamp Act when he signed the constitution of the Albany Sons of Liberty. A decade later, he was identified as a lieutenant in the First Regiment of the County militia. In 1775, his wagon was used to carry supplies northward.
In 1785, he was considered as a candidate for the New York State Assembly. However, the now fifty-year-old Schuyler remained on the city council and in business from his Market Street home. During these years, he also was a member of a third ward fire company. His wife died in 1803. Called "an old and respectable inhabitant of the city," Abraham Schuyler died in May 1812 and was buried in the Dutch church cemetery plot.
first posted: 7/20/03; updated 12/28/08