Henry Staats was born in 1741. He was the son of Albany cooper Isaac Staats and his wife, Maria Van Deusen Staats. He grew up in Albany's first ward and also at the family country seats across the Hudson.
With his older brother William, Henry Staats engaged in business and shipping. By the late 1760s, the Staats brothers were still living in their father's home but already had emerged as shippers of some note. Among their clients was Sir William Johnson. By the 1770s, they had taken control of the old Schuyler house. Over the next three decades, they added to those holdings as a multi-use business/residence eventually spread across almost an entire block.
In 1770, he married Mary Dumond. That marriage produced four children before her death during the late 1770s. In 1782, he remarried. His second wife was thirty-five-year-old Anna Lott of Long Island. That marriage produced four children as well. He was a member and officer of the Albany Dutch church.
In May 1775, he was appointed lieutenant of the first ward watch by the Albany Committee of Correspondence. He also contributed to the committee's relief effots. However, by the end of the summer, he was in trouble with the committee for possessing imported tea and for seeking to sell it. In December, he was removed from his position in the Watch company. Perhaps shielded by General Schuyler, this conservative merchant managed to avoid reproach until July 1778 when he refused to take a loyalty oath. Branded a "loyalist," he was ordered to prepare for removal to the enemy lines!
After the war, he continued to add to his Albany property. In 1790, the State Street landmark that featured a popular tavern in the corner building. These extensive holdings were shared with his brother's family and were attended by several slaves. As late as 1800, the larger household included seven slaves. Henry's home was located on the south side of the main building!
Known as "Captain" in reference to his past sailing days, Henry Staats died at age seventy-three. His will passed probate in April 1814.
first posted: 1/20/03