Madame Schuyler
by
Stefan Bielinski


Margarita Schuyler was born in January 1701. She was the daughter of Johannes Schuyler and the widow Elsie Staats Wendell Schuyler.

She was raised by a mother who was in her fifties and grew up in the Schuyler house in Albany and at the family farm where she enjoyed the company of a large extended family. In December 1720, she married her cousin Phillipus Schuyler at the Albany Dutch church. Her husband was the son of her father's brother! Unlike most early Albany unions, the marriage was childless.

Madame Schuyler's home at the Flats Although she had inherited an Albany house from the estate of her father, her home was on the family farm located north of Albany known as the Flats. The couple improved the property and it became a country retreat for family members and a hospitable accommodation for visitors from all over the colonies. General Philip Schuyler was one of many Schuyler nephews and nieces (and their children as well) who spent considerable time at the Flats and who were nurtured by "Aunt" Schuyler.

Colonel Phillipus Schuyler died in February 1758. By that time, Margarita had become known as "Madame Schuyler" and was re-knowned as a hostess and matriarchial figure in Albany social circles. Her life is the subject of Anne Mc Vickar Grant's detailed but nostalgic Memoirs of an American Lady.

Into her eighties, Margarita Schuyler Schuyler filed a will in February 1782. She died at the Flats on August 28 at the age of eighty-one and was buried in the family plot. Her will passed probate early in 1783.

biography in-progress


notes

the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Margarita Schuyler Schuyler is CAP biography number 1488. This profile is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. We seek to connect this exceptional country woman more directly to the life of the city!

See "The Aunt Schuyler House" for a fascinating and intimate mid-nineteenth-century portrait of Madame Schuyler and her home.
Additionally, her life has been memorialized in a number prominent works of historical fiction.


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first posted: 12/15/03; updated 1/18/10