Nicholas Schuyler was born in June 1755. He was the eldest son in the large family of Albany mainstays Harmanus and Christina Ten Broeck Schuyler. He grew up in his father's Albany home and at their farm located in today's Stillwater. During the 1760s, his father was sheriff of Albany County and his grandfather and namesake was a prominent surveyor and member of the provincial Assembly.
At some time, it was decided that young Nicholas would follow the medical profession. The outbreak of hostilities with the British brought Nicholas to the attention of Dr. Samuel Stringer - director of the army hospital at Albany. Schuyler trained to be a surgeon and entered the Continental army as a junior surgeon in 1776. He rose through the medical ranks and served at several locations. In 1781, he was appointed regimental surgeon in Moses Hazen's "Second Canadian Regiment" - a post he had been filling for several years.
In August 1782, he married twenty-year-old Shinah Simons at Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The bride was the daughter of a prominent Philadelphia Jewish family. The marriage may have produced a single child who was born in 1798. But the couple was said to have been childless.
After the war, they settled in Stillwater (Hoosick on census of 1790) and then in the new town of Troy where he practiced medicine part time and engaged in business.
He was more appropriately defined as a public official - serving as Rensselaer County clerk for fifteen years beginning in 1791. He was said to have been indifferent to accumulating an estate and that he let several lucrative pieces of property and wealth just slip away.
Nicholas Schuyler lost his wife in June 1815. Alone, after that, he went to live with his brother-in-law's family on a farm below Albany. He died in Albany in November 1824 at the age of seventy.
Sources: The life of Nicholas Schuyler is CAP biography number 1732. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. He shares the name of an almost exact contemporary who lived in the Mohawk Valley.
first posted: 9/20/06