Living first in his father's first ward home, William Staats started out as a frontier trader - travelling to Niagara in 1761 and trading across the Indian country. By the end of the decade, he had returned home to become a Hudson River skipper. Among his regular clients, was Sir William Johnson - for whom he carried cargoes and dispatches on his Albany-based sloop. In partnership with his younger brother, merchant Henry Staats, William began to acquire Albany property in the heart of the city that included the original Schuyler house.
He was thirty-five years old on his marriage to young Anna Yates in May 1771. Over the next two decades, their nine children were baptized at the Albany Dutch church where he was a member and church officer.
Captain William Staats served as a constable, inspector, and tax collector but did not hold elective office. He contributed to the revolutionary cause and was awarded a bounty right in conjunction with the first regiment of the Albany County militia.
Over the next thirty years, his family resided in a growing Staats-owned complex of buildings located south and east of State and Pearl Streets respectively. His first ward household was large - including seven slaves in 1800. In his mid-sixties, official records then identified him as a "mariner."
By 1813, his family was smaller and he moved to a more modest home on Hudson Street. City directories identify him as the "collector of taxes." William Staats died in 1825 and was buried from his residence at 77 Hudson Street.
first posted: 2/20/03; updated 10/25/08