While still a teenager, he served the Revolutionary cause in several capacities. Many years later, a story circulated that identified Matthew Trotter as a drummer boy in the American army who bandaged the wounded leg of General Lafayette at the Battle of Brandywine in 1777. He served primarily in the Quartermaster's Department. In 1781, he was commissioned an ensign on the recommendation of Colonel and future Albany neighbor Goose Van Schaick. He was accorded a bounty right in conjunction with the First Regiment of the Albany County militia.
By 1779, his property was assessed under the household of his father. In 1790, his first ward home was configured on the first Federal census. He lived on Court Street next door to his brother-in-law and partner John W. Wendell.
This Albany mainstay was in business with the Wendells and also was known as a mariner and skipper of a Hudson River sloop. In 1786, he took title to land in Albany from his father-in-law. He served as director of a number of Albany-based organizations and later was an alderman in the newly created fourth ward.
Matthew Trotter died in Albany in early December 1830. His will passed probate on December 15.
first posted: 12/30/04