Hendrick J. Wendell was born in October 1733. He was the son of Albany residents Jacob and Helena Van Rensselaer Wendell. He grew up in a merchant's home in the third ward but lost his father in 1745 when he was not yet thirteen.
These Wendells lived on Court Street where Hendrick was making his way as a merchant. For many years, their modest home was a first ward landmark. He served as a firemaster and was paid by Albany for services rendered. In 1763, he purchased two lots of woodland from the city.
At the start of hostilities, he sided with the Revolutionaries. In May 1775, he was elected to represent the first ward on the Albany Committee of Correspondence. He was active in Committee work and served thru 1776. Committee minutes held that he had been appointed "major" of "the Albany regiment" but that statement has not been substantiated. In June of that year, he applied to the committee to be considered for the position of sheriff of Albany County if a new government was to be formed. He was unanimously recommended by the committee. A year later, he was installed in the office of sheriff and served for several years.
During the 1780s, he resumed his business - appearing in the accounts of other Albany merchants, and was involved in a number of community-based ventures. In 1788, his name appeared on a roster of Albany Antifederalists.
Hendrick J. Wendell died on October 1, 1795. He had lived sixty-three years. His widow survived for several decades.
Sources: The life of Hendrick J. Wendell is CAP biography number 2689. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Signature from the manuscript minutes of the Committee of Correspondence and dated January 27, 1777. Much more information exists on "Hendrick Wendell." We recognize that some of the extant references to Hendrick I. or J. Wendell describe the life of a contemporary, Hendrick I. Wendell of Watervliet. Accordingly, this sketch is more conservative than it might be. Time is on our side to sort out the lives of different individuals of the same or similar names.
first posted: 4/5/05