Matthew Watson


Matthew Watson lived in Albany from the 1760s to the 1790s. He probably was born about 1740.

He first appeared in the community record in 1766 when he joined a number of Albany men in signing a constitution for the Albany Sons of Liberty. In that year, his name began to appear on assessment rolls where he was called "Mr. Watson," a tailor, and a resident and householder in the first and then second wards. In 1788, his second ward house and property were accorded modest assessments. In 1790, his household included two men, two boys, two females, and a slave.

He was known as a tailor, a merchant, and an agent for Manhattan merchants. He advertized in the Albany Gazette both before and after the War. He lived at #20 Maiden Lane.

He was a member, trustee, and elder of the First Presbyterian church. In 1771, he was a member of the Albany Masonic Lodge.

He served in the colonial militia. In 1771, he was appointed firemaster for the first ward. Later, he cut wood on Albany lands and was paid for services by the city government.

In 1775, he pledged money for the relief of Ticonderoga. As a newcomer merchant, he would be watched by the revolutionaries. He was permitted to post bond for a number of individuals. Otherwise, we have not yet connected him to wartime activities.

At the end of the war, he was serving as one of the "Commissioners of Forfeitures" for the western district - a position of judgment and trust. Afterwards, he was able to secure the rights to a number of bounty lands as well.

After 1790, the name of name Matthew Watson dropped from Albany rolls. He was dead by May 1797 when letters of administration on the "estate of Matthew Watson" were granted to his son William and to Francis Follet, a friend.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Matthew Watson is CAP biography number 6837. This sketch is derived chiefly from community-based resources. We still seek basic demographic and family information on him!

first posted: 1/20/07