Samuel Schuyler (1781-1842) went from dock worker to towboat operator to successful businessman and entrepreneur. He was the patriarch of a large early Albany family. This remarkable but little-known pioneer also was of African ancestry.

The story of Captain Samuel Schuyler is also the story of the initial settlement of Albany's South End in the years following the American Revolution. This illustrated, general audience program focuses on the role of Afro Albanians in the establishment of the city's first and oldest residential neighborhood. It encourages those in the audience to become involved in an exploration of the community's history. It can be supplemented by an online article on the emergence of Albany's Afro-American middle class.

This program is presented by Stefan Bielinski of the Colonial Albany Social History Project in support of the Captain Samuel Schuyler Historical Project - a grass roots initiative that commissioned a painting by noted historical artist Len Tantillo of Samuel Schuyler and his boat set against the backdrop of nineteenth century Albany. At one time, the original painting was to be donated to the John Howe Memorial Library located on Schuyler Street in the heart of the old South End. However, the current status of that initiative, the Schuyler project, and the Howe Library itself is less certain.

See also an illustrated online article on Tantillo's Hudson River art.


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last updated: 6/2/11