Slike stranica

charge of St. Paul's, Whitehall. He was rector of Grace church, Albany, 1845-47; St. John's, Mount Morris, 1847-53; of St. Paul's, Oxford, 1853-54; and St. Paul's, Rochester, 1854-59. He was president of DeVeaux college, N.Y., 1859-69; professor of ethics at Hobart college, 1870-72, and

its president, 1872-76; rector of Emmanuel church, Geneva, Switzerland, 1877-78. He received from Hobart the honorary degrees, A.M., 1850, and D.D., 1859, and from Union that of LL.D., 1874. He was a member of the New York Historical society; the Society of the Sons of the Revolution; the Society of Colonial Wars; the St. Nicholas society; the Holland society, and warden of the Sisters of the Annunciation, B.V.M., New York, 1893-1900. He was chaplain of the House of the Holy Comforter in New York city, 1886, and is the author of: Sister Louise: the Story of her Life Work (1883); and Annals of the Van Rensselaers in the United States. He died at Lakewood, N.J., Feb. 17, 1900.

VAN RENSSELAER, Solomon, soldier, was born in Rensselaer county, N.Y., Aug. 6, 1774; son of Henry Kiliaen Van Rensselaer. His father (1774-1816) commanded a New York regiment during the Revolution, becoming a general of militia. Solomon entered the U.S. army as a cornet of cavalry, March 14, 1792, and was promoted captain of a volunteer company in the Miami campaign, serving under Gen. Anthony Wayne at the battle of Maumee Rapids, August, 1794. He was married in 1797, to Harriet, daughter of Col. Philip Van Rensselaer. In 1812 he joined Gen. Stephen Van Rensselaer in northern New York, and was appointed adjutant-general of state militia. He negotiated the agreement whereby Lake Ontario was granted by England as a public highway during the war. He commanded the attacking party at the assault of Queenston Heights, Ontario, Oct. 13, 1812, and led the advance in person. He was several times wounded, and receiving no support from General Van Rensselaer, was taken prisoner. He was a Federalist representative in the 16th and 17th congresses, 1819-23; postmaster at Albany, N.Y., 1823-39, and was a delegate from the state of New York, at the opening of the Erie canal, Nov. 4, 1825. He is the author of a Narrative of the Affair at Queenston (1836), and "A Legacy of Historical Gleanings" was written by his daughter, Mrs. Catharine Van Rensselaer Bonney, in 1875. He died in Albany, N.Y., April 23, 1852.

VAN RENSSELAER, Stephen, soldier, was born in New York city, Nov. 1, 1765; son of

Stephen and Catharine (Livingston) Van Rensselaer; grandson of Philip and Maria (Sanders) Livingston; great-grandson of Kiliaen and Areoantie (Schuyler) Van Rensselaer; greatgrandson of Jeremias, the immigrant, and Maria (Van Cortlandt) Van Rensselaer, and great3grandson of Kiliaen, the first patroon. He was a student at the College of New Jersey, and was graduated from Harvard in 1782, returning to the new manor house which his father had built in 1765. His lands had become greatly depreciated by the Revolutionary war, but he devoted himself to the improvement of the vast tract remaining, offering to farmers the inducement of low rentals, in order to increase his tenantage. He was a Federal member of the state assembly, 1789-91; 1798, and 1809-10; state senator, 1791-96, and was elected lieutenant-governor of New York in 1795. He was appointed major in the state militia in 1786; colonel in 1788, and major-general in 1801, and was a commissioner to report to the state assembly on the advisability of establishing a canal between the Hudson river and the great lakes. At the outbreak of the war of 1812, he was given command of the U.S. forces on the northern frontier; mustered a force of militia, numbering 6,000 men, near Lewiston, and on Oct. 13, 1812, detailed 1000 men under Lieut. Col. Solomon Van Rensselaer (q.v.) and Lieut. Col. John Chrystie, to attack Queenston Heights, Ontario, preparatory to a further invasion of Canada.

Colonel Van Rensselaer was wounded early in the engagement, and Capt. John E. Wool assumed command and captured the heights. On October 14, British reinforcements arrived, and when General Van Rensselaer attempted to move his remaining force across the river to relieve Captain Wool, the men refused to cross, and Wool, overpowered by numbers, was compelled to surrender; the American loss being 190 in killed and wounded, and 900 prisoners, against a British loss of 130 in killed, wounded and missing. General Van Rensselaer was severely criticised for his tardiness in making the attack, and resigned his commission in the army, Oct. 24, 1814. He was again appointed a member of the canal commission, and subsequently made chairman, and when the Erie and Champlain canals were completed in 1825, he was chosen their president, serving till 1839. He was re-elected to the state assembly in 1818; was a member of the state constitutional convention of 1821; elected a representative in the 18th congress in 1823, to fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of Solomon Van Rensselaer, and re-elected to the 19th and 20th congresses, serving, 1823-29. He was a regent of the University of New York, 1819-39, and chancellor at the time of his death; was president of the State Agricultural society in 1820,


and fitted out the survey of the Erie canal from Albany to Buffalo, under Amos Eaton in 1821-23. His connection with this survey impressed him with the need of a school of theoretical and practical science, and in 1824 he founded Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, N.Y., defraying half of its expenses for several years. He was twice married; first in 1733, to Margaret, daughter of Gen. Philip Jeremiah and Anna Sybil (Sawyer) Schuyler; and secondly, in 1802, to Cornelia, daughter of Judge William and Cornelia (Bell) Paterson of New Jersey. He was a corresponding member of the Massachusetts Historical society, and received the honorary degree of LL.D. from Yale in 1822. He is the author of: An Agricultural and Geological Survey of the District adjoining the Erie Canal (1824). He died in Albany, N.Y., Jan. 26, 1839.

VAN RENSSELAER, Stephen, patroon, was born in Albany, N.Y., March 29, 1789; son of Stephen and Margaret (Schuyler) Van Rensselaer; grandson of Stephen and Catharine (Livingston) Van Rensselaer and of Philip Jeremiah and Anna Sybil (Sawyer) Schuyler, and a descendant of Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, first patroon of Rensselaer Manor and director of the Dutch

West India company. He was graduated from the College of New Jersey in 1808, where his father had also been a student before he went to Harvard, and on his father's death in 1839, he inherited the manor and was known as the last patroon. A large number of tenants of the estate having fallen in arrears for rent, owing to the indulgence of his father, he made an effort at collection, but was met with armed resistance, and troops were called out by the governor to quell the riot. In 1846 the New York state constitution abolished feudal tenures, such as the Van Rensselaer estate, and the property was divided into freeholds, being mortgaged for arrearages and assessed value. Stephen retained the manor house as his share, and at his death the property passed out of the family. He was married, Jan. 2, 1817, to Harriet Elizabeth, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Cornell) Bayard of New York. The date of her death is 1875. He died in Albany, N.Y., May 25, 1868, and was buried in the Albany Rural cemetery, where are the graves of all the Van Rensselaer family.

VAN SANT, Samuel R., governor of Minnesota, was born in Rock Island, Ill., May 11, 1844; son of John Wesley and Lydia (Anderson) Van Sant; grandson of Nicholas and Mercy (Moore) Van Sant, and of Elias and Catherine (Rogers) Anderson; great-grandson of John Van Sant, an officer in the Revolutionary war, and a descendant of Jacobus Van Zandt, who emigrated from Holland in 1607, and settled in New Amsterdam. He enlisted as a private in the 9th Illinois cavalry

in 1861, and served throughout the war; subsequently attended Knox college, and engaged in the river transportation business. He was marrid, Dec. 7, 1868, to Ruth, daughter of William B. and Sidney (Ross) Hall of Le Claire, Iowa. He was a Republican representative in the state legislature, 1892-96; speaker of the house in 1895, and was nominated governor of Minnesota by the Republican state convention held at St. Paul, Sept. 5, 1900. He was elected by a plurality of 2254 over his Democratic opponent, Gov. John Lind, and was re-elected in 1902 by nearly 60,000 plurality, the largest ever given a governor in the history of the state; his term of office expiring in January, 1905.

VAN SANTVOORD, George, author, was born in Belleville, N.J., Dec. 8, 1819; son of the Rev. Staats Van Santvoord, minister of the Reformed Dutch church for fifty years, and a descendant of Cornelius Van Santvoord, who emigrated from Holland in 1637, and settled in Schenectady, N.Y. He was graduated from Union college in 1841, studied law in Kinderhook, and practised there, 1846-52. He was a member of the state assembly, 1852–56, and district attorney for Rensselaer county, 1860-63. He is the author of: "Lives of the French Revolutionists" for the Democratic Review; The Indiana Justice (1845); Life of Algernon Sidney (1851); Principles of Pleading in Civil Actions under the New York Code (1852-54); Lives of the Chief-Justices of the United States (1854); Precedents of Pleading (1858), and Practice in the Supreme Court of New York in Equity Actions (1860-61). He died in East Albany, N. Y., March 6, 1863.

VAN SCHAICK, Gozen, soldier, was born in Albany, N.Y., in September, 1736; son of Sybrant Van Schaick, mayor of Albany, 1756–61. He served as lieutenant in the British army in the Crown Point expedition of 1756; was promoted captain, 1758, participating in the siege of Forts Frontenac and Niagara; major of a New York regiment, 1759, and lieutenant-colonel of the 1st New York regiment, 1762, being wounded at Ticonderoga. Early in 1775 he was commissioned colonel of the 2d New York regiment, and assigned to the command of the 1st New York battalion, Nov. 22, 1775, and subsequently served in checking the Indian invasion of Cherry Valley. He held a command as brigadier-general under Lord Stirling at the battle of Monmouth, June 28, 1778, and received the thanks of congress for his destruction of the Onondaga settlement in 1779. He died in Albany, N. Y., July 4, 1789.

VAN TWILLER, Walter (Wouter), coloniel governor of New Netherlands, was born at Nieukirk, Holland, about 1580, and entered the employ of the Dutch West India company. Owing to influential friends, he became governor

of New Netherlands in April, 1633, and arrived at Manhattan with 100 men and a Spanish vessel he had captured on the way over. His first move was to build a fort, a guard-house, a church and a parsonage. He had a mania for the acquisition of territory for Holland, and bought a part


of Connecticut from the Indians in 1633, erecting Fort Hope, near where Hartford now stands. Upon an earnest remonstrance from Governor Winthrop of Massachusetts, claiming all of the aforesaid territory for England, Van Twiller proposed referring the claims of each to the respective home governments. Winthrop sent Lieutenant Holmes to commence a settlement upon the present site of Windsor, and the Dutch colonists were forced to withdraw from Connecticut. Van Twiller also purchased land of the Indians on the Schuylkill in 1633, built Fort Beaversreede there, and thus put new life into the settlement in Delaware. Van Twiller's irrational expenses, owing to his conception of the Dutch West India company as a concern of unlimited means, and his discouragement of immigration by his arrogance, resulted in his recall in 1637, and William Kieft succeeded him. He died in Amsterdam, Holland, after 1646.

VANUXEM, Lardner, geologist, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., July 23, 1792; son of James and Rebecca (Clarke) Vanuxem. His father emigrated from Dunkirk, France, and became a successful shipping merchant of Philadelphia, and his maternal grandfather was Col. Elijah Clarke of New Jersey. Lardner entered his father's shipping house, but his taste inclining toward science, he went to Paris, and was graduated from the École des Mines in 1819. He was professor of chemistry and mineralogy at South Carolina college, Columbia, 1819-26; made geological surveys of North and South Carolina; was sent on a mining venture to Mexico in 1826, and studied the geological surveys of New York, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia, 1827-28. He resided at Bristol, Pa., 1830-36; and was assistant on the geological survey of New York, 1836-41. He was the originator of the Association of American Geologists in 1840, which later became the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

He assisted in arranging the state geological cabinet, to which he was a large contributor, and declined the offer of associate to Professor Joseph Henry, of the Smithsonian Institution. He is the author of: An Essay on the Ultimate Principles of Chemistry, National Philosophy and Physiology (1827) and Geology of New York, 3d District (1842). He died in Bristol, Pa., Jan. 25, 1848.

VAN VALKENBURG, Robert Bruce, diplomatist, was born in Steuben county, N. Y., Sept. 4, 1821. He was liberally educated; was admitted to the bar, and began practice in Bath, N. Y. He was a member of the state assembly, 1852 and 1857-58; commanded the recruiting-depot at Elmira, N.Y., in 1861, organizing seventeen regiments for the war, and was a Republican representative from New York in the 37th and 38th congresses, 1861-65, serving as chairman of the committees in the militia expenditures in the state department. While in congress he served as colonel of the 107th New York volunteers at the battle of Antietam, Sept. 16-17, 1862. He was acting commissioner of Indian affairs by appointment from President Johnson, in the summer of 1865; U.S. minister to Japan, Jan. 18, 1866-Nov. 11, 1869, and upon his return settled in Florida, where he was associate-justice of the supreme court until his death at Suwanee Springs, Fla., Aug. 2, 1888.

VAN VECHTEN, Abraham, statesman, was born in Catskill, N. Y., Dec. 5, 1762; son of Teunis (an officer in the colonial militia) and Judiky (Ten Broeck) Van Vechten; grandson of Teunis (1668-1707) and Cathalyntje (Van Petten) Van Vechten; great-grandson of Dirk Teunisse (who purchased land at Catskill, N. Y., about 1681) and Jannetje (Vreelandt) Van Vechten, and great2grandson of Teunis Dircksen Van Vechten, who emigrated with his family from Holland in the Arms of Norway, 1638; settled first at Beaverwyck (Fort Orange), and at Greenbush (Rensselaer), N.Y., 1648. Abraham Van Vechten attended an academy at Esopus (Kingston), N.Y., and King's (Columbia) college. He was married, May 24, 1784, to Catharine, daughter of Philip P. and Anna (Wendell) Schuyler; admitted to the bar in Albany, N.Y., in October, 1785, and began practice in Johnstown, N. Y., later removing to Albany. He was attorney for the 5th New York district, 1796; declined the appointment of associate-justice of the supreme court, 1797; was recorder of Albany, 1797-1808; state senator, 17981805, and a member of the state assembly, 180513. He served as attorney-general of the state, 1810 and 1813-15, being succeeded by Martin Van Buren; was a member of the state constitutional convention of 1821, where he was actively instrumental in effecting the revision of the constitution, and subsequently resumed the practice of

[graphic][ocr errors]
« PrethodnaNastavi »