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Van Rensselaers. In the councils of State his faith rested upon a newlydevised government that should be strong enough to resist decay by the political elements that might war against it, and his strict Federalism had its influence upon the maturing mind of Alexander Hamilton. And when the citizens of Albany celebrated the ratification of the Constitution of the
United States with a great procession, we learn that General Schuyler, on horseback, bore aloft “the Constitution neatly engrossed on parchment, and suspended on a decorated staff," quite as proudly as he wore his sidearms during the shock of battle.
There are three Schuyler houses, or mansions, known to history, and they are all in existence today. The oldest, and on many accounts the most interesting, is the house at “the flats," on the west bank of the Hudson four miles north of Albany.
This estate was
cleared by Arent Van Corlear for Richard Van Rensselaer, a son of the original Patroon. More than 200 years ago it was sold to Philip Pietersen Schuyler, whose descendants—through Peter, the first mayor of Albany-occupy it still. Across the lane is the private burial-ground, where rest the remains of the earlier members of the family. Here is the grave of Philip Schuyler, who married "the American lady" of social and historic fame, and whose grave is said to be close at hand. Here, also, are the remains of Johannes,
the father of General Philip Schuyler. The house itself was originally of stone, and steep-roofed in the Dutch style. It was large and roomy, and hither came many of the British officers, as to a home, during the long
wars with France. The hospitality withir its walls gave tone to society in the city of Albany when “Aunt” Schuyler, or “the Madame," as she was sometimes called, was the presiding genius of the house. But the closing days of French power beheld Lord Howe's corpse in the mansion which he had often visited as a guest; and the barns turned into hospitals for the defeated forces of Abercrombie. Then, in more peaceful times, the house was burned, and afterward restored to something like its original proportions just before the war of the Revolution.
The second Schuyler house is the one at Schuylerville, which was known as General Schuyler's country place at Saratoga. The original house belonged to an uncle of the General's, who was burned in the house by the French and Indians under Marin. This uncle bequeathed his estate to General Schuyler, who also came into possession of several parts of other estates in that locality. A new house was erected near the site of the one that was burned, and the water-power was used by the construction of saw and grist mills. When Burgoyne swept down from the North
THE HISTORIC STAIRCASE,
General Schuyler had already taken out 6,000 logs, which were directly in the path of the invader, and were lost by fire, together with the mills and the new residence. The fact that the logs were there is claimed by some to prove that Burgoyne was not expected to advance so far to the southward before being stopped. Just after the surrender, General Schuyler built the present edifice, of wood, but it is not occupied to-day by any of his descendants or relatives.
The third “Schuyler house" is the one which has passed into history with that distinctive name. Although it has not the earlier associations
of the other two, yet its memories of the Revolution entitle it to the prominence that it has received, and make it worthy to be sketched by both the pencil and the pen. The Albany of the Revolution was still a stockaded city. To the northward were “the flats,” to the southward were “the pastures," where the city herdsman cared for the cattle and drove them home at night. At a distance of half a mile from the stockade, and just beyond the pastures, stood the mansion of General Schuyler. It was
of honest brick throughout, and not, like most of the city houses, a wooden structure with a veneered front of bricks“ brought from Holland." To-day the walls and the oaken window-sills show no reason why they might not last for centuries to come, unless the onward march of business shall demand the destruction of the relic. So long as it lasts the Schuyler mansion stands as a link between the past and the present. At the time it was built, just before the Revolution, there were still standing, and since destroyed: the Wendell house on the south side of State Street, near Pearl,
with its warehouse door in the center; the Stevenson house, with its broad expanse of front and its spacious hall; the Yates house a little way up the hill; the Killian Van Rensselaer house on the corner of Lodge Street; the Caldwell mansion near the foot of the hill; the resi. dence of Philip Livingston, a signer of the Declaration, on the opposite side of the street; the famous Lydius house, a veteran “gableender," on the corner of Pearl Street; the Vanderheyden Palace, in North Pearl
Street, with its terGERTRUDE SCHUYLER, WIFE OF DR. JOHN COCHRANE.*
raced gables and (From an original sketch made by Madame de Neuville, wife of the French
elaborate weather. Ambassador, while seated on the floor at the feet of Mrs. Cochrane.)
vanes; the more modest Pruyn homestead, close by; the Gansevoort house, in Broadway, where Stanwix Hall now stands; the mansion of David Fonda close at hand; and the house of Teunis Van Vechten, nearly opposite. All of these, and many more, have been destroyed, or have been disguised with modern fronts. Even “the Whitehall” mansion, which the Tories of the Revolution made their headquarters, has lately fallen by fire. The surviv.