Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site

Albany, United States

Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site

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Schuyler Mansion is a historic house at 32 Catherine Street in Albany, New York, United States. The brick mansion is now a museum and an official National Historic Landmark. It was constructed from 1761 to 1765 for Philip Schuyler, later a general in the Continental Army and early U.S. Senator, who resided there from 1763 until his death in 1804. It was declared a National Historic Landmark on December 24, 1967. It is also a contributing property to the South End–Groesbeckville Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

Revolutionary War General Philip Schuyler began construction on his Georgian-style estate near Albany, New York in 1761. Prior to that time, due to the outbreak of the French and Indian War, it was considered inadvisable to build outside of the City of Albany. Therefore, the construction of the family's mansion occurred from 1761 to 1765, during the tail end of that war. The mansion was built on eighty acres (32 ha) of land, located approximately one-half mile (0.80 km) from the city. At the time that the Schuylers moved into their new home, Philip and his wife, Catherine Van Rensselaer Schuyler, already had three daughters: Angelica, Elizabeth, and Margarita. Margarita was also known as Peggy. During Philip and Catherine's lifetime, Catherine gave birth to fifteen children. However, only eight survived infancy. The seven that did not survive included one set of twins and one set of triplets. Of the eight surviving children, the Schuyler family had their three aforementioned daughters, born in 1756, 1757, and 1758, respectively. These three daughters, born within two and a half years and very much alike, were known as the Schuyler sisters. After the family had settled into the mansion, Catherine gave birth to three boys; John Bradstreet (1765), Philip Jeremiah (1768), and Rensselaer (1773), and then two more girls, Cornelia (1775) and Catherine (1781).During the Schuyler family's occupancy of the mansion, the house served as a center of military, business, and family affairs, including the wedding of Philip and Catherine's second daughter, Elizabeth, to famed Federalist, Alexander Hamilton. The latter portion of the American Revolution saw Philip Schuyler in the position of an intelligence officer for the American side, operating a network of spies out of his home. These activities led to the infiltration of the mansion and failed attempt to kidnap Schuyler on the evening of August 7, 1781. Additionally, the Schuyler family was well known for their hospitality, and the mansion hosted guests such as George and Martha Washington, Benjamin Franklin, the Marquis de Chastellux, and James Madison. The family also hosted the British general during the Battle of Saratoga, John Burgoyne, who stayed at the mansion as a "prisoner guest" in 1777.

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