On this day in 1686, Pieter Schuyler was made the first Mayor of Albany. Schuyler was among Saratoga patentees in 1685.
Pieter Schuyler was a Commissioner for Indian Affairs. Pieter Schuyler served as acting Governor of New York in 1709 and from 1719 – 1720.
Thomas Dongan, Governor of the Province of New York, granted Albany a city charter.
The Dongan Charter united the people of Albany to the British Empire and established the city’s authority. It defined city limits, separating Albany from the Manor of Rensselaerwyck which surrounded it. The Dongan Charter also set up a government and instituted city officers: “…there shall be forever hereafter, within the city, a Mayor, Recorder, Town-Clerk, and six Alderman and six Assistants…one Chamberlain or Treasurer, one Sherriff, one Coroner, one Clerk of the Market, one High Constable, three Sub Constables and one Marshal or Serjeant at Mace.”
Governor Dongan named Peiter Schuyler as Mayor and Robert Livingston as Town Clerk. (Robert Livingston was Schuyler’s brother in law and also a Saratoga Patentee.)
Pieter Schuyler was the son of Philip Pieterse Schuyler and Margarita Van Slichtenhorst, who were from Holland. Pieter Schuyler had 8 children with 5 reaching adulthood. His second marriage was to Maria Van Rensselaer.
General Philip Schuyler was the great nephew of Pieter Schuyler.
Saratoga has been defined by the people who by choice or by chance make up this community. The Schuyler family help defined this community. The village of Schuylerville in the Town of Saratoga is named after the Schuyler family. It is the determination of our forefathers, including Governor Schuyler in surmounting overwhelming odds that help define the American spirit – the will and ability to shape a better future. It is the people it is that define this community by choice or by chance have changed this country and even the world political development. That is why studying the people of Saratoga is helpful in the understanding of the condition of being human.