Jacob R. Van Rensselaer

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Jacob Rutsen Van Rensselaer
Secretary of State of New York
In office
GovernorDaniel D. Tompkins
Preceded byElisha Jenkins
Succeeded byPeter Buell Porter
Speaker of the
New York State Assembly
In office
Preceded byAlexander Sheldon
Succeeded byJames Emott
Member of the
New York State Assembly
In office
1800, 1808, 1808–09, 1811, 1812, 1812–13, 1814, 1814–15 and 1819
Personal details
Born(1767-09-27)September 27, 1767
Claverack, Province of New York, British America
DiedSeptember 22, 1835(1835-09-22) (aged 67)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Spouse(s)Cornelia De Peyster
RelationsSee Van Rensselaer family
ParentsRobert Van Rensselaer
Cornelia Rutsen
ResidenceJacob Rutsen Van Rensselaer House
EducationWashington Seminary
Alma materYale University

Jacob Rutsen Van Rensselaer (September 27, 1767 – September 22, 1835) was an American lawyer and Federalist politician who served as Speaker of the New York State Assembly from 1812 to 1813, and Secretary of State of New York, from 1813 to 1815.[1]

Early life[edit]

Jacob Rutsen Van Rensselaer was born on September 27, 1767 in Claverack, Columbia County in what was then the Province of New York, a part of British America. He was the second son of Gen. Robert Van Rensselaer (1740–1802) and Cornelia (née Rutsen) Van Rensselaer (1746–1790), who had married in April 1765.[2]

His maternal grandparents were Jacob Rutsen (1716–1753) and Alida (née Livingston) Rutsen (1716–1798). After his grandfather died, his grandmother remarried to Hendrick Van Rensselaer (1712–1793).[2] His paternal grandparents were Johannes Van Rensselaer (1708–1793), a Brigadier General during the American Revolutionary War, a member of the New York Provincial Congress and the 1st New York State Assembly, and Engeltie "Angelica" (née Livingston) Van Rensselaer (1698–1746/47).[3]

He attended Washington Seminary, graduated from Yale University in 1787, studied law and attained admission to the bar.[1]


During the War of 1812, he commanded troops which were drafted in Columbia County, and were ordered to the defense of the city of New York.[1]

Van Rensselaer was a member of the New York State Assembly in 1800, 1808, 1808–09, 1811, 1812, 1812–13, 1814, 1814–15 and 1819; and was Speaker in 1812–13.[1] He was Secretary of State of New York from 1813 to 1815 and was a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1821.[1] He was associated with Gov. DeWitt Clinton in building the Erie Canal.[2]

Personal life[edit]

He married Cornelia De Peyster (1774–1849), the daughter of Pierre Guillaume De Peyster (1745–1807). Her paternal uncle was Arent DePeyster (1736–1822), the British military officer, and her brother, William de Peyster, was married to Mary Roosevelt, niece of Nicholas Roosevelt.[4] Their home, the Jacob Rutsen Van Rensselaer House and Mill Complex, built circa 1805 is today listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[5] Together, they were the parents of:[6]

  • Cornelia Van Rensselaer, who died young.[6]
  • Pierre De Peyster Van Rensselaer (1797–1802), who died young.[6]
  • Cornelia Rensselaer, who died at the age of nineteen.[6]
  • Eliza Bayard Van Rensselaer (1801–1835)
  • Pierre Van Rensselaer, who died at the age of twenty-five.[6]
  • Jacob Rutsen Van Rensselaer, who married Emily Denning,[7] granddaughter of William Denning, in 1848.[6][8]
  • Robert Schuyler Van Rensselaer (c. 1810–1874), who married Virginia Kidd.[6]
  • Jeremiah Van Rensselaer (1812–1874), who married Mary Fleming (1810–1881), daughter of Gilbert Fleming.[6]
  • Catharine Schuyler Van Rensselaer (1813–1838), who died from grief shortly after the death of her father.[6]

After his death in New York City on September 22, 1835, he was buried in the cemetery at the Reformed Dutch Church of Claverack.


  1. ^ a b c d e Hough, M.D., Franklin (1858). The New York Civil List: containing the names and origin of the civil divisions, and the names and dates of election or appointment of the principal state and county officers from the Revolution to the present time. Weed, Parsons and Co. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Reynolds, Cuyler (1914). Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Building of a Nation. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 1158. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  3. ^ Bergen, Tunis Garret (1915). Genealogies of the State of New York: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation. 3. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. OCLC 39110613.
  4. ^ Allaben, Frank (1908). John Watts de Peyster. New York, Frank Allaben Genealogical Company. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  5. ^ Larry E. Gobrecht (July 1982). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Jacob Rutsen Van Rensselaer House and Mill Complex". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2010-07-03. See also: "Accompanying 28 photos".
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Society, National American (1907). Americana, American historical magazine. p. 202. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  7. ^ Murphy, Robert J.; Van Buren, Denise Doring (2003). Beacon Revisited. Arcadia Publishing. p. 13. ISBN 9780738534503.
  8. ^ MacDonough, Rodney (1901). The MacDonough-Hackstaff Ancestry. Press of S. Usher. pp. 159–161. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  • [1] Genealogy of Livingston family
  • [2] Bio at Rootsweb
  • The New York Civil List compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough (pages 33, 57, 173, 181f, 184f, 187ff, 194 and 312; Weed, Parsons and Co., 1858)

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Alexander Sheldon
Speaker of the New York State Assembly
Succeeded by
James Emott
Preceded by
Elisha Jenkins
Secretary of State of New York
Succeeded by
Peter B. Porter