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Benevolent Patriot: Henry Rutgers, 1745-1830
by David J. Fowler
Photograph of oil portrait by Henry Inman (1801-1846) hanging in the Old Queen's building at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Photograph by Nick Romanenko, Office of University Relations.
[This is a revised version of an essay that originally appeared in the catalog accompanying the exhibition Benevolent Patriot: The Life and Times of Henry Rutgers, February 15-July 30, 2010, Special Collections & University Archives, Archibald S. Alexander Library.]
In early September 1776, Henry Rutgers, the scion of a prominent Dutch-American family, mounted his horse and rode "with a slow step, and an anxious state of mind" across the fields of his father's farm on the East River in Manhattan. As he rode off, he "contemplated my … present situation, and my future prospects." Recent events justified his trepidation. The British army was hard on his heels. Rutgers had been with the American army as a volunteer when it evacuated Brooklyn Heights after the defeat at the battle of Long Island on August 27. Worse, his younger brother Harman was among the first in that engagement who "fell in the Field fighting for the Liberties of his Country." Rutgers returned briefly with the American army to the city, and then was ordered to join the retreating rebels at Harlem Heights. He left aged parents, who had already fled to Albany, as well as property in New York City worth more than that of any other patriot. Shortly after his departure, the "mark of confiscation" was placed on the Rutgers house, which was then occupied by the enemy for the next seven years.
The seventh child of Hendrick Rutgers (1712–1779) and Catharina De Peyster (1711–1779) was born on October 7, 1745 and baptized Hendrick in the Reformed "New Church" on Nassau Street in New York City. His mother belonged to one of the most prominent families in New York. The progenitor of the American branch of the Rutgers family was Rutger Jacobse (d. 1665), who emigrated in 1636 from the village of Schoenderwoerdt in the Netherlands to Fort Orange (Albany) in the colony of New Netherland. The family established itself in New York City around 1690, when Henry's great-grandfather, Harmanus (Harman) Rutgers, relocated there from Albany.
The basis of the family's wealth was in brewing, a craft that required experience handed down through generations. During the eighteenth century, there were at least two breweries in New York City operated by different branches of the family. They found a ready market: alcoholic beverages were, after textiles, the most popular and economically important consumer good in early America. And the brewery's proximity to the urban waterfront meant that there was no lack of customers. Because of their long tradition over four generations as brewers, the Rutgers family has been deemed "the first of the 'brewing families' in America." Even as an octogenarian, Henry Rutgers still felt that beer and porter were "nourishing fluids, which will not injure any man."
The family soon rose to prominence in the affairs of the Anglo-Dutch city. Because of their affluence, Rutgers men naturally achieved the coveted status of freeholder or freeman, which allowed them to vote and to hold offices such as alderman, assessor, assistant, coroner, or militia officer. As such, they were intimately involved in "the localist tendencies of public life." In 1735, Harmanus Rutgers (Hendrick Jr.'s grandfather) served as a grand juror in the precedent-setting libel trial of John Peter Zenger. By the time of his death in 1753, "Captain" Harmanus Rutgers was deemed "a very eminent Brewer … and a worthy honest Man."
The New York City that Hendrick Jr. was born into was a colonial port town of approximately 12,000 people on the periphery of a global empire. The mid-eighteenth-century city where he was reared was a relatively compact triangular space comprising perhaps six thousand yards on each side and four thousand yards across the northern apex. It was indeed a "face-to-face-society" where most people knew one another. Business was conducted in coffeehouses, taverns, public markets, or in the streets. The city's major port facilities were situated on the East River to the south of the Rutgers property. The waterfront was the commercial lifeline of the city and the place where much social interaction took place. It bustled with the activity of seagoing and coasting vessels of all sorts, lighters and other small craft shuttling back and forth on the river, fishermen and oystermen following their callings, and cartmen plying their trade in the streets. The riverfront was also a noisy, dirty, unhealthy, and sometimes dangerous place.
The maritime district spawned several ancillary occupations such as ship chandlers, coopers, carpenters, joiners, sailmakers, and ropemakers. Many of the waterfront area's residents were employed in these endeavors. Because of disruption, noise, and "Noisom Smells," most of the city's manufacturing enterprises—tanneries, breweries, distilleries, slaughterhouses—were relegated to areas north of Wall Street. In the 1760s two ropewalks, which were sheds or alleys hundreds of feet long where cable and hawser were twisted and tarred, flanked the Rutgers farm along Division Street and along its northern boundary.
Hendrick Rutgers Sr. had been apprenticed to a merchant, but in 1753 he inherited the East River plantation that in succeeding years became known as the "Rutgers Farm." The property was located in the Bowery division of the city's Out Ward, a sprawling tract that for decades maintained a rural character of hills, fields, gardens, woods, and marshes. Rutgers soon built a house there "with bricks brought from Holland," which formed the basis of the later Rutgers mansion. At some point he also established a brewery on the farm. Since the Rutgers farm fronted on the East River, the family could also capitalize on related maritime pursuits. In 1772 the New York City Common Council, which owned rights to "land under water," granted water lots to Hendrick Sr., which would be exploited by his heirs.
As early as 1755 part of the Rutgers farm was laid out in lots, which was a shrewd economic move that both facilitated division among the heirs and anticipated future development. By 1764 when his parents gave eighteen-year-old "Hendrick Rutgers Junr" several lots, the farm had been subdivided into at least 600 numbered parcels. Actual development, however, proceeded slowly and intermittently. Similarly, James De Lancey also had a development strategy for his subdivision adjacent to the Rutgers property. Over time, improvements were made to the Rutgers farm so that by the 1770s it consisted of twelve buildings and eighty acres, which included the old farmhouse on Bowery Lane, the new mansion, a brew house, a malt house, a mill, a stable, and other buildings.
Nothing is known of Hendrick Jr.'s upbringing, but it was probably typical of young gentlemen of the time. In contrast to members of the mercurial merchant class who often had to "buy their way into gentlemanly status," he was fortunate in that his family's solid affluence assured his social position. When he reached adulthood, Hendrick's right to append "Esq." or "Gent." to his name would not have been questioned. The Rutgers family was part of the "bewildering web of marriages" characteristic of colonial gentry; in addition to his mother's De Peyster family, the Rutgerses were related by marriage to several other leading families of colonial New York, such as Bancker, Bedlow, Beekman, Clarkson, Gouverneur, LeRoy, and Philipse. One observer quipped that among the Dutch "Cousins in the fifteenth degree are looked upon as nearly related." Throughout his adult life Henry Rutgers strove, not always successfully, to maintain family harmony.
At least one source of family discord was Hendrick Jr.'s brother Harman. In 1770 Harman matriculated at his brother's alma mater, King's College, but left in his second year. Even though Harman was in his mid-twenties when his father made out his will in 1775, the latter stipulated that his youngest son's inheritance was to be held in trust and doled out annually by Henry and his four sisters: "If the Trustees … shall think it prudent to trust my son Harmanus with any small sums of money they may do so, but I desire that they will be careful and sparing in that respect, lest he should misspend the same." In addition to his irresponsible nature, in 1773 Harman had likely merited disapproval by marrying Dorcas Tibbets, a woman of obscure background who was not Dutch and who was possibly regarded as beneath his station.
The younger Hendrick was no doubt instructed in management of the farm where barley was grown for the brewery, as well as in the brewing process. At some point, either formally or informally, he acquired a proficiency in surveying, as well as a practical knowledge of architecture and construction. He would also have learned how to manage workmen, servants, and slaves, several of whom were owned by his father and worked at the brewery. Slaveholding was common among Dutch Americans. During the 1741 New York City slave uprising, another Rutgers family member had had three of his slaves convicted of conspiracy—one was hanged, one burned, and one transported. And John Hughson, the white man who allegedly incited the slaves, may have been gibbeted on the shoreline of the Rutgers property "at a place commonly called Hughsons Point." Like his father and grandfather before him, Henry Rutgers would himself own slaves.
As a young adult, Hendrick's spiritual mentor was reputedly Rev. Archibald Laidlie, a Scot who was brought from the Netherlands in 1763 to preach in English at the Dutch Reformed church in New York City. Commentators noted that by the mid-eighteenth century, the Dutch in colonial New York were beginning to lose their language and their distinctive culture. They had to function in a political, social, commercial, and legal world that after 1664 was dominated by the English. One manifestation of this transition was a serious rift within the Reformed congregation over praying and preaching in English. By 1770, the city was a pluralistic religious marketplace where thirteen different Protestant denominations competed for members. Together with the general acculturating trend among younger Dutch Americans, Reverend Laidlie may have influenced Hendrick Jr. to anglicize his name to "Henry."
For whatever reason, by 1763 when he matriculated at the Anglican, royalist, elitist, and expensive King's College, he was "Henry Rutgers." The young scholar was exceptional for the time in that he attended college. In 1766 he graduated with an A.B. degree and then commenced, at age twenty, the management of his father's business. Rutgers was part of a generation that experienced a seismic shift in allegiance from an overseas monarchy to a homegrown republic. The process by which he became imbued with radical Whig ideology is unclear; in the mid-1760s he may have been influenced by the Sons of Liberty led by the "radical triumvirate" of John Lamb, Isaac Sears, and Alexander McDougall. In contrast to others of the "better sort," Rutgers demonstrated sympathy for populist causes throughout his public life. He was listed as a freeholder in the city elections in 1769. He first entered public life in 1775 when he was appointed tax assessor for the Out Ward.
Many of his fellow citizens, however, maintained their loyalty to the Crown. The King's College governors, faculty, and alumni were preponderantly loyalist in sentiment. The majority of merchants who comprised the New York Chamber of Commerce, which represented the city's commercial elite, also had "decidedly Tory leanings." Thomas Jones, a state supreme court justice who lived on nearby Mount Pitt, was one of the most prominent New York loyalists, as was the Rutgers family's neighbor to the west of Division Street, James De Lancey. In general, the counties in southern New York surrounding the city were strongholds of loyalism. Henry Rutgers, therefore, was definitely going against the trend of his peers.
So when thirty-year-old Henry Rutgers took that anxious ride across the Rutgers farm in late summer 1776, he had much to lose. Since social status and rank in the army went hand-in-hand, it is not surprising that shortly after the battle of Harlem Heights, Rutgers was listed as a lieutenant "fit for duty" in the "N. levies" (i.e., new levies, or recruits) under Col. William Malcom. He was present on October 28 at the battle of White Plains with "the little disheartened band" of Americans who were saved from a nocturnal bayonet attack by a nor'easter that providentially delayed the enemy. White Plains was apparently his last combat experience.
In 1777 Gen. Israel Putnam, who commanded posts on the Hudson River, appointed Rutgers a "deputy muster master" of the army. For the remainder of the war he acted in an administrative capacity in recruiting and mustering troops. While not glorious, the task of a muster master was crucial to the war effort: in order to conduct campaign operations, to garrison towns, forts, and other posts, and to assess state quotas for troops and supplies, the commander-in-chief had to know how many "effectives" (i.e., men fit for service) that he actually had. In 1776, Gen. George Washington argued that without accurate troop returns, "it is impossible that the business of an Army can be conducted with any degree of regularity, or propriety," and he enjoined "the utmost importance to be frequently certified of our whole strength and Stores." No doubt in recognition of both his social status and his patriotism, the first state legislature that met in Kingston in September 1777 appointed Henry Rutgers a representative for the city and county of New York. He excused himself because of his military responsibilities, however, and consequently his seat was declared vacant.
The task of a muster master was not without its aggravations and rigors. Officers were tardy or careless in submitting timely returns of their units in the prescribed form. Rutgers's circuit included posts in the Hudson Valley, such as New Windsor, Fishkill, Peekskill, and West Point, and sometimes points beyond. In one instance, troop movements required that he undertake an arduous ride of fifty miles in the dead of winter. His attention to duty was recognized by his superior, Lt. Col. Richard Varick, who in January 1779 recommended him to John Jay, President of the Continental Congress, to fill a vacancy in the Continental army's Commissary General of Musters Department. Consequently, on April 6 Congress appointed Rutgers a "Deputy Commissary General of Musters" with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He had now graduated to the level of a Continental staff officer. But 1779 also saw three great personal losses: his parents died in Albany ("that melancholy event"), as did his mentor Rev. Archibald Laidlie, who was in exile from his parish. These losses, added to his brother's death in 1776 and the precarious situation of the family birthright, must have weighed heavily on his mind.
Despite his promotion, the frustrations of the position caused Lieutenant Colonel Rutgers to lament at one point: "I am wasting … time in pursuit of what will only serve the present, and be of no real advantage to me in future." But he took solace in the fact that "I have bestowed my mite towards the salvation of my country." In an effort to economize, moreover, in late 1779 Congress decided to merge the functions of Rutgers's department with that of the newly created Inspector General's department under the command of Major General Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben. As a result, by January 1780 Rutgers and several of his fellow-officers were "deranged," i.e., without a position in the army. This state of affairs occasioned one of Colonel Rutgers's more caustic outbursts:
Most people who know anything of the Nature of the Department are amazed at the Stupidity of the Measure …. Perhaps some of the members of Congress had friends out of employ & the good natur'd Baron had promised to shoulder them forward in his new fangled Department. Thank fortune and the … Congress I am now disengaged …. I shall enjoy the consolation of being secure from the Capricious decrees of Congress. I have little expectation of … succeeding in getting our subsistence paid us … or even our extra expenses …. Good Heavens! Is this the virtuous C__ the Body that excited the admiration of the world? How are the mighty fallen? Take a general View of their conduct, and all appears to be going wrong ….
As to his future, Rutgers determined "to now retire to some secure retreat … until more prosperous times put's me in possession of my Estate now in the hands of the Enemy." And in contrast to the niggling of Congress, he hoped that "the fruitful fields no doubt will amply repay my labour."
But Henry Rutgers was not to return to civilian life just yet. Thanks to the good offices of Gov. George Clinton, on July 1, 1780 he was appointed a "Lieut. Colonel in the Levies" and thus was back in the role, on the state level, of overseeing recruiting. Clinton's patronage provides an example of the importance of "connexions" in late eighteenth-century society. Around this same time Clinton also appointed Rutgers a commissioner to cosign a new emission of paper money; his compensation was to be a quarter-dollar for every one hundred bills he signed. The war years were not totally taken up with business, however. There were occasions for socializing with family and friends—or for giving advice to a young nephew. In November 1782 he wrote to "Master Henry Bancker," who was in school in Albany, and encouraged him to learn surveying and navigation. Rutgers even offered to loan his "case of Mathematical instruments" and related books, but added an avuncular admonition: "The instruments you must be very carefull of, as they are costly, and none to be had at this time." Uncle Henry also forecast that after this winter, "I am in hopes we shall be at New York"—prophetic words, as it turned out.
Henry Rutgers's native city had endured a long ordeal of enemy occupation. Shortly after the British arrived in September 1776, a fire—either accidentally or deliberately set—devastated a large portion of the lower city, including an iconic part of the skyline, Trinity Church. Another fire in August 1778 wreaked similar destruction along the waterfront. The Rutgers farm was ringed with defensive artillery emplacements originally built by the American army. The Royal Navy had commandeered the East River shipyards immediately south of the farm.
In 1778, the British made a ward-by-ward assessment of the property of New Yorkers who fled the city. The Rutgers property was valued at £80,000, an enormous sum for the time and worth far more than that of any other city patriot who was "in actual rebellion." Throughout the war, enemy forces were garrisoned along the East River in the vicinity of the farm. In October 1779, for instance, the German Bayreuth Regiment camped "near Corlears hook," which was on the river a little to the north of the property. The old Rutgers farmhouse in Bowery Lane was rented out for £5. During the occupation the city's population ebbed and flowed based on troop movements, the arrivals and departures of fleets, and loyalists who sought refuge there.
At various times during the occupation, the Rutgers mansion was apparently used to quarter officers, as a barracks, and as a hospital. Part of the brew house was used as a kitchen for the "Hessian hospital," which indicates that the nearby mansion may have been used as a hospital. In July 1779 the kitchen was moved to another building "much nearer the hospital," and the brew house and an adjoining stable were then used as a depot for naval stores. Bodies of Hessian dead were likely buried on the Rutgers farm. Occupying forces no doubt despoiled the property. Crops were trampled, gardens ruined, and orchards and woodlots were cut and buildings and fences pulled down for firewood. The winter of 1780, in particular, was one of the most severe in memory. While American troops suffered in Morristown, thousands of British, German, and loyalist troops shivered in their cantonments in New York. One late casualty of the war was the Rutgers brewery, which was burned, either by accident or by arson, shortly before the British evacuated. It was apparently never rebuilt.
When the American army retook possession of New York on November 25, 1783 (Evacuation Day), they inherited a city in ruins. The population had declined from a prewar figure of approximately 25,000 to a mere 12,000. Many still lived in "Canvas Town," where sailcloth was used to cover ruined and fire-damaged buildings. The New York City Common Council soon established a committee on wartime losses. Some of those left behind were an undesirable element: "idle wicked and dissolute persons" committed "frequent Robberies Thefts & violent Breaches of the Peace." In addition, there were "other abandoned Vagrants and Prostitutes whom the ordinary process of justice hath not awed nor reclaimed." The British left other more macabre reminders of their presence: in 1785 and in 1788, bodies were found buried in Catherine Street on the southern boundary of the Rutgers farm. They were exhumed and reinterred elsewhere.
After the war, Henry Rutgers returned home and proceeded to assess and to recoup his losses at the "Rapacious hands" of the enemy, and to settle his late father's estate. It is unclear if he was with General Washington and Governor Clinton on November 25 when they made their triumphal procession from the Bull's Head Tavern on Bowery Lane into the liberated city; if not, he arrived shortly thereafter. No doubt in recognition of both his social status and his wartime service, in December 1783 a "general meeting of the Committee of Mechanicks" nominated Henry Rutgers and former Sons of Liberty John Lamb, Isaac Sears, and Marinus Willett as a slate of candidates for the assembly. They won in a landslide, the former refugees and army veterans no doubt cowing any opposition—it must have been sweet revenge. Rutgers thus attended the Seventh Session of the assembly that met at City Hall in New York between January and May 1784. His wartime losses at the hands of the British probably influenced him to vote in favor of a punitive five percent impost on all imports from the British West Indies.
In 1784 Rutgers also found it necessary to petition the Confederation Congress on behalf of himself and two fellow-officers who had been deranged from the muster-master department in 1779 for their arrears of pay and year's advance of salary that they felt was due them. Congress instead recommended to the governor of New York in June 1785 that the state settle with them for the value in specie, and charge the amount to the United States. Not until April 1786, however, did the state assembly pass "An act for the relief of Henry Rutgers, and others." Certain issues still remained unresolved, because in August 1787 Rutgers again petitioned Congress for redress. Consequently, in February 1789 the state legislature passed another law regarding the claim.
Along with his patron George Clinton, Rutgers espoused an antifederalist platform. As such, he was in a minority in Federalist-dominated New York City, and was even snubbed in Federalist social circles. Richard Varick, his former superior officer in the Continental army and mayor of New York in 1789, for example, was a leading Federalist. Rutgers ran for assemblyman in 1788 on the antifederalist ticket, but was defeated when the Federalists swept the election in the city. In 1794 the Democratic Society of New York, which advocated Jeffersonian principles, was founded. Henry Rutgers was elected a vice president, and the following two years he served as the organization's president. He was part of the "Republican Whig" state assembly ticket for the southern district in April 1796 that lost to the Federalists over Jay's Treaty and other issues. His involvement in the Democratic Society may explain why, although he was eligible, he was apparently not a member of the Society of the Cincinnati, which was an elitist, hereditary, and controversial fraternal organization of former Continental army officers. In the mid-1790s Rutgers was also a governor of the New York Hospital.
Like other citizens of the new nation, Rutgers had to weather the postwar depression of the 1780s. In early 1785 he advertised his "Seat … near Corlears-Hook" for rent as "one of the most agreeable and convenient Villas in the suburbs," which may indicate that he was in straitened circumstances. He provided one impetus to the local economy in 1786, however, when he and other residents of the Out Ward petitioned the Common Council of New York City "to erect a public market-house at Catharine Slip, at their own expense." That June, Rutgers attended a council meeting to announce "that the Market House at Catharine Slip was erected & ready for the reception & accomdation [sic] of Butchers & Country people." The market proved popular and was subsequently enlarged several times. In late 1788 Rutgers sought to exploit the proximity of his property to the waterfront by petitioning the Common Council "for a Grant of the Soil under Water" opposite his land at Corlears Hook in order to build a slip; the next year the council granted his petition, and Rutgers Slip was constructed.
Rutgers also joined, in 1789, other prominent New Yorkers such as George Clinton, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay as a subscriber to the bipartisan New York Manufacturing Society, which unsuccessfully attempted to establish textile factories to employ the "honest poor." By 1791, Rutgers's finances had apparently recovered sufficiently to establish "near his dwelling house at the ship-yards" a "Bleach-field & Thread Manufactory … with every apparatus necessary for carrying on the business in an extensive manner." He leased the enterprise to Matthew Adam, who advertised that he was conducting it "on the most approved and satisfactory method … upon the Dutch plan."
Once back in the city, Rutgers soon resumed his role in public affairs. He was elected an assessor for the Out Ward (renamed the Seventh Ward in 1791), and more frequently, because of his reputation for probity, appointed an election inspector. When he was appointed an inspector in September 1790, for instance, the designated polling place was the well-known Bull's Head Tavern in Bowery Lane. Elections in the new nation were boisterous, rowdy, corrupt, and sometimes violent affairs. In the fall of 1803 when the Common Council designated the Presbyterian church on East Rutgers Street a polling place, Rutgers refused to open the church and complained that the "Corporation had no right to order the Election held in his Church and that it should not be open for that purpose being liable to receive injury." But because the nearby tenement he provided as an alternative was not the officially designated polling place, the Common Council declared the election void. Overall, the Seventh Ward had the lowest proportion of freeholders to renters in the city: of the 3,136 people who voted in the Seventh Ward in 1807, thirteen percent were freeholders as compared to eighty-six percent who rented. The demographic of the neighborhood was definitely changing.
By 1788, Rutgers was also a major in the First Regiment of Militia of the City and County of New York, which was commanded by Maj. Gen. William Malcom. Because New York then served as the new nation's capital, it was a high-profile position. One highlight of the period occurred in 1789 when (now) "Lieutenant Colonel, Commandant" Rutgers led his militia regiment at George Washington's inaugural parade. Another was in July 1790 when the regiment paraded on the Rutgers property; they were commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Rutgers and were reviewed by President Washington, Governor Clinton, and the chiefs of the Creek tribe. In March 1795, however, citing "the increase of my business and the consequent daily avocations in which I am necessarily engaged," Rutgers resigned his commission in the state militia, thus ending nearly twenty years' military service on behalf of his country. For the rest of his life, nonetheless, he would be known as "Colonel Rutgers."
One major problem in the late 1790s developed out of Rutgers's relationship with John Lamb, the former leader of the New York Sons of Liberty. In 1789, Lamb received the lucrative federal appointment as collector of customs for the Port of New York. In compliance with law, Rutgers and three other gentlemen stood surety for Lamb in the amount of $50,000. In 1796, however, an audit revealed that a dishonest clerk in Lamb's department embezzled a large sum of money. Lamb was forced to resign in 1797, and in 1799 the United States Attorney for New York sued Lamb, Rutgers, and some of the other sureties; Aaron Burr represented Rutgers. In February 1801, and again in March 1802, Rutgers and the other sureties petitioned Congress for a release from the obligations of their bond on the grounds that the Treasury Department was negligent in its oversight. Congress took no action, however, and in March 1803 the U.S. District Court for New York gave a judgment in favor of the United States. To his credit, Rutgers did make a good-faith effort to settle the matter, which was not accomplished until 1808.
With the death of his father, Colonel Rutgers had become the family patriarch. He never married, but a significant development on the domestic scene was his adoption in 1789 of John P. (1785–1806) and William Bedlow Crosby (1786–1865), who were the sons of Rutgers's niece Catharine Bedlow (1757–1789) and her husband Dr. Ebenezer Crosby (1753–1788), who had served as a surgeon in George Washington's Life Guard. Both parents died within a few months of each other. On her deathbed, Catharine Bedlow Crosby chose her uncle Henry to be the boys' guardian "in preference to nearer relatives on account of his piety."
Rutgers was now primarily a developer, landlord, and rentier who amassed wealth from leases and investments; as such, he represented a trend in the new nation toward owning not only material wealth, but also liquid, financial assets. Early nineteenth-century Manhattan has been described as an "irregular collection of mostly regular grids." One of the most distinctive of those "regular grids" was the Rutgers farm. Originally subdivided in 1755, the Rutgers farm was surveyed again the next year, in 1775 (in conjunction with his father making out a will), in the 1790s, and in 1813. The property was ultimately defined by Montgomery, Division, Catherine, and Cherry streets, which in later years comprised a significant portion of the Lower East Side neighborhood. Actual development initially proceeded slowly, but accelerated during the 1790s. Over time, hills were leveled, marshy areas filled, and the shoreline extended into the East River. Like other Manhattan developers, Henry Rutgers benefited from the burgeoning postwar urban population: 33,000 in 1790, 60,000 in 1800, 96,000 in 1810, 123,000 in 1820 and, by the year of his death in 1830, 202,000. And like most entrepreneurs of the time he was also a venture capitalist: by the early 1820s, he had invested in the Rutgers textile mill in Paterson, New Jersey.
Rutgers's modus operandi in developing his property was to grant "ground leases" (i.e., long-term leases) either for buildings he himself had constructed, or to stipulate that the lessee construct a building according to specifications. Some of the buildings were used as residences, stores, or shops, such as that of the druggist Benjamin Underhill. Because of the property's proximity to the waterfront, some lessees were engaged in ancillary maritime pursuits. In 1797, the partnership of M'Bride and Blaire advertised a "sawing Business at Col. Rutgers on the East River," which was probably conducted on land leased from the latter. Likewise, in 1820 landlord Rutgers leased a property to Whitehead Hicks, "Lumber Merchant." In 1802, Rutgers gently chided his adopted grand-nephew William B. Crosby, who at age sixteen had been entrusted with managing his uncle's real estate, for leasing a sawpit and lumberyard at too favorable a rate: "Should I now give in to the measure of lowering my Rents to suit individuals, I may give up the Idea of your making a permanent bargain for any of my property." He could not resist closing with avuncular advice: "do not get wet feet … wet feet promote disorders." A typical lease might be for twenty-one years at sixty dollars per year paid quarterly. It was guaranteed annual income.
An important method of controlling development was to require compliance with specified conditions. In May 1826, for example, Rutgers leased a lot to the mason Thompson Price. The lease stipulated that Price "build and erect a good substantial and workmanlike brick dwelling house not less than forty feet in depth, and not less than two stories in height, on the front of the said … premises, and so as to cover the whole front; but at no period of the term … shall there be more than one dwelling house." He also required his permission for leaseholders to sell their leases and reserved to himself first option to buy. Thus Rutgers was not only complying with state law regarding use of building materials that guarded against the ever-present danger from fire, he also maintained control over density of development and related quality-of-life issues. Uncontrolled development resulted in situations such as that at Corlears Hook, an impoverished neighborhood where in 1819 one building reportedly housed 103 people.
Late in life, Colonel Rutgers congratulated himself on the development of the former Rutgers farm: "I now see the desolate fields entirely filled with the cheerful dwellings of men, free, independent, and happy!" One foreign traveler admired the private residences on Harman (later East Broadway), Henry, Madison, and Monroe streets. But Rutgers did not have complete control over how the property evolved. Many of the Seventh Ward's tavern brawls and street disturbances in the early nineteenth century were centered near Corlears Hook or in the vicinity of Catherine and Bancker (later Madison) streets. Bancker Street, where blacks and whites loitered at all hours around the numerous grog shops, was particularly notorious. Rutgers owned several properties on Bancker Street. In general, during the early nineteenth century the East River wards were evolving into "an unusual mix of vice and wealth." Corlears Hook, in particular, ultimately became one of the most notorious and squalid "sex districts."
After a hiatus of sixteen years, Henry Rutgers rode the wave of Jeffersonian ascendancy when he was again elected to the New York Assembly for 1800–01 as a Republican representative for the City and County of New York. He was reelected in 1802, in 1804, in 1804–05, in 1807, and finally, in 1808. Although not an eloquent orator or debater, "by his stirling good sense, he acquired an influence." He apparently exerted a meliorating influence: "his unimpeachable moral character and uniform consistency gained him the confidence and respect of those who were his opponents." He often exerted his influence "in moderating animosity, and suppressing the feelings of rancour." The legislature also appointed him an elector for the presidential elections of 1808, 1816, and 1820. When the Society of Tammany, which was originally founded as a fraternal and benevolent association and then became politicized over time, constructed its first permanent "Wigwam" in 1811–12, Henry Rutgers served on its building committee.
Typical of the time, Assemblyman Rutgers was not averse to using his position behind-the-scenes to try to influence the legislative process in order to facilitate a private matter. His adopted grandnephew John P. Crosby had traveled to Jamaica to take possession of a plantation there to which he was heir. While on the island he contracted a fever and died in 1806. When his younger brother William B. Crosby attempted to claim the inheritance, the governor of Jamaica instead escheated the property on the grounds that Crosby was an alien. Henry Rutgers then attempted to use his influence in the state assembly to make passage of a pending bill regarding the estate of Sir William Pulteney, which dealt with extensive landholdings in western New York, attendant upon Crosby either gaining satisfaction in Jamaica or being indemnified from property of British subjects in the United States. In February 1807 Rutgers wrote confidently to Crosby that the matter was "beyond all doubt of successful issue." Nevertheless, by April Rutgers had to inform Crosby that the Pulteney bill had passed in committee of the whole, and that consequently he had to prosecute the matter in Jamaica.
When war once again loomed with Great Britain in 1812, Colonel Rutgers supported what was a divisive and unpopular conflict. Shortly after news of the declaration of war arrived in New York, a meeting was held in City Hall Park on June 24 to express approval of the measure. The assemblage chose Rutgers chairman of the meeting and chose as secretary his friend, Marinus Willett. Rutgers transmitted the proceedings and resolutions of the meeting to President James Madison. In August 1814 two public meetings regarding the defense of the city were held at the park, both of which Rutgers chaired. The previous December, Rutgers was among the group of prominent men whom the inventor Robert Fulton invited to join the Coast Defense Society. He served on committees that raised funds and supervised the construction of Fulton's novel, steam-powered warship, which was constructed at Brown's shipyard at Corlears Hook but was completed after the war ended. On the vessel's third trial run in September 1815, it departed from Corlears Hook and returned to Rutgers Slip. In December of that year Rutgers coauthored a report on the construction of the vessel, which also eulogized the inventor, who had died the previous February.
It is said that Henry Rutgers resolved to devote one-quarter of his income to charitable causes. While that may or may not be true, it is more certain that "it was a remark which he often made, that, with regard to his charities, he was resolved to be his own executor." His numerous benefactions over several decades, some of which were anonymous, were in three interrelated areas: poor relief, education, and religious institutions. One contemporary estimated that Rutgers donated $10,000 yearly to the poor. He would also remit the rents of tenants who were unable to pay, a kindness which "secured the strong affection of the poorer classes of the community … dwelling on his property."
Rutgers was particularly passionate about education. His support of education was recognized by the state legislature in 1802 when they appointed him a regent of the state university. Between 1804 and 1817, he also served on the board of trustees of the College of New Jersey at Princeton; he subscribed five thousand dollars to the vice president's fund. Rutgers supported the education of divinity students, and "frequently gave them a home in his house, while they were pursuing their studies." His will stipulated that the customary funeral expenses be kept at a minimum so that more money could go to the infant school society.
His benefactions extended to all educational levels. In 1805 the Free School Society was incorporated to provide secular education for the children of the "laboring poor" who were otherwise excluded from denominational schools. One year later Henry Rutgers donated two adjoining lots in Henry Street for a new school, and was part of the committee that supervised construction of the building. In October 1811 "New York Free School No. 2" was completed, and it accepted its first class of neighborhood children on November 13. In the school's early years, Rutgers visited regularly. In January 1812, for instance, he "Examined the Boys in arithmetic—was well pleased with their performance, and heard several classes of Boys and Girls in reading and spelling." From 1810 to 1830, he served as a trustee of the renamed Public School Society. Upon the death in 1828 of its first president, De Witt Clinton, Rutgers succeeded to the office of president.
Henry Rutgers's most enduring educational legacy resulted from the renaming of Queen's College in New Brunswick, New Jersey in his honor. Starting in 1816, Rutgers had served as a trustee of the college, although he actually attended only two annual meetings. His tenure on the board coincided with a troubled period in the college's history: there was conflict between the college trustees and the General Synod of the Reformed Church over governance, curriculum, and funding. In 1816, for the second time in its history, undergraduate education was suspended. Pleading ill health and inability to attend meetings, but possibly also because of the institution's problems, Rutgers resigned in 1821. As president of the Corporation of the Reformed Church, however, he maintained enough of an interest in the institution to both host and chair at his house in March 1822 a meeting of the "Committees of Conference appointed by the Board of Corporation of the General Synod & the Trustees of Queen's College" for the purpose of resolving the dispute over finances.
In May 1825, the Queen's College trustees appointed Rev. Philip Milledoler professor of theology. Milledoler was a noted churchman who was also pastor of the Collegiate Dutch Church in New York, where Henry Rutgers was an elder. No doubt in deference to Rutgers's reputation for piety and benevolence, and also in hopes of a large donation, Milledoler suggested at a meeting of members of the General Synod on September 15, 1825, that they rename the college in honor of Rutgers, which was unanimously approved by both the synod and the trustees. That same day, the trustees also elected Reverend Milledoler president of the renamed college. On November 30 the state legislature approved the name change, and so Queen's College officially became Rutgers College. Early in 1826, Rutgers gave the eponymous institution $200 for the purchase of a bell to be hung in the new cupola of the college building—the bell is still rung today on special occasions. In May of that year he also gave a bond (dated March 27) for $5000 to the synod to be held in trust for the benefit of the college, the interest on which was to be paid semiannually.
Rutgers's support of religious institutions was a natural outgrowth of his upbringing in the Dutch Reformed Church, his personal piety, and a general "culture of benevolence." There are several anecdotes regarding his piety, which was practiced both in the domestic and public spheres. In politics, "he never took part in any important measure, without making it a subject of special prayer." He made several donations of land to Dutch Reformed, Presbyterian, and Baptist churches, usually with the stipulation that the land revert to him if a church was not built in a specified time. In 1789, the heirs of Hendrick Rutgers gave to Shearith Israel congregation in New York "a small Spot of Ground … for a Slope of a Whall" adjacent to their cemetery, the oldest Jewish burial ground in North America.
From its founding in 1816 until his death in 1830, Rutgers was a member of the Board of Managers of the American Bible Society, the oldest national benevolent society. During its early years, he made donations to the organization, served on committees, and authored reports. In December 1816 Rutgers reported to the Society on the request of a Bible society in North Carolina for Bibles printed in foreign languages for the use of European immigrants on the frontier. Reminiscent of the dispute over preaching in English in Dutch churches during the 1760s, he also added the recommendation:
The committee beg leave to observe that however desirable they are to accommodate the Emigrants with the Word of Life in their Native Language, they contemplate a day not far distant, when all Citizens of the United States will be compelled from necessity to embrace that language in which the Laws of the Land are promulgated, and every Citizen of course must for the convenience of Trade and intercourse, yield the use of their native language to that of the Country in which they reside.
He left a bequest in his will to the American Bible Society "to be expended in printing stereotype bibles."
Henry Rutgers was both a product of, and an agent of the "Age of Benevolence" (1790–1840). His humanitarianism exemplifies a bridge between the older form of private charity and the newer form of philanthropy that was channeled through the proliferation of voluntary associations such as the Free School Society or the American Bible Society. He evidently practiced both forms simultaneously. One well-remembered charity was that every New Year's Day he gave to the children of his neighborhood a cake and a religious tract. When infirmity prevented him from personally distributing the gifts, they were given through the Sabbath schools affiliated with the three churches in his ward.
In his later years Rutgers periodically suffered health problems. He died at home on February 17, 1830. A contemporary noted the passing of "the most benevolent man in this city," and commented that "his death at this inclement season will be severely felt" by the poor. On February 19, a special meeting of the Common Council, before which Rutgers had appeared numerous times over the years, was called to announce his death. They resolved that "as a testimonial of the high estimation which they entertain for his public and private Virtues," the entire council would attend his funeral. A memorial service was held on February 28 at the Market Street Presbyterian Church, at which his friend and pastor Rev. William McMurray delivered a eulogy. Rutgers was initially buried in the Reformed Church on Nassau Street (the same church in which he was baptized), then removed in 1858 to the Middle Church in Lafayette Place, and finally, in 1865, interred in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn.
Henry Rutgers's life over eight decades focused on family, religion, neighborhood, community, and country. Hardly a letter passed to family or friends that did not close by conveying compliments to several people. It was his maxim to "above all Study to keep harmony in the family." In the case of his sister Anna Bancker, however, it was said that "she not only loved him extremely but feared him extremely," a comment which, along with other evidence, suggests a personality that used his wealth and influence to gain or maintain control. Certain family members were disgruntled over their share of his estate. Why he never married is a matter of conjecture—it was never addressed in any extant contemporary source. Given his social prominence, piety, and benevolence, he was certainly not a licentious, avaricious, selfish, "disorderly bachelor" who, it was felt, threatened the stability of the early Republic; nor was he a "sporting male" type of bachelor who reveled in fighting, gaming, drinking, and womanizing. His numerous acts of charity may to some extent have compensated emotionally and psychologically for his not marrying.
Henry Rutgers was a lifelong New Yorker. With the exception of his military service during the Revolutionary War and his tenure in the New York legislature, he spent his entire life in the city of his birth. He was passionately concerned about his city and his neighborhood, and occasionally addressed in person or petitioned the Common Council regarding local issues. There were, admittedly, also benefits to himself, such as his agitation to construct new wharves and piers in the East River of stone instead of wood. But despite his civic involvement, he was not immune from being cited for nuisances on his properties. In 1803 and 1804, he had used his influence both with the Common Council and in the state legislature "to extend the right of Suffrage" in the city. When in January 1830 it was obvious that Colonel Rutgers was "nearly lost to us," Mayor Walter Bowne eulogized
This excellent man, this philanthropist who has always devoted himself to the great interests of his native City, and of his country, and shown [shone] conspicuously in the path of piety, and in all the charities of society …. His countrys [sic] good was his great object and he was a patriot in whom the people steadily reposed their confidence and delighted to Honor.
A little over one month later, Henry Rutgers's last words paid fitting tribute to the place he loved: "home! home!" And the "mark of confiscation" placed by the British in 1776 still remained on his door.
- ^ The only retrospective source in Henry Rutgers's own words regarding his Revolutionary War experience is "Colonel Rutgers's Address," Magazine of the Reformed Dutch Church 2 (Oct. 1827): 212–"113" [i.e., 213]. Anecdotal material is in William McMurray, A Sermon Occasioned by the Death of Col. Henry Rutgers (New York, 1830), 20–21, 26–27 note (hereafter cited as McMurray, Sermon); it is unclear if Henry Rutgers had a formal rank in the army at this time, but McMurray comments (p. 20) that he "offered himself, as a volunteer." On the death of Harman (Harmanus) Rutgers, see Henry Rutgers to Gerard De Peyster, Aug. 30, 1776, Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries, New Brunswick, N.J. (hereafter cited as RUL). Rutgers commented: "More easily may it be conceived than expressed … it is an act of Divine Providence. As such must submit to the hand that gave the Blow." Since De Peyster (his brother-in-law) was in Albany and Rutgers asked him to tell his parents about Harman's death "in the most easy and gentle way," it is evident that they had already left the city. See also "Extract of a Letter from New-York, dated August 27, 1776" in Peter Force, comp., American Archives (Washington, D.C., 1848), 5th series, 1: 1184. Forty-five years after the event, a fellow-soldier still remembered Harman's death, William Crolius affidavit in George Cortelyea pension application (S12712), Revolutionary War Pension Application Files, U.S. National Archives. On the battle of Long Island, see Mark M. Boatner III, Encyclopedia of the American Revolution (Mechanicsburg, Pa., 1994), 647–56; Thomas W. Field, The Battle of Long Island (Brooklyn, N.Y., 1869); and Henry P. Johnston, The Campaign of 1776 Around New York and Brooklyn (Brooklyn, N.Y., 1878). Johnston mentions (p. 198) that Harman Rutgers "was struck in the breast by a cannon-shot," and also that according to family tradition, he was the first man killed in the battle. On September 24, 1776, a Hessian officer reported: "The houses of the rebels, now deserted, have all been marked G.R. [i.e., George Rex] and confiscated," Revolution in America: Confidential Letters and Journals, 1776–1784, of Adjutant General Major Baurmeister of the Hessian Forces, trans. and ed. Bernhard A. Uhlendorf (New Brunswick, N.J., 1957), 50 (hereafter cited as Baurmeister, Letters and Journals).
- ^ Genealogical information about the Rutgers family is found in the following sources: Ernest H. Crosby, "The Rutgers Family of New York," New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 17 (April 1886): 82–93 (hereafter cited as NYG&B Rec.); and Crosby, "A Brief Account of the Ancestry and Descendants of William Bedlow Crosby, of New York, and of Harriet Ashton Clarkson, His Wife," NYG&B Rec. 30 (Jan. 1899): 9–10, and (April 1899): 74–78; and "Copy of Rutgers Family Bible," NYG&B Rec. 30 (Oct. 1899): 243–54. George Olin Zabriskie corrects some errors made by E. H. Crosby in "Rutgers Family in New Netherland and New York," Halve Maen: Quarterly Magazine of the Dutch Colonial Period in America 41 (Oct. 1966): 9–10, 12, 15. See also Waldron Phoenix Belknap Jr., The De Peyster Genealogy (Boston, Mass., 1956); Margherita Arlina Hamm, Famous Families of New York, 2 vols. (New York, 1901), 2: 105–13; Whitehead Cornell Duyckinck and John Cornell, The Duyckinck and Allied Families (New York: Tobias A. Wright, 1908); Francis Bazley Lee, ed., Genealogical and Memorial History of the State of New Jersey, 4 vols. (New York, 1910), 2: 420–22; Berthold Fernow, comp. and ed., Calendar of Wills on File and Recorded in the Offices of the Clerk of the Court of Appeals, of the County Clerk at Albany, and of the Secretary of State, 1626–1836 (New York, 1896); Names of Persons for Whom Marriage Licenses Were Issued by the Secretary of the Province of New York, Previous to 1784 (Albany, N.Y., 1860); Collections of the New-York Genealogical and Biographical Society, Vol. 1, Marriages from 1639 to 1801 in the Reformed Dutch Church, New York (New York, 1890); Kenneth Scott, Genealogical Data from Colonial New York Newspapers (Baltimore, Md., 1977); and Henry B. Dawson, Introduction, The Case of Elizabeth Rutgers versus Joshua Waddington (Morrisania, N.Y., 1866), vi–xii. In September 1696, "Harmen Rutgerson, Brewer" appeared on a list of freemen of New York City, and again in February 1701 as "Harmanus Rutgerse, Brewer," The Burghers of New Amsterdam and the Freemen of New York, 1675–1866 (New York, 1886), 59, 76.
- ^ Paul G. E. Clemens points out that after cloth and clothing, "the most important consumer good was probably alcohol." "The Consumer Culture of the Middle Atlantic, 1760–1820," William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, 62 (Oct. 2005): 580n3. On the Rutgers family as brewers, see Stanley Baron, Brewed in America: A History of Beer and Ale in the United States (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1962), 21, 25, 27, 28, 69, 103; the quote is on p. 28. On alcohol consumption in general, see W. J. Rorabaugh, The Alcoholic Republic: An American Tradition (New York, 1979); and Morris Weeks Jr., Beer and Brewing in America (New York, 1949). The Henry Rutgers quote is from "Colonel Rutgers's Address," Magazine of the Reformed Dutch Church 2 (Oct. 1827): "113" [i.e., 213]. Unfortunately, the account books of the Rutgers brewery are not extant, but a sense of how the business functioned can be extrapolated from account book entries in the early 1770s by William D. Faulkner, a New York City brewer who was a contemporary of the Rutgers family, William D. Faulkner Account Books, New-York Historical Society, New York, N.Y.; Faulkner sold beer to both the American army and the British army, as well as to many vessels.
- ^ The public careers of Rutgers men in colonial New York are best traced in Minutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1675–1776, 8 vols. (New York, 1905) (hereafter cited as MCC, 1675–1776); check the comprehensive index in volume 8 under the Rutgers surname. In November 1734, Harmanus Rutgers Jr. and "Henry" (i.e., Hendrick) Rutgers are both listed as "shopkeepers" on a roll of freemen, Burghers of New Amsterdam and Freemen of New York, 124. The quote is from Gordon Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution (New York, 1992), 245. On the Zenger trial, see Livingston Rutherford, John Peter Zenger: His Press, His Trial, and a Bibliography of Zenger Imprints (New York, 1904); and James Alexander, A Brief Narrative of the Case and Trial of John Peter Zenger, Printer of the New York Weekly Journal, ed. Stanley N. Katz (Cambridge, Mass., 1963), 58, 215n19. E. H. Crosby identifies Henry Rutgers's grandfather Harmanus as the juror in the Zenger trial, "Rutgers Family," NYG&B Rec. 17 (1886): 87. Captain Harmanus Rutgers died on August 9, 1753; his death notice appeared in the New-York Gazette, Aug. 13, 1753.
- ^ On the New York waterfront, see Floyd M. Shumway, Seaport City: New York in 1775 (New York, 1975); Work Projects Administration Writers' Program, A Maritime History of New York (Garden City, N.Y., 1941); Carl Abbott, "The Neighborhoods of New York, 1760–1775," New York History 55 (Jan. 1974): 35–54; Ann Buttenwieser, Manhattan Water-Bound: Planning and Developing Manhattan's Waterfront from the Seventeenth Century to the Present (New York, 1978), 9–10, 13, 21–55; Myron H. Luke, The Port of New York, 1800–1810: The Foreign Trade and Business Community (New York, 1953); and John H. Morrison, History of New York Ship Yards (New York, 1909). The quote is from Wood, Radicalism of the American Revolution, 60, 63. On cartmen, see Graham R. Hodges, The New York City Cartmen, 1667–1850 (New York, 1986).
- ^ Abbott, "Neighborhoods of New York," New York History 55 (Jan. 1974): 36–37, 47–48. The two ropewalks flanking the Rutgers farm are depicted on Francis Maerschalck, A Plan of the City of New York from an actual Survey, 1754; John Montresor, A Plan of the City of New-York & its Environs … survey'd in the Winter, 1766; and Bernard Ratzer, Plan of the City of New York, in North America: Surveyed in the Years 1766 & 1767. For a description of ropewalks, see Russell Bourne, Cradle of Violence: How Boston's Waterfront Mobs Ignited the American Revolution (Hoboken, N.J., 2006), 153–55; a riot between British soldiers and workers at a ropewalk occurred only a few days before the Boston Massacre.
- ^ On the Rutgers farm, see Stokes, Iconography of Manhattan Island, 6 vols. (New York, 1915–1928), 6: 134–36 (hereafter cited as Stokes, Iconography); David Valentine, Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York for 1860 (New York, 1860), 556–57; and Crosby, "Rutgers Family," NYB&G Rec. 17 (1886): 87, 88, 89. Increments were no doubt made to the property over the years. In 1776, the brigade to which artist John Trumbull was attached camped "on the … beautiful high ground, which surrounded Col. Rutgers's seat, near Corlaer's Hook," The Autobiography of Colonel John Trumbull, Patriot-Artist, 1756–1843, ed. Theodore Sizer (London, 1953), 24. On the grant of water lots, see MCC, 1676–1776, 7: 367, 374, 397, 398. An institutional history of the city at this time is George William Edwards, New York as an Eighteenth-Century Municipality, 1731–1776 (New York, 1917).
- ^ The earliest known survey of part of the property—in July 1755—is mentioned in Articles of Agreement, May 14, 1772, between William Bedlow, Ann Bancker, Gerard De Peyster, Henry Rutgers Jr., Harmanus Rutgers, and Mary Rutgers, Conger Papers, New York State Library, Albany, N.Y. Another survey in May 1756 is mentioned in Deed of Gift, Jan. 1, 1764, from Hendrick and Catharina Rutgers to "Hendrick Rutgers Junr," New-York Historical Society; and also Deed of Gift, Jan. 1, 1764, from same to William Bancker, RUL. Another survey was apparently made in August 1775, Deed of Gift, Jan. 9, 1785, from Anna Bancker to Henry Bancker, RUL. Unfortunately, none of these earliest surveys have yet been discovered. The will of Hendrick Rutgers, 1775, provides a description of the property, New-York Historical Society Collections for 1900: Abstracts of Wills, 9: 213–15. On James De Lancey's strategy to develop his property, which was aborted by the war, see Elizabeth Blackmar, Manhattan for Rent, 1785–1850 (Ithaca, N.Y., 1989), 33–35, 37–39. Two sources during the British occupation estimate the Rutgers farm at eighty acres: "Estimate of the Value of real Estates in the Out Ward of the City of New York, belonging to Persons in actual Rebellion " in B. F. Stevens, Facsimiles of Manuscripts in European Archives Relating to America, 1773–1783, 25 vols. (1889–1898; reprint Wilmington, Del., 1970), 12: no. 1235; and "A List of Farms on New York Island 1780," which was made by the surveyor Evert Bancker, New York Historical Society Quarterly Bulletin (April 1917): 8–9.
- ^ The quote is from Wood, Radicalism of the American Revolution, 119. On titles, see Jackson Turner Main, The Social Structure of Revolutionary America (Princeton, N.J., 1965), 215, 217–19; and Wood Radicalism of the American Revolution, 21. Catharina De Peyster Rutgers was prominent enough to sit for a portrait. The quote about marriages is from Larry R. Gerlach, Prologue to Independence: New Jersey in the Coming of the American Revolution (New Brunswick, N.J., 1976), 31; Wood also notes the "incredibly tangled webs of kinship," Radicalism of the American Revolution, 44. The comment on the Dutch is from Thomas Jones, The History of New York During the Revolutionary War, 2 vols. (New York, 1879), 2: 326. Even a family descendant was bewildered: "The number of Anthonys and Harmans in the Rutgers family makes it difficult to be accurate in determining which one is referred to in any particular instance by contemporary records," E. H. Crosby, "Rutgers Family of New York," NYG&B Rec. 17 (1886): 88n.
- ^ On Harman Rutgers, see abstract of the will of Hendrick Rutgers, in New-York Historical Society Collections for 1900: Abstracts of Wills (New York, 1901), 214–15. In 1770, Harmanus is listed as "Left College in his second year" in "The Matricula or Register of Admissions and Graduations … in King's College," transcribed in Herbert and Carol Schneidner, eds., Samuel Johnson, President of King's College: His Career and Writings, 4 vols. (New York, 1929), 4: 255. He is also listed along with his brother, Henry Jr., as a freeholder in A Copy of the Poll List, of the Election for Representatives for the City and County of New-York … , Early American Imprints, no. 11374. On his wife Dorcas Tibbets, see Names of Persons for Whom Marriage Licenses Were Issued by the Secretary of the Province of New York, Previous to 1784, 332; and Dorcas Remsen affidavit in Pardon Burlingham pension application (W17526), Revolutionary War Pension Application Files, U.S. National Archives. Burlingham was Dorcas's second, and Remsen her third husband; she mistakenly remembered that she married Harman Rutgers in 1776, which is contradicted by the official marriage record cited above. The surname "Tibbets" does not appear in MCC, 1675–1776; "Dorcas" is an English, not a Dutch given name.
- ^ On the 1741 slave uprising, see Jill Lepore, New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery, and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan (New York, 2005), 5, 164, 165, 226. Harmanus Rutgers's slave Quash worked at the family brewery; Quash was burned at the stake, ibid., Appendix C, 268–69. Hughson's Point is mentioned on two Rutgers family deeds in 1764 (see note 8), but evidently is found in no other source. John Hughson was of the "lower sort" who owned a tavern on the western side of Manhattan where, in violation of law, he allowed slaves to congregate and allegedly incited them. The surname does not appear in the colonial Minutes of the Common Council, which is an indication of the family's lack of social prominence; thus, it is unlikely that a location in the Out Ward would be named in honor of him or his family. The most recent book on the 1741 slave uprising claims that Hughson was hanged and gibbeted near the Collect (or Fresh Water) Pond, Lepore, New York Burning, 119–20. But the famous David Grim map of New York City depicts Hughson as being gibbeted on the southeastern part of the Rutgers property, A Plan of the City and Environs of New York, as they were in the Years 1742, 1743 and 1744. Drawn by D__ G__ in the 76th year of his age who had at this time a perfect & correct recollection of every part of the same, 1813; no. 57 in the map key refers to "Plot Hughson Gibbeted." There is the possibility that he was hanged near the Collect Pond and gibbeted at "Hughson's Point" in sight of passing vessels in order to serve as both a warning and a deterrent. For slaveholding by Henry Rutgers's grandfather and father, see abstracts of their wills, Collections of the New-York Historical Society for the Year 1895: Abstracts of Wills (New York, 1896), 4: 445–50, and Collections … for the Year 1900; Abstracts of Wills (New York, 1901), 9: 213–15. Henry Rutgers's 1823 will states: "It is my desire and will that my Negro wench slave named Hannah being superannuated, be supported out of my Estate," Will of Henry Rutgers (transcription), RUL. In 1892, his grandnephew William B. Crosby's youngest daughter, Mary, reminisced about her "great great uncle" Henry Rutgers: "My uncle had a strong voice, and report says that his orders to his negroes across the East River could be heard by them," "Reminiscences of Rutgers Place," William B. Crosby Papers, New-York Historical Society. Rutgers could have employed both slave and free blacks. Other family members also owned slaves: in 1798 Henry Rutgers witnessed an agreement regarding an eleven-year-old female slave owned by his sister, Mary McCrea, Duyckinck Papers, New York State Library.
- ^ William McMurray mentions that Laidlie was Rutgers's "early religious instructor," Sermon, 23. On Laidlie, see William B. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit; or Commemorative Notices of Distinguished American Clergymen of Various Denominations, 9 vols. (New York, 1869), 9: 40–43. On the controversy within the Dutch Reformed Church over preaching in English, see Joyce D. Goodfriend, "Archibald Laidlie and the Transformation of the Dutch Reformed Church in Eighteenth-Century New York City," Journal of Presbyterian History 81 (Fall 2003): 149–62; Randall Balmer, A Perfect Babel of Confusion: Dutch Religion and English Culture in the Middle Colonies (New York, 1989), 141–56; and Alexander J. Wall, "The Controversy in the Dutch Church in New York Concerning Preaching in English, 1754–1768," New York Historical Society Quarterly Bulletin 12 (July 1928): 39–58. Primary sources on the controversy are in Ecclesiastical Records, State of New York, 7 vols. (Albany, N.Y., 1901–1916), especially volume 6; check the comprehensive index in volume 7 under "Laidlie, Rev. Archibald," "English language and the Dutch church," and "English preaching in the Collegiate Church of New York." In 1748, the Swedish traveler Peter Kalm noted that in New York "most of the young people now speak principally English, and go only to the English church; and would even take it amiss if they were called Dutchmen and not Englishmen" (emphasis in original), Travels into North America by Peter Kalm, trans. John Reinhold Forster (Barre, Mass., 1972), 140.
- ^ Jackson Turner Main estimates that only one family in ten was able to send their sons to college, The Social Structure of Revolutionary America (Princeton, N.J., 1965), 247. Aside from his admission in 1763 and his graduation in 1766, there is apparently no other evidence regarding Henry Rutgers's attendance at the college, "The Matricula or Register of Admissions and Graduations … in King's College," transcribed in Schneider and Schneider, Samuel Johnson, 4: 250, 252. He is listed in the first alumni catalogue in 1774, Catalogus Eorum exhibens Nomina qui in collegio Regali, Novi-Eboraci, Laurea alicujus Gradus donate fuerunt, ab anno 1758 ad annum 1774 (broadside), Early American Imprints, no. 13363. See also "Kings [sic] College Alumni … Class of 1766," Columbia University Quarterly 9 (March 1909): 187–90. His enrollment coincided with the arrival of Rev. Myles Cooper as president, and also with a change in curriculum. On King's College during this period, see David C. Humphrey, From King's College to Columbia, 1746–1800 (New York, 1976), 126–53, 176–83; and Robert A. McCaughey, Stand, Columbia: A History of Columbia University in the City of New York, 1754–2004 (New York, 2003), 27–33. On the transition from a monarchy to a republic, see Wood, Radicalism of the American Revolution. On the Sons of Liberty, see Roger J. Champagne, "New York's Radicals and the Coming of Independence," Journal of American History (June 1964): 21–40 (the quote is on p. 21); Herbert M. Morais, "The Sons of Liberty in New York," in Richard B. Morris, ed., The Era of the American Revolution (New York, 1939), 269–89; and Henry B. Dawson, The Sons of Liberty in New York (Poughkeepsie, N.Y., 1859). Henry Rutgers's name is not specifically mentioned in any of the foregoing secondary sources, nor in the John Lamb Papers at the New-York Historical Society. Rutgers is listed as a freeholder in A Copy of the Poll List, of the Election for Representatives for the City and County of New-York … , Early American Imprints, no. 11374. On Rutgers being appointed an assessor, see MCC, 1676–1776, 8: 108.
- ^ On the royalist sentiments of the governors, faculty, and alumni of King's College, see Humphrey, From King's College to Columbia, 139–44, 150–54, 209–16, 219–24, 269–70, 354n4; and McCaughey, Stand, Columbia, 44–48. By way of comparison, the College of New Jersey at Princeton under the Presbyterian minister John Witherspoon was "a veritable seminary of sedition," Gerlach, Prologue to Independence, 274. On Thomas Jones, see American National Biography (New York, 1999), s.v. "Jones, Thomas" (hereafter cited as ANB); Jones was embittered by his treatment by the rebels. On royalism in general in New York, see Alexander C. Flick, Loyalism in New York During the American Revolution (New York, 1901); Wallace Brown, The King's Friends: The Composition and Motives of the American Loyalist Claimants (Providence, R.I., 1965), 77–110, 306–11; Robert M. Calhoun, The Loyalists in Revolutionary America, 1760–1781 (New York, 1973), 370–81, 408–30; and Philip Ranlet, The New York Loyalists (Knoxville, Tenn., 1986). On events leading to rebellion in New York and in New York City, see Bernard Mason, The Road to Independence: The Revolutionary Movement in New York, 1773–1777 (Lexington, Ky., 1966); Edward Countryman, A People in Revolution: The American Revolution and Political Society in New York, 1760–1790 (Baltimore, Md., 1981); and Joseph S. Tiedemann, Reluctant Revolutionaries: New York City and the Road to Independence, 1763–1776 (Ithaca, N.Y., 1997).
- ^ Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War (Record Group 93), U.S. National Archives, Washington, D.C., microfilm. The anecdote regarding the battle of White Plains is in McMurray, Sermon, 26–27n. On the battle of White Plains, see Boatner, Encyclopedia of the American Revolution, 1200–02. There is no factual basis for the claim that Henry Rutgers was wounded at White Plains; the three most reliable sources—his own retrospective account, Rev. William McMurray's sermon (for both see note 1), and later family accounts—make no mention of it.
- ^ In his memorial to the Committee of the States in August 1784, Rutgers mentions his appointment by General Putnam in 1777, Papers of the Continental Congress, microfilm, reel 51, item 41, v.8, p. 339 (hereafter cited as PCC). On September 12, 1777, Paul Todd of Massachusetts wrote to his father that "this day we had a general muster of the whole brigade by the Muster Master Genl. [torn] Rutgers. We were all oblig'd to turn out," Paul Todd pension application (W1617), Revolutionary War Pension Application Files, U.S. National Archives. Another soldier recalled that in October of that year, Rutgers was the muster master in Col. Udney Hay's regiment of artificers, Shadrach Hurlburt pension application (S29915); see also Gilbert Weeks affidavit in Michael Verlie pension application (S42593). On the importance of accurate returns, see General Orders, Jan. 8, 1776, and Washington to John Sullivan, June 16, 1776, both in W. W. Abbot et al., eds., The Papers of George Washington: Revolutionary War Series, 17 vols. to date (Charlottesville, Va., 1985–2008), 3: 52–53, 5: 11. Examples of muster rolls signed by Rutgers are in Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775–1783, U.S. National Archives. On Rutgers's appointment to, and his declining to serve in the state legislature, see Votes & Proceedings of the Assembly, Sept. 1, 10, 1777, and Feb. 16, 1778, Records of the States of the United States, microfilm, B.2, reel 6, p. 131–34 (hereafter cited as Early State Records). He was appointed instead of elected to the legislature because it was "impracticable" to hold elections in the Southern District due to the British occupation.
- ^ There is very little in standard secondary sources on the Commissary General of Musters Department, even less on the state level than on the Continental level. The lack of primary sources may be a result of the devastating fires at the War Department in 1800 and at the New York State Library in 1911. But see Charles H. Lesser, ed., The Sinews of Independence: Monthly Strength Reports of the Continental Army (Chicago, 1976), Introduction, xi–xxxv; and John George Rommel Jr., "Richard Varick: New York Aristocrat" (Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1966). See also Henry Rutgers to George Clinton, June 24, 1777, in Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, 1777–1795, 1801–1804, 10 vols. (New York and Albany, 1899–1914), 2: 48–49; Rutgers enjoined officers (p. 49): "It is expected that the Rolls will be Accurately made out as none but such can be received." The routine functioning of the department can best be traced in a series of letters from Henry Rutgers to Richard Varick, July 8 and Aug. 12, 1778; and Jan. 8 and 29, Feb. 21, March 17, April 10, May 30, and Dec. 24, 1779, all in the Richard Varick Papers, New-York Historical Society. Varick was Rutgers's immediate superior officer; on Varick, see ANB, s.v. "Varick, Richard." See also Henry Rutgers to Joseph Ward, April 11, May 26, Aug. 26, and Dec. 24, 1779; and Jan. 12 and Feb. 21, 1780, all at the Chicago History Museum (formerly the Chicago Historical Society), Chicago, Ill. Colonel Ward was commander of the department; there is little information about the department in William Carver Bates, "Col. Joseph Ward, 1737–1812: Teacher, Soldier, Patriot," The Bostonian Society Publications, vol. 4, 1907, 69–72. On Rutgers's promotion as a Continental Deputy Muster Master General, see Richard Varick to John Jay, Jan. 28, 1779, PCC, reel 104, item 78, v.23, p. 157; John Jay to Rutgers, April 7, 1779, PCC, reel 24, item 14, p. 81; John Fell's Diary, April 1, 6, 1779, and John Jay to George Washington, April 8, 1779, all in Smith, ed., Letters of Delegates to Congress, 12: 271, 301, 309; and General Orders, April 15, 1779, in John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, 39 vols. (Washington, D.C., 1931–44), 14: 389. For further information about the department, see John P. Butler, comp., Index: The Papers of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, 4 vols. (Washington, D.C., 1978), 3: 3624–3625, under relevant headings.
- ^ On Aug. 7, 1779, the Royal Gazette (New York) published a death notice of Hendrick Rutgers, "a member of the Dutch reformed church, and a gentleman of very large estate in this city." Laidlie died at Red Hook; some sources place his death in 1778, not 1779. The quote, which refers to the death of his father, is from Rutgers to Joseph Ward, Feb. 21, 1780, Chicago History Museum; nothing is known about the circumstances of his mother's death.
- ^ Henry Rutgers to Joseph Ward, Feb. 21, 1780, Chicago History Museum.
- ^ Henry Rutgers to George Clinton, July 5, 1780, and Clinton's draft of a reply to same, July 8, RUL. On Clinton, see ANB, s.v. "Clinton, George." The law authorizing the emission of money was passed on June 15, 1780, Laws of the State of New-York, Passed … in the last Sitting of the Third Session of the Legislature (1780); an example of the actual emission signed by Rutgers is owned by RUL. See also "An Act for the Payment of certain contingent Expences of this State," April 14, 1782, which states that Rutgers and others shall be paid two shillings for each hundred bills signed, John D. Cushing, comp., First Laws of the State of New York (Wilmington, Del., 1984), 251–55; Rutgers is mentioned on p. 253. Henry Rutgers to Henry Bancker, Nov. 24, 1782, RUL.
- ^ There are several works on New York during the British occupation. See New York City During the American Revolution: Being a Collection of Original Papers … From … the Mercantile Library Association (New York, 1861); Oscar Barck, New York During the War for Independence: With Special Reference to the Period of British Occupation (New York, 1931); Wilbur C. Abbott, New York in the American Revolution (New York, 1929), 182–286; Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker, Father Knickerbocker Rebels: New York City During the Revolution (New York, 1948); Ewald Gustav Schaukirk, Occupation of New York City by the British (1887; New York, 1969 reprint); Baurmeister, Letters and Journals; The Twilight of British Rule in Revolutionary America: The New York Letter Book of General James Robertson, 1780–1783, ed. Milton M. Klein and Ronald W. Howard (Cooperstown, N.Y., 1983). On the defensive works in the vicinity of the Rutgers property, see "A Return of the Batteries in and near the City of New York," March 24, 1776, PCC, reel 81, item 67, v.1, p. 149; The Papers of George Washington: Revolutionary War Series, 4: 368–369 and n2; Charles Lee, "Report on the Defence of New York, March, 1776," in The Lee Papers: Collections of the New-York Historical Society for the Year 1871, 4 vols. (New York, 1872), 1: 354–57 (Lee mentions that a battery was planned "at the foot of the Jews' Burying-Ground" and another on the heights above it); and Robert B. Roberts, New York's Forts in the Revolution (Madison, N.J., 1980), especially p. 265, 308. For a rare first-person account by a private soldier, see Johann Conrad Döhla, A Hessian Diary of the American Revolution, trans. and ed. Bruce E. Burgoyne (Norman, Ok., 1990), 27. On the Royal Navy shipyards, see Stokes, Iconography, 5: 1214.
- ^ "Estimate of the Value of the real Estates in the Out Ward of the City of New York, belonging to Persons in actual Rebellion ," in Stevens, Facsimiles of Manuscripts in European Archives Relating to America, 1773–1783, 12: no. 1235; Henry Rutgers and "Hendk. Rutgers & Co." also owned property in the East Ward, ibid. On Crown forces stationed along the East River, see Baurmeister, Letters and Journals, 318–19, 387, 430, 510; on the Bayreuth Regiment, see Döhla, Diary, entry for Oct. 31, 1779, p. 114; on the Rutgers farmhouse, see Barck, New York City During the War for Independence, 248.
- ^ See Stephen Payne Adye to Carl Wilhelm von "Hackenberg" [Hachenberg], July 29, 1779, Collections of the New-York Historical Society for the Year 1875: Official Letters of Major General James Pattison (New York, 1876), 233; and Stokes, Iconography, 5: 1090. In May 1782, Dr. Lauckhard, physician to the Hessian General Hospital, offered a reward for a horse that strayed from a pasture at Corlears Hook near Rutgers's house, Kenneth Scott, comp., Rivington's New York Newspaper: Excerpts from a Loyalist Press, 1773–1783 (New York, 1973), 293. An account by "Joshua" in 1835 claimed that "hundreds" of Hessians were buried on the Rutgers farm, Stokes, Iconography, 5: 1214. On the winter of 1780 in the city, see Baurmeister, Letters and Journals, 340–41. One week before the British evacuated the city, Rutgers's brother-in-law Stephen McCrea wrote to the commander-in-chief requesting compensation for damages done on an estate at Corlears Hook by the Commissary General's Department, McCrea to Sir Guy Carleton, Nov. 18, 1783, Report on American Manuscripts in the Royal Institution of Great Britain, 4 vols. (London, 1909), 4: 464; it is unclear whether McCrea was acting on his own behalf or on Rutgers's. For references to the burned brewery, see MCC, 1784–1831, 1: 182, 186, 376. There is a possibility that the brewery referred to was owned by the other branch of the Rutgers family; there is, nonetheless, no evidence that Henry Rutgers resumed the brewing business in the postwar period.
- ^ On the procession into the city, see Stokes, Iconography, 5: 1173–74. In the postwar period, Evacuation Day was celebrated throughout the city with banquets and other celebrations; see, for example, MCC, 1784–1831, 1: 187, 688, 690, and 2: 51, 53, 117, 120, 202, 204, 305, 410, 411, 484, 585, 588, 689, 691. On the committee regarding losses, see 1: 8; on disorderly persons, see, 1: 35, 49. On the bodies in Catherine Street, which may have been buried from the Hessian hospital, see 1: 187, 356; and Stokes, Iconography, 5: 1214.
- ^ The quote is from Henry Rutgers to Joseph Ward, Feb. 21, 1780, Chicago History Museum. It is unclear exactly when Rutgers returned to the city, but he was obviously there by late 1783. On the city's first postwar election in December 1783, see Staughton Lynd, "The Mechanics in New York Politics, 1774–1788," Labor History 5 (Fall 1964): 225–46; see especially p. 235n42. Rutgers joined former Sons of Liberty John Lamb, Isaac Sears, and Marinus Willett as victors; Rutgers drew the third highest number of votes: 231. See also Alfred F. Young, The Democratic Republicans of New York: The Origins, 1763–1797 (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1967), 67; and Anthony Gronowicz, "Political 'Radicalism' in New York City's Revolutionary and Constitutional Eras," in Paul A. Gilje and William Pencak, eds., New York in the Age of the Constitution, 1775–1800 (Cranbury, N.J., 1992), 98–111. On Rutgers's attendance and voting record in the 1784 New York Assembly, see Journals of the Assembly, A.1b, reel 4, Early State Records. On the impost, see Cathy Matson, "Liberty, Jealousy, and Union: The New York Economy in the 1780s," in Gilje and Pencak, eds., New York in the Age of the Constitution, 118. General overviews of the period are Sydney Pomerantz, New York, An American City, 1783–1803: A Study of Urban Life (New York, 1938); and E. Wilder Spaulding, New York in the Critical Period, 1783–1789 (New York, 1932). According to an account in 1835, it was not all work: in 1786 a "Race Course" was established on the Rutgers farm, Stokes, Iconography, 5: 1214.
- ^ On Rutgers and his fellow officers' claims for pay, see Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds, Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, 34 vols. (Washington, D.C., 1904–1937) (hereafter cited as JCC), letter of March 27, 1783, 24: 220; Memorial of Henry Rutgers, Richard Lush, and Jacob John Lansing to the Committee of the States, Aug. 1, 1784, PCC, reel 51, item 41, v.8, p. 339; JCC, 28: 91n1; Committee Report, Feb. 22 1785, PCC, reel 28, item 19, v. 5, p. 261; JCC, resolution of June 2, 1785, 28: 416; Charles Thomson to George Clinton, June 3, 1785, in Paul H. Smith et al, eds., Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789, 26 vols. (Washington, D.C., 1976–2000), 22: 427; Petition of Henry Rutgers, Richard Lush, and Jacob John Lansing to Congress, Aug. 20, 1787, PCC, reel 55, item 42, v.6, p. 528; JCC, Oct. 3, 4, 1787, 33: 607–09, 744; and JCC, 34: 624. The laws passed were "An Act for the Relief of Henry Rutgers, and others," April 15, 1786, Laws of the State of New-York, Passed by the Legislature … at their Ninth Session (New York, 1786); and "An Act for the relief of Henry Rutgers and others," Feb. 6, 1789, Laws of the State of New-York, Passed by the Legislature … at their Twelfth Session (New York, 1789).
- ^ On George Clinton, see John P. Kaminski, George Clinton: Yeoman Politician of the New Republic (Madison, Wisc., 1993). On Richard Varick, see Rommel, "Richard Varick: New York Aristocrat" (Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1966). John Jay's wife excluded Rutgers from her "dinner and supper list" for 1787–88, Young, Democratic Republicans of New York, 51n.5; Jay was a conservative alumnus of King's College. On the election of 1788, see Stephen L. Schechter, "A Biographical Gazeteer of New York Federalists and Antifederalists," 157–206 (and especially p. 194), in Schechter, ed., The Reluctant Pillar: New York and the Adoption of the Federal Constitution (Albany, N.Y., 1987). See also Stephen L. Schechter and Richard B. Bernstein, eds., New York and the Union: Contributions to the American Constitutional Experience (Albany, N.Y., 1990). For general works, see also Jackson Turner Main, The Antifederalists: Critics of the Constitution, 1781–1783 (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1965); and Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776–1787 (New York, 1972). On the Democratic Societies and the rise of the Jeffersonians, see Young, Democratic Republicans of New York; on Rutgers's involvement with the New York Democratic Society, see p. 393–94, 404. See also Eugene P. Link, Democratic-Republican Societies, 1790–1800 (New York, 1942). Rutgers is listed as "1st Vice President" and then as President of the organization in, respectively, William Duncan, The New-York Directory and Register, for the Year 1794 (New York, 1794), 280; Duncan, The New-York Directory … for …1795 (New York, 1795), 323; and John Low, New-York Directory … for … 1796 (New York, 1796), 57. All three directories also list Rutgers as a governor of the New-York Hospital. On the 1796 election, see Young, Democratic Societies of New York, 466. The earliest list of members of the New York Society of the Cincinnati does not include Rutgers which, given his social prominence, would unlikely be an oversight, David Franks, The New-York Directory (New York, 1786), 70. Nor does Rutgers appear on subsequent lists. His friend Marinus Willett at one time served as the New York chapter's president. Rutgers is also not included in John Schuyler, Institution of the Society of the Cincinnati … With Extracts from the … Transactions of the New York State Society (New York, 1886). The most recent biographical directory does include Rutgers, but does not address his absence from the earlier lists, Francis J. Sypher Jr., New York State Society of the Cincinnati: Biographies of Original Members and Other Continental Officers (Fishkill, N.Y., 2004), 410–11. Perhaps his absence from the lists was related to the circumstances of his derangement from the Muster Master Department in 1780, but Richard Varick, who had also served in the same department, served as the New York chapter's president. In the later nineteenth century, however, members of the Crosby family were eligible for membership based on Henry Rutgers's Revolutionary War service.
- ^ On the postwar economy in New York state, see Cathy Matson, "Liberty, Jealousy, and Union," in Gilje and Pencak, eds., New York in the Age of the Constitution, 112–150. Rutgers's advertisement appeared in the New-York Journal, and State Gazette, Jan. 27, 1785; he also advertised other house lots on long-term leases. On Catherine Market, see MCC, 1784–1831, 1:225; and Thomas F. De Voe, The Market Book, Containing a Historical Account of the Public Markets in the Cities of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn (New York, 1862), 1: 341–70. On Rutgers Slip, see MCC, 1784–1831, 1: 422, 482–83, 494, 551; 2: 300; 8: 587; 9: 22, 70, 231, 234, 240. On municipal ownership of land, see Hendrik Hartog, Public Property and Private Power: The Corporation of the City of New York in American Law, 1730–1870 (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1983); and George Ashton Black, The History of the Municipal Ownership of Land on Manhattan Island (New York, 1897).
- ^ The subscription list of the New York Manufacturing Society appears in The Daily Advertiser (New York), March 17, 1789; the Society's Constitution and Minutes, 1789–1792, are at the New-York Historical Society. See also Raymond A. Mohl, Poverty in New York, 1783–1825 (New York, 1971), 222–23; Harold C. Syrett et al., eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, 27 vols. (New York, 1961–1987), 5: 300; and Christine Stansell, City of Women: Sex and Class in New York, 1789–1860 (New York, 1986), 16. On the bleach-field and thread manufactory, see Rita Susswein Gottesman, comp., The Arts and Crafts in New York, 1777–1790: Advertisements and News Items from New York City Newspapers (New York, 1954), 299; the advertisement appeared in the Daily Advertiser (New York), May 13, 1791.
- ^ On the incident involving "his church," see MCC, 1784–1831, 3: 385, 407–08; other examples of Rutgers as an election inspector are 1: 76, 319, 592, 744, 2: 69, 333, 391, 396, and 3: 144. Another indication of Rutgers's reputation for probity is that he was occasionally called upon to attest regarding the service of Revolutionary War veterans: in 1828 it was pointed out that "the oath of Coll. Henry Rutgers … cannot be doubted," Anthony Post pension application (S46337), Revolutionary War Pension Application Files, U.S. National Archives; see also John Banks pension application (S35776). On the proportion of freeholders to renters in the 1807 elections in the Seventh Ward, see Blackmar, Manhattan for Rent, Appendix, 272, Table 2.
- ^ Stokes, Iconography, 5: 1233, 1240, 1271. On William Malcom, see Sypher, New York State Society of the Cincinnati, 296–98. Henry Rutgers to George Clinton, March 3, 1795, RUL. A vignette of the city at this time is provided in Thomas E. V. Smith, The City of New York in the Year of Washington's Inauguration, 1789 (New York, 1889). In 1789, Rutgers was listed as "Lieutenant Colonel, Commandant" of the First Regiment of militia, The New York Directory and Register, for the Year 1789 (New York, 1789), 127.
- ^ On this matter, see Oliver Wolcott Jr. to Alexander Hamilton, April 4, 1800, Syrett, ed., Papers of Alexander Hamilton, 24: 390–91 and n1; Aaron Burr to Marinus Willett, Jan. 28, 1802; Marinus Willett to Aaron Burr, March 16, 1802; Aaron Burr to Henry Rutgers, April 4, 1802; Aaron Burr to Albert Gallatin, April 19, 1802; and Aaron Burr to William Edgar, June 7, 1802, all in Mary-Jo Kline et al, eds., Political Correspondence and Public Papers of Aaron Burr, 2 vols. (Princeton, N.J., 1983), 2: 658–59, 695–96, 706–07, 718–19, 723–24, and 1: 291; and Henry Rutgers to Albert Gallatin, July 16, 1807, RUL.
- ^ In 1780, Rutgers wrote that after his father's death in 1779, "the care of the family … more immediately devolves upon me," Rutgers to Joseph Ward, Feb. 21, 1780, Chicago History Museum. On the Crosby family, see Ernest H. Crosby, "A Brief Account of the Ancestry and Descendants of William Bedlow Crosby, of New York, and of Harriet Ashton Clarkson, His Wife," NYG&B Rec. 29 (Oct. 1898): 8–10, and NYG&B Rec. 30 (April 1899): 73–77; the quote is on p. 74. On Dr. Ebenezer Crosby, see also Sypher, New York State Society of the Cincinnati, 110–11.
- ^ On the growing trend toward liquid assets, see Paul G. E. Clemens, "Material Culture and the Rural Economy: Burlington County, New Jersey, 1760–1820," in Peter O. Wacker and Paul G. E. Clemens, Land Use in New Jersey: A Historical Geography (New Brunswick, N.J., 1995), 270; the author comments that "the growth in liquid assets was spectacular." By 1821, Rutgers was financially secure enough to loan $10,000, Promissory note from Henry Rutgers to Daniel D. Tompkins, RUL; Tompkins, who was then U.S. Vice President, had incurred personal debts on behalf of the public when he was New York's governor during the War of 1812. The quote is from Dell Upton, "Inventing the Metropolis: Civilization and Urbanity in Antebellum New York," in Catherine Hoover Voorsanger and John K. Howat, eds., Art and the Empire City: New York, 1825–1861 (New York, 2000), 5. Stokes, Iconography, 6: 134–36. For an overview of Manhattan development during this period, see Blackmar, Manhattan for Rent. In addition to the surveys of the Rutgers property made in 1755, 1756, and 1775 mentioned in note 8 above, there were also published surveys made by New York City Surveyors Casimir Goerck in the 1790s, and by Bridges and Poppleton in 1813. In addition, in 1874 City Surveyor J. B. Holmes published the reconstructed map, Map of Rutger's [sic] Farm as it existed in 1784, accurately made from reliable data, RUL, and New York Public Library. The artist John Trumbull compared the "beautiful high ground, which surrounded Col. Rutgers's seat" that he saw in 1776 with the same place in the antebellum period: "all that part of the city is now flat as a table," Sizer, ed., Autobiography of Colonel John Trumbull, 24. Population figures, which are rounded, are from Historical Statistics of the United States: Earliest Times to the Present (Cambridge, England, 2006), 1–110, Table Aa832–1033; and Ira Rosenwaike, Population History of New York City (Syracuse, N.Y., 1972), 16, Table 2, 18, Table 3, 36, Table 6. The Rutgers textile mill is mentioned in Rutgers's will; he bequeathed ten shares in "the Rutgers factory at Patterson" to Samuel Torbert Jr., provided that Torbert "will follow the business of spinning and weaving at that factory or some other," Will of Henry Rutgers (transcription), RUL.
- ^ As early as 1785, Rutgers advertised "a number of House Lots, on ground rent, for a term of years," New-York Journal, Jan. 27, 1785. Lease between Henry Rutgers and Benjamin M. Underhill, May 1, 1826, New-York Historical Society; and lease between Henry Rutgers and Whitehead Hicks, Feb. 9, 1820, New York State Library. For another lease, see Rutgers to John Morss, builder, Bayard-Campbell-Pearsall Papers, New York Public Library. On the sawing business, see Gottesman, comp., The Arts and Crafts in New York, 1777–1790, 198; the advertisement appeared in the Daily Advertiser (New York), July 12, 1797. The quote is from Henry Rutgers to William B. Crosby, Feb. 29, 1802, RUL. For other letters regarding young Crosby's management of Rutgers's affairs while he was in Albany, see same to same, Feb. 6 and March 5, 1801, Rutgers Papers, New York State Library. On February 6, Rutgers advised: "Mind that you let every Person who rents Houses, Stores or Lumber Yards sign an agreement, and see that everything therein is fully expressed." Rutgers's sister Mary McCrea was also a landlord; see agreements between Mary McCrea and Timothy Mount, cordwainer, Feb. 22, 1812, Ephraim Place, cordwainer, Feb. 22, 1812, and David McCallon, sailmaker, April 24, 1815, all in Duyckinck Papers, New York State Library. Rutgers's other sister, Anna Bancker, was also a landlord, for whom William B. Crosby served as agent; see MCC, 1784–1831, v 9: 182, 266.
- ^ Lease between Henry Rutgers and Thompson Price, May 1, 1826, Conger Papers, New York State Library. For concerns about buildings in Henry Street being converted into "dram shops and groceries" instead of residences, see William B. Crosby to Henry Remsen Sr., May 7 and 13, 1828, Remsen Papers, New York Public Library. On Corlears Hook, see Stansell, City of Women, 9. A useful method of determining which properties Rutgers owned and, in some cases, who were his tenants, are the city inspectors' citations for nuisances (e.g., privy to be emptied); see MCC, 1784–1831, 8: 36, 434–35, 457, 563, 592, 596, 712–14, 721, 728; 9: 315, 734; 10: 437; 11: 425, 755; 12: 413; 14: 86, 187, 236, 569; 15: 462; 16: 311, 487, 603, 748; 17: 196, 686; and 18: 61. An example of an actual citation for filling the "Sunken Lots" on Madison Street is George Cuming, City Inspector, to Henry Rutgers, owner, and William B. Crosby, agent, May 20, 1828, Duyckinck Papers, New York State Library. On Rutgers's properties, see also notes by Edmund Shotwell, "Henry Rutgers Real Estate Dealings," Shotwell Collection (R–MC 005), RUL. William Bran was "superintendent or collector for Henry Rutgers for many years," Abraham Dally affidavit, Nov. 28, 1843, in William Bran pension application (W1219), Revolutionary War Pension Application Files, U.S. National Archives.
- ^ The foreign traveler is quoted in Charles Lockwood, Bricks and Brownstone:The New York Row House, 1783–1929, An Architectural and Social History (New York, 1972), 36. On street disturbances, see Paul A. Gilje, The Road to Mobocracy: Popular Disorder in New York City, 1763–1834 (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1987), 239–40. On Rutgers's properties on Bancker Street, see MCC, 1784–1831, 10: 629–30, 14: 569. On "sex districts," see Timothy J. Gilfoyle, City of Eros: New York City, Prostitution, and the Commercialization of Sex, 1790–1920 (New York, 1992), 49–54; the quote is on p. 49.
- ^ Writing from Albany in March 1801, Rutgers expressed his delight at the inauguration of Thomas Jefferson on "the memorable 4 March." He described the celebrations and noted: "The 6th and 7th Wards [in New York City] … were not asleep. It was often mentioned here that their exertions … gave a Republican Presidency. … All seem to agree that Republican exertions at this time will terminate the reign of Federalism," Rutgers to William B. Crosby, March 5, 1801, Rutgers Papers, New York State Library. The quotes are from McMurray, Sermon, 28, 35. A useful guide to Rutgers's political career is Franklin B. Hough, The New York Civil List (Albany, N.Y., 1861), 183, 189, 209, 210, 213, 215, 218, 219, 371, 398; on Rutgers as a presidential elector, see 390, 391. Rutgers's attendance and voting record while an assemblyman can be traced in the Journals of the Assembly, A.1b, reels 6–8, Early State Records. See also the following correspondence from the period: Rutgers to William B. Crosby, Feb. 8 and 14, 1806, and Feb. 27, March 30, and April 4–5, 1807, all in the Crosby Papers, New-York Historical Society; Rutgers to Henry Remsen, Feb. 16, 1807, Rutgers to William B. Crosby, Feb. 23, 1807, and Benjamin Romaine to Henry Rutgers, March 14, 1808, all at RUL.; and Rutgers to William B. Crosby, Feb. 6 and March 5, 1801, Feb. 1, March 6 and March 11, 1807, all in the Rutgers Papers, New York State Library. See also To the Electors of the Southern District (broadside), New York, April 11, 1803, which is signed by Rutgers, BRO2624, New York State Library. That his political influence in the city extended beyond his tenure in the legislature is indicated by Daniel D. Tompkins to Col. Macomb, April 6, 1812, and Tompkins to Henry Rutgers, April 6, 1812, in Public Papers of Daniel D. Tompkins, Governor of New York, 1807–1817 (Albany, N.Y., 1902), 2: 525–26, 532–35. See also Rutgers to Thomas Jefferson, Dec. 5, 1806, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress; and General Republican Meeting (broadside), [April 24, 1808], which Rutgers chaired, BRO4716, New York State Library. A general study of politics during the period is Alvin Kass, Politics in New York State, 1800–1830 (Syracuse, N.Y., 1965); the classic study is Jabez D. Hammond, The History of Political Parties in the State of New-York, 2 vols. (Albany, N.Y., 1842); neither mentions Rutgers, however. See also Noble E. Cunningham, The Jeffersonian Republicans: The Formation of Party Organization (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1957); and Cunningham, The Jeffersonian Republicans in Power: Party Operations, 1801–1809 (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1963).
- ^ On the early history of the Tammany Society, see Edwin P. Kilroe, "Saint Tammany and the Origin of the Society of Tammany, or Columbian Order in the City of New York" (Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1913); Peter Paulson, "The Tammany Society and the Jeffersonian Movement in New York City, 1795–1800," New York History 34 (1953): 72–84; and Young, Democratic Republicans of New York, 202–03, 398–99. On Rutgers's membership on the Building Committee, see E. Vale Blake, History of the Tammany Society or Columbian Order From Its Organization to the Present Time (New York, 1901), 42.
- ^ Regarding this protracted matter, see John Player to Henry Rutgers, Feb. 4, 1803; Edward Carroll to William B. Crosby, Feb. 10 and Nov. 28, 1806; Henry Rutgers to Crosby, Feb. 27, March 30, April 4–5, 1807; James Smith to Crosby, Feb. 19, 1814; Daniel Robert to Crosby, Nov. 23, 1815; Edward Carroll to Crosby, Feb. 13, 1816; Benjamin Tallmadge to Crosby, May 3, 1816; Robert Troup to Crosby, July 22, 1816; and Joseph Fellows to Crosby, July 6, 1817, all in the William B. Crosby Papers, New-York Historical Society. See also Henry Rutgers to William B. Crosby, March 3 and 11, 1807, Rutgers Papers, New York State Library; and Edward Carroll to Crosby, Aug. 9, 1806, personal collection of Michael C. Barr. The quotes are from Rutgers to Crosby, Feb. 27 and April 4–5, 1807, Crosby Papers, New York-Historical Society. On March 11, 1807, Rutgers commented regarding their opponents in the legislature: "I shall … be compelled to watch them narrowly, least they might steel [sic] a march upon me when I am absent," Rutgers Papers, New York State Library. When the Pulteney bill came to a vote, the legislators were deluged with petitions from settlers who feared their land titles would be jeopardized; it passed by a vote of 52 to 27, Rutgers to Crosby, April 4–5, 1807, Crosby Papers, New-York Historical Society. The culmination of the matter seems to have been in July 1817 when Joseph Fellows informed Crosby from London that Lord Castlereagh stated "that the property having been escheated in the first place, and afterwards granted to the Crown, it is not now in the power of the government to take it from the persons holding under such grant," Crosby Papers, New-York Historical Society. The plantation in Jamaica was named Prospect Hill. On the original purchase of the "Genesee lands" comprising over one million acres in western New York, see Dictionary of American History, rev. ed. (New York, 1976), s.v. "Pulteney Purchase." "Esheat" is defined as "Reversion of property (esp. real property) to the state upon the death of an owner who has neither a will nor any legal heirs," Black's Law Dictionary, 8th ed., s.v. "escheat."
- ^ R. S. Guernsey, New York City and Vicinity During the War of 1812–15, 2 vols. (New York, 1889), 1: 10–15, 2: 180–81; and Rutgers to James Madison, June 25, 1812, James Madison Papers, microfilm, reel 14, Library of Congress.
- ^ On Robert Fulton's steam-powered warship, which was eventually named Fulton the First, see Howard I. Chapelle, Fulton's "Steam Battery": Blockship and Catamaran (Washington, D.C., 1964); Henry Rutgers's report appears on p. 155–59. See also William S. Dudley et al., eds., The Naval War of 1812: A Documentary History, 3 vols. (Washington, D.C., 1985–2002), 2: 210–212, 3: 624, 640, 641, 681, 686. Wallace Hutcheon Jr., Robert Fulton: Pioneer of Undersea Warfare (Annapolis, Md., 1981), 127–48; and David B. Tyler, "Fulton's Steam Frigate," American Neptune: A Quarterly Journal of Maritime History 6 (Oct. 1946): 253–74; on the vessel's third trial run, see p. 270. Rutgers Slip is described in MCC, 1784–1831, 1: 422, 482–83, 494. In 1829 the vessel accidentally exploded, killing 25 and injuring 19 people.
- ^ McMurray, Sermon, 30, 37; John Pintard to his daughter, Feb. 18, 1830, Letters From John Pintard to His Daughter, Eliza Noel Pintard Davidson, 1816–1833 (New York, 1941), 3: 125–26.
- ^ On boarding divinity students, see Mary Crosby, "Reminiscences of Rutgers Place," Crosby Papers, New-York Historical Society. On the gift to the infant school, see McMurray, Sermon, 30–31; Will of Henry Rutgers (transcription), RUL; and Crosby, "Rutgers Family of New York," NYB&G Rec. 17 (1886): 92.
- ^ On Rutgers's involvement with the Free School (later the Public School) Society, see William Oland Bourne, History of the Public School Society of the City of New York (New York, 1870), 10, 23, 24, 39, 109, 532, 639, 649, 657, 683; and A. Emerson Palmer, The New York Public School: Being a History of Free Education in the City of New York (New York, 1905). Free School Society president De Witt Clinton estimated that Rutgers's "characteristic benevolence" of the donation of land was "worth at least twenty-five hundred dollars," quoted in Palmer, 33–34. See also Minute Book of the Free School Society of New York, 1811–1852, New-York Historical Society; the quote is from the entry for Jan. 15, 1812. Rutgers's grandnephew William B. Crosby also became involved with the school. An example of a membership certificate in the Free School Society is that for Rutgers's sister, Mary McCrea, Duyckinck Papers, New York State Library; membership entitled her "to send One Child to be educated at any School under the care and direction of the … Society." See also William W. Cutler III, "Status, Values and the Education of the Poor: The Trustees of the New York Public School Society, 1805–1853," American Quarterly 24 (March 1972): 69–85. A general study is Carl F. Kaestle, The Evolution of an Urban School System: New York City, 1750–1850 (Cambridge, Mass., 1973).
- ^ On the invitation to be a trustee, see William P. Deare to Henry Rutgers, Nov. 18, 1815, RUL. On his attendance at meetings, see Queen's College Board of Trustees Minutes, May 28, 1816, and Sept. 29–30, 1817, RUL. On his resignation, see Henry Rutgers to William P. Deare, May 28, 1821; and Board of Trustees Minutes, Sept. 4, 1821, both at RUL. On this period in the college's history, see Richard P. McCormick, Rutgers: A Bicentennial History (New Brunswick, N.J., 1966), 24–41; William H. S. Demarest, A History of Rutgers College, 1766–1924 (New Brunswick, N.J., 1924), 217–71; and Demarest, "Henry Rutgers: Soldier, Philanthropist, Christian, and Civic Leader," Rutgers Alumni Monthly (Jan. 1926): 106–07.
- ^ On Milledoler, see ANB, s.v. "Milledoler, Philip"; and Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit, 9: 104–14. McCormick, Rutgers, 40–41; Demarest, "Henry Rutgers," Rutgers Alumni Monthly (Jan. 1926): 106–07; and Demarest, History of Rutgers College, 273–78. On Rutgers's donations, see also Magazine of the Reformed Dutch Church 1 (Aug. 1826): 163, and (April 1826): 37, 38; the latter issue also noted that students did not lodge within the college, but instead were "distributed, under the special supervision of the faculty, in genteel, sober, Christian families." Robert H. Bremner comments that Queen's College officials "made the mistake of renaming the institution in honor of a prospective benefactor who failed to make the expected princely donation," American Philanthropy (Chicago, 1982), 52.
- ^ On Rutgers's piety, see McMurray, Sermon, 25, 34–35 37–38; the quote is on p. 28; McMurray further commented (p. 25) that "Piety was the controlling principle of his public life." See also J. M. Mathews, Recollections of Persons and Events, Chiefly in the City of New York, Being Selections From His Journal (New York, 1865), 103–115. The phrase "culture of benevolence" is from Lawrence J. Friedman and Mark D. McGarvie, eds., Charity, Philanthropy, and Civility in American History (Cambridge, 2003), 415. On Rutgers's donations to churches, see McMurray, Sermon, 23–24. Quoted in David De Sola Pool, Portraits Etched in Stone: Early Jewish Settlers, 1682–1831 (New York, 1952); see also David and Tamar De Sola Pool, An Old Faith in the New World: Portrait of Shearith Israel, 1654–1954 (New York, 1955), 457.
- ^ On Rutgers and the American Bible Society, see Edmund B. Shotwell, "Henry Rutgers and the American Bible Society," unpublished monograph (typescript), Shotwell Collection (R-MC 005), RUL; the quote is on p. [11–12] n.10. On the American Bible Society, see Peter J. Wosh, Spreading the Word: The Bible Business in Nineteenth-Century America (Ithaca, N.Y., 1994). The bequest to the American Bible Society is in the will of Henry Rutgers (transcription), RUL. Stereotype printing was introduced to the U.S. in 1812; it greatly reduced costs because printing was done from plates and not by expensive typesetting, Paul C. Gutjahr, An American Bible: A History of the Good Book in the United States, 1777–1880 (Stanford, Calif., 1999), 13.
- ^ On the "Age of Benevolence" and the transition from personal charity to philanthropic associations, see Robert A. Gross, "Giving in America: From Charity to Philanthropy," in Friedman and McGarvie, eds., Charity, Philanthropy, and Civility in American History, 29–48; and M. J. Heale, "From City Fathers to Social Critics: Humanitarianism and Government in New York, 1790–1860," Journal of American History 63 (June 1976): 21–41. When in 1824 a bill was before the New York legislature to include funding for "the Old Charity Schools" with that for the Free School Society, Rutgers commented: "I … found it my duty to advocate the Cause of the Old Charitable Institution, which had a being before the Free School existed, and had been beneficial to the Poor of the City," Rutgers to Reverend Matthews, Oct. 30, 1824, RUL. The anecdote is from McMurray, Sermon, 31n. On Rutgers's New Year's Day tradition, see McMurray, Sermon, 31n; and Mary Crosby, "Reminiscences of Rutgers Place," Crosby Papers, New-York Historical Society.
- ^ John Pintard to his daughter, Feb. 18, 1830, Letters of John Pintard to His Daughter, 3: 125–26. McMurray, Sermon occasioned by the Death of Col. Henry Rutgers (1830); McMurray was the beneficiary of a $1000 bequest from Rutgers, Will of Henry Rutgers (transcription), RUL. Rutgers's original burial site may be the one depicted (Vault 18) in "A Plan of the Vaults in the New Dutch Church Yard made Aug. 13th 1765," Duyckinck Papers, New York State Library. The fascinating story of John Pearson and his committee's project to locate Henry Rutgers's final resting place is told in Lori Chambers and Bill Glovin, "The Search for Colonel Henry," Rutgers Magazine (Fall 2002): 20–25, 42–45.
- ^ The quote about family harmony is from Henry Rutgers to Wm. B. Crosby, Feb. 17, 1801, Rutgers Papers, New York State Library. The quote about Anna Bancker is from Henry Remsen Sr. to Henry Remsen Jr., March 13, 1830, Remsen Papers, New York Public Library. Written a mere ten days after Rutgers's death, see also same to same, Feb. 27, 1830: "I am sorry to observe that his Will is less favorable to the descendants of his Sister [Anna] Bancker, than to those of his other Sisters. It is indeed not only partial, but unjust & supremely ridiculous. … It is a happy circumstance … that my children have not to depend upon the pittance left to them by Col. Rutgers, and I trust they will have the charity to forgive him, tho' they must contemn his injustice," Remsen Papers. Apparently, bad feelings lingered. In 1837, Remsen advised his son that if he encountered William B. Crosby in St. Croix, he "not enter into argument with him, in regard to the disposition made by the Colonel of his estate, or the manner in which his executors [including Crosby] have managed the portion belonging to yourself, and your brothers and sisters; because no good would result from it, but much evil might, as I think irritation would be the inevitable consequence," same to same, Jan. 4, 1837, Remsen Papers. At the time of his death, Henry Rutgers's real estate reportedly consisted of 429 lots appraised at $907,949, Crosby, "Rutgers Family of New York," NYG&B Rec. 17 (April 1886): 92. Additional evidence of Rutgers's controlling personality is that when William B. Crosby married in 1807, Rutgers wanted the newlyweds to live in his house. Crosby declined and set up his own household nearby, but compromised by agreeing "to dine with him very frequently, and in his last years every day," Mary Crosby, "Reminiscences of Rutgers Place," Crosby Papers, New-York Historical Society.
- ^ On the "disorderly bachelor" in the Early National period, see Mark E. Kann, A Republic of Men: The American Founders, Gendered Language, and Patriarchal Politics (New York, 1998), 52–78; on the "sporting male" bachelor in the early nineteenth century, see Timothy J. Gilfoyle, City of Eros: New York City, Prostitution, and the Commercialization of Sex, 1790–1920 (New York, 1992), 92–116.
- ^ MCC, 1784–1831, 18: 466–67, 3: 177–78; and Burghers of New Amsterdam and Freemen of New York, 311, 346–65. On Rutgers's citations for nuisances, see note 36 above.
- ^ MCC, 1784–1831, 18: 466–67.
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