Stephen Can Rensselaer (Library of Congress)


Lived: November 1, 1764 - January 26, 1839 (aged 74)

Hometown: New York City, settling near Albany, NY

Battles: Queenston Heights

Stephen van Rensselaer received a commission in the New York State Militia not because of his military skill, but as the son of one of New York's wealthiest landowners. Despite his lack of experience, however, Van Rensselaer proved a capable leader and a daring soldier. His defeat at the Battle of Queenston Heights owed more to the schism between militia and Regular Army troops than to true tactical failures.