Peter Douw Beekman was born in September 1762. He was the eldest son of Gerardus and Anna Douw Beekman. He was named for his grandfather, Captain Petrus Douw. He grew up in the first ward home of a prominent businessman and at the Douw family retreat located across the river.
Coming of age near the end of the war, he served the Revolutionary cause. In April 1783, he signed a receipt for powder delivered to General Peter Gansevoort from the munitions under the charge of Philip Van Rensselaer.
By the mid-1780s, he had married a woman perhaps named Hannah. His wife died in July 1805 and was buried from the Albany Dutch church. He probably re-married. Albany censuses showing his households during the early 1800s listed a large number of girls but Peter Beekman's children did not appear to have been baptized in Albany churches.
Initially, he lived in a modest home in the first ward. In 1800, the census showed that his home included ten young men and five girls under ten. But, within a few years, he had re-located to the north side of Albany and a house overlooking Foxes Creek. During the 1800s, his large and stylish home stood out among the roominghouses located above Foxes Creek on Van Schaick Street.
City directories identified Peter D. Beekman as a justice of the peace during the first decades of the nineteenth century.
Peter Douw Beekman died in February 1835 at the age of seventy three. His widow lived until 1849.
first posted: 10/10/04; revised 4/20/08