Christopher Beekman
Stefan Bielinski

Christopher Beekman settled in Albany after the Seven Years War. He may not have been part of the Albany Beekman family although a number of Christopher Beekmans lived in New York and New Jersey during the eighteenth century.

His name first appeared on an Albany assessment roll in 1766. In 1773, his vote in the election for aldermen was disqualified on the grounds that he was "born out of British dominions [and] not naturalized." Testimony surrounding the elections revealed that previously he had applied to John Roorbach to be naturalized and alleged that he was paid a bribe of forty pounds for his vote.

Apparently a butcher, in 1775 he sold mutton to the Albany committee. However, his name is conspicuously absent from most community-based, war-era records. But from 1779 on, he was identified regularly as a resident of the third ward. He also owned an additional lot near the river and south of the city hall. In August 1778, he purchased a lot along the Schenectady road four twenty-five pounds from the city government. In 1790, his third ward home included six family members and two slaves.

By 1780, he had married Maria Thowman. In July, their son Nicholas was baptized in the Albany Dutch church. Later, he was a member and pewholder of Albany's First Lutheran church.

In 1800, his third ward home had six children, Beekman and his wife, and was served by four slaves. The next year, he began to sell off his real estate holdings. After 1802, the name of Christopher Beekman dropped from city rolls. However,in 1825, his heirs still retained his real estate located between Montgomery and North Market Streets.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Christopher Beekman is CAP biography number 3900. We seek defining information on his origins and later life. We spell his surname "Beekman" to signify that we do not believe he was a member of the larger Albany Beekman family. Perhaps he was of German ancestry! This sketch is derived chiefly from community-based resources.

Perhaps he was the Christopher Beekman (aged 92) whose portrait was painted by James Van Dyck in 1825.

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first posted: 10/20/04