Reverend John Bassett
Stefan Bielinski

John Bassett was born in Brooklyn in 1765. He was the son of Captain John and Eleanor Bassett.

He was trained for the ministry by Reverend John H. Livingston at the New Brunswick Theological Seminary. He was twenty-one in 1787 when he accepted an associate pastorship at the Albany Dutch Reformed Church. The first New York native to serve the Albany pulpit, he was assigned to provide English language spiritual and educational services to the Albany congregation. Primarily charged with running a school, he was named President of the Dutch Church Academy. That venture proved unsuccessful and Bassett was made a scapegoat.

Upon moving to Albany, Bassett lived in a modest home in the first ward. Following the death of Domine Westerlo in 1790, he moved into the parsonage on Market Street.

Initially retained as an assistant, young Bassett took charge of the church while the Consistory searched for a senior minister. Never the favorite of the New Netherland ancestry church leadership, he would never become pastor. In 1796, Reverend John B. Johnson became the pastor even though he was several years younger than Bassett. Overlooked for promotion, his relationship with the Consistory continued to deteoriate. However, Bassett still was able to serve an expanded role involving ministering in two Albany churches.

In the meantime, the now thirty-year-old Bassett had married. In 1795, he wed Albany native Anna Hun and moved in with her family also on Market Street. The marriage produced five children born between 1796 and 1805.

After 1804, Bassett withdrew from the Albany church - accepting a call from the Reformed congregation of the Boght.

Reverend Bassett took charge of the Reformed church in Bushwick, Long Island in 1814. He died in Bushwick in August 1824. He was fifty-nine-years-old.



the people of colonial Albany The life of John Bassett is CAP biography number 7272. This profile is derived chiefly from community-based resources. The principal narrative resource for his life is Robert S. Alexander, Albany's First Church and its Role in the Growth of the City (Albany: First Church in Albany, 1988), pp. 154-71.

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first posted: 9/10/01; revised 10/26/05