Philip Cuyler
Stefan Bielinski

Philip Cuyler was born in August 1733. He was the eldest surviving son of Cornelis and Catharina Schuyler Cuyler. His future received an early boost when he was left a bequest by a Schuyler kinsman in 1739. Growing up in a large second ward family of a prominent merchant, Philip was sent to Newport, Rhode Island to represent his father and to make new business connections. Otherwise, he was excluded from his father's substantial estate.

In September 1757, he married Sarah Tweedy of Newport. These Cuylers first lived in Newport and in New York. He may have been the same Philip Cuyler who was a businessman in New York during the Seven Years War. Their child was baptized in New York in 1760. Subsequent children were christened in Albany.

In March 1765, he may have received an additional bequest in the will filed by his father. Cornelis Cuyler died later that year. By that time, Philip had returned to Albany to stay. He was a member and pewholder at the Albany Dutch church.

In his early thirties, Philip Cuyler followed family business in the Indian trade and in its overseas connection as well. He took up residence on lower State Street, served in the militia, but otherwise maintained a low civic profile. In 1770, his brother, Abraham, was appointed mayor of Albany.

Unlike his brother, who was imprisoned as a royal official, Philip was able to avoid conflict with the revolutionaries and even subscribed a small sum for the relief of Fort Ticonderoga in 1775. After the war, he was accorded a land bounty right in conjunction with the city regiment of the Albany County militia.

In February 1782, he was among those left a share of the estate of the legendary Madame Schuyler. At that time, he also was named co-executor of her will. In 1793, he was still performing those duties.

Aged fifty at the end of the war, Philip Cuyler seems to have dropped from the local business scene. He did acquire another lot from the city. In 1790 and in 1800, the census showed Philip and his wife living alone in a house in the second ward on Barrack Street. In 1801 and 1802, his house included a boarder ("Weston"?).

After 1803, we have not encountered his name in the community-based record.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Philip Cuyler is CAP biography number 603. This profile is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. His business letterbooks for 1755-60 and ledger covering 1763-94 are noted online. We seek information on his life after 1802!

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first posted 2/15/04; updated 12/16/17