Anna De Peyster Douw
Stefan Bielinski

Anna De Peyster was born in Albany in March 1723. She was the daughter of State Street mainstays Johannes and Anna Schuyler De Peyster.

Growing up in a landmark State Street home, she lost all but one of her seven siblings early in life. But as the daughter of the mayor of Albany and surrounded by numerous Schuyler kin, she had an advantaged childhood that brought her into contact with the most prominent families in the region.

Just past her nineteenth birthday, Anna married rising Albany merchant Volkert P. Douw. Between 1743 and 1760, their nine children were baptized in the Albany Dutch church where both parents were members, pewholders, and frequent baptism sponsors.

During the 1750s and 60s, these Douws were central personages in Albany society. Anna's civic-minded husband served as mayor of Albany from 1761 to 1770. By the end of his tenure at city hall, the middle-aged couple had relocated to the Douw family estate across the Hudson at "Wolvenhook" - leaving their city-based business to the next generation.

Anna's Greenbush home was spacious and was served by a large number of servants. Located on the river road south of the Van Rensselaer seat at Crailo, the Douws lived out their days in country comfort.

Two months after her seventy-first birthday, Anna De Peyster Douw died at Wolvenhook in June 1794 and was buried in the family cemetery. Her husband died in 1801 and was buried nearby.



the people of colonial Albany The life of Anna De Peyster Douw is CAP biography number 7822. This profile is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

These distinguished businessmen were John De Peyster Douw and John Stevenson. With many grandchildren, Anna had become the matriarch of a large Albany family.

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first posted: 11/30/01