Henry Guest, Jr.


The Albany resident known as Henry Guest, Jr. was born about 1759 or perhaps in 1765. We seek information on his origins and path to Albany. Perhaps, he was the son or kinsman of Henry Guest of New Jersey. He is said to have moved from New Brunswick to Albany. This subject almost always was referred to as "Henry Guest, Jr."

In November 1787, the Albany Gazette called him a merchant with a shoe and leather warehouse in the house of the late Dr. Van Dyck at the corner of Court & State nearly opposite the southeast corner of the Dutch church.

In October 1794, the Albany Gazette noted that he was a merchant located at the corner of Court & State Streets. From then on, he can be called an Albany mainliner. In December 1794, he was among those who supported the establishment of Union College. In 1797, he was among those who petitioned for the incorporation of an Albany library. In 1803, a list of Albany freeholders identified him as a merchant. Over the first two decades of the 19th century, he was an officer and director of a number of civic organizations.

In 1799, his house, store, and lot in the first ward were valued on the Albany assessment roll. A year later, his household was configured with three young men on the Albany census. Subsequent censuses document his marriages and family.

In December 1801, he married Elizabeth De Witt. at the Albany Dutch church. Their daughter was christened there in 1803. Elizabeth died in 1805. In December 1811, he married Jane Steele of Albany at the First Presbyterian church.

In 1806, he occupied a house and store on State Street that belonged to the estate of Gerrit Van Zandt.

Beginning with the first edition in 1813, city directories described the store and holdings of a leather merchant at 36 Lydius Street corner of Church.

In July 1820, the newspaper reported that the recently deceased Henry Guest, Jr. had transferred his share of a leather store and factory located on the corner of Lydius and Church Streets to Andrew Lightbody, his younger partner.

Albany merchant Henry Guest, Jr. was dead by the end of July 1820 when letters of administration were issued on his estate.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Henry Guest, Jr. is CAP biography number 8287. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted 3/20/13