Robert R. Henry


Robert R. Henry was born in March 1771. He was the son of Robert and Elizabeth Vernor Henry. He was known as "Robert R." to distinguish him from at least two contemporary and same-named kin.

In April 1792, he was named as one of the administrators of the estate of Robert Henry Jr. He also was identified as the holder of one of the deceased's collections of books and property. Two months earlier, he was among those named as the initial trustees of the newly formed Albany Library.

By 1797, he had established himself as an Albany merchant. Over the next two decades, he owned substantial residences in the heart of the Albany business district, a store, and a number of lots in the second ward as well. In 1800, his budding family was described on the census and was served by three slaves. By 1813, his house on Market Street and store on Quay Street were noted in the city directory.

His wife was Isabella (aka Elizabeth) Seaton. In 1799, their child was christened at the Albany Presbyterian church where he was a member and trustee (1807-15). Reportedly, they raised a large family. His brother married Isabella's sister, Charlotte Seaton.

At the end of December 1799, he (with his wife and his brother and his wife) sold title to a large tract of land in Stillwater, Saratoga County to one-time Schenectady merchants Phynn & Ellice - who then were exiled Tories living in England. At that time, Robert R. Henry was identified as a merchant living in Albany.

In 1808, he was a bearer in the funeral of his neighbor, Henry J. Bleecker.

About 1815, he appears to have re-located to the American South where he resumed his business.

In 1824, a legal matter involving Henry Clay identifed "Robert R. Henry, Esq. of Albany" as a "New York merchant trading in the South."

Robert R. Henry died in April 1851 in Savannah, Georgia. He had lived eighty years.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Robert R. Henry is CAP biography number 8427. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 5/10/09