Samuel Stevenson


Samuel Stevenson was the keeper of the "Tory Gaol" at the outbreak of hostilities in 1776. Although probably connected to the Anglo-ancestry Stevenson family of early Albany, we have not yet definitively placed him demographically. Thus, we seek information on his origins and path to Albany. We exercise caution here due to the existence of a number of same-named contemporaries.

Perhaps, this individual did not marry as no references to him have been found in the extant records of early Albany churches. However, a Margaret Stevenson Fowler gave birth to a son christened "Samuel Stevenson Fowler" in 1798.

In April 1776, he petitioned the Albany Committee for his pay as jailer saying that he "has served long and without pay." He appears to have received some compensation but was slated to be replaced as soon as a successor could be found. In August, he was superceded as keeper by Volkert Dawson. Perhaps, Samuel was a British adherent as were "other" members of the Albany Stevenson family.

In October 1775, he had been elected constable for the second ward. At this point, it appears to be the sole reference to him encountered in the "city records."

Our search for information on his life after the mid-1770s has taken us to the historical records of greater New York and beyond.

In 1790, the household of a Samuel Stevenson was configured with a man, a boy, and one woman in Eastchester, Westchester County. Perhaps that individual previously was granted a land bounty right in conjunction with a Westchester militia regiment.

His name has not been encountered in the available records of the Albany Dutch church. However, in August 1798, a Samuel Stevenson married Elizabeth Jones at the Greenbush Reformed church.

In 1799, perhaps his grandson was christened "Samuel Stevenson Fowler" in Albany. The boy's father is said to have been from Eastchester.

In 1802, the house, lot, and property of "Sam'l Stevenson" located "in" Fox Street was valued modestly.

We seek lifecourse information on this Samuel Stevenson. With so many outstanding questions, we move on for now!

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Samuel Stevenson is CAP biography number 505. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Sweep of Internet-based resources: 5/23/12.

first posted: 3/20/12