Cornelis Van Santvoort
Stefan Bielinski

Cornelis Van Santvoort probably was born on Staten Island. He was the eldest son of Reformed minister Cornelis Van Santvoort and his wife Anna Staats. In 1738, he was listed as a first lieutenant on the roster of a Staten Island militia company. By 1740, his father had moved the family to Schenectady to serve the Dutch congregation there. In 1746, he was identified as a soldier in a company of volunteers recruited in New York to serve in an expedition against Canada.

Cornelis married Ariaantie Bradt at the Albany Dutch church in December 1747 on the same day that his brother, Staats, married Ariaantie's sister, Willemptie Bradt!. By 1761, six of their children had been baptized at the Albany Dutch church where both parents were pewholders.

Cornelis Van Santvoort was a Hudson River skipper and was known as "Captain." For several decades he carried cargoes between Albany and New York for a number of merchants and businessmen including Sir William Johnson.

His civic career began in 1740 when he was appointed chamberlain (treasurer) and posted a 500 pound bond. He was reappointed in 1750. In 1755, he served as a firemaster in the first ward. But, by 1766, he had settled in the third ward where he owned a home and occasionally kept boarders.

In 1775, he was elected to represent the third ward on the Albany Committee of Correspondence and was active in its operations. At the same time, he served as "Commissary of Stores" - stating In 1777 that "it is a glory to be in the Service for the defence of my country." However, he constantly pointed out that he had been serving without a commission. After initially refusing to sign the Association, Cornelis Van Santvoort relented and then served the revolutionary cause throughout the struggle even though he was exempted from active duty in 1778 by virtue of his age.

Cornelis Van Santvoort was listed in the Watervliet section of the censuses of 1790 and 1800.



the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Cornelis Van Santvoort is CAP biography number 6721. This profile is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

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first posted: 10/5/03