The Samuel Schuyler Family Plot

Captain Samuel Schuyler monument On a bluff overlooking the Hudson River at the Albany Rural Cemetery is a monument to Afro Albanian patriarch Captain Samuel Schuyler.

This granite icon is instantly recognizable by a ship's anchor carved into its east and west faces. It is located in section 66 and is situated on one of the most commanding vistas at the cemetery. The Samuel Schuyler monument literally towers over the tombstones of a number of notables including New York Governor William L. Marcy and renowned Albany painter Ezra Ames.

The monument celebrates the marriage of Samuel and Mary Schuyler and the lives of three of their most prominent sons. It probably was erected sometime after the death of Thomas Schuyler in 1866. It is the centerpiece of a larger family plot that includes more than a dozen individual stones.

The Samuel Schuyler family plotThis beautiful Schuyler family plot also is a cornerstone of a grassroots effort to restore the family to its place of importance in Albany history. That initiative led to the commissioning of historical artist Len Tantillo to produce a painting of a Schuyler towboat set against the backdrop of Schuyler's south Albany neighborhood.


The Albany Rural Cemetery was opened in 1844. It was one of the first major embodiments of the rural cemetery movement in the United States. Graves were relocated there from cemeteries and plots throughout Albany beginning in 1845. The first local history of the cemetery appeared in the Bicentennial History of Albany, pp. 674-76. Subsequent references can be found in the Wikipedia entry and on the cemetery's official website. All of these have been superseded by publication of Paul Grondahl's These Exalted Acres: Unlocking the Secrets of Albany Rural Cemetery in 2013. It is widely available for purchase in printed form and also appears on its own website courtesy of the Times Union.

Photographs taken by Stefan Bielinski on a sunny day in May 2001.

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first posted 6/12/01; last updated 7/4/16