The Schuyler family was one of the most prominent families of the mid-1600. One of their daughters, Margarita Schuyler Van Rensselaer popularly known as Peggy Schuyler was always the talk of the town during her youthful days. Peggy’s life spanned from September 19, 1758, to March 14, 1801. Even though she died at 42, she was remembered by posterity as a woman who lived a fulfilled life.
Peggy Schuyler: Biography
Peggy was born as Margarita Schuyler Van Rensselaer on the 19th day of September 1758. She was born into the prominent family of Philip Schuyler, a Continental Army General and Catharine Schuyler (née Van Rensselaer). Peggy was the 3rd daughter of seven siblings and was born in Albany, New York.
Peggy was married to Stephen Van Rensselaer III, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton and Angelica Schuyler Church were her elder sisters while Philip Jeremiah Schuyler was her brother. Alexander Hamilton and John Barker Church were her brothers in law. Peggy’s family was a part of the wealthy Dutch landowners in Albany in the middle 1600 and consequently, Peggy had a comfortable childhood, her basic education and domestic training were received from her mother. The Schuylers’ family attended the Dutch Reformed Church in Albany just like other Dutch families of that era.
Peggy Schulyer’s Life, Death, Cause of death
Peggy lived a fulfilled life, as a member of the powerful Schuyler family, she had wealth and position at her disposal. Peggy Schuler and her siblings had a privileged life and were always the talk of the town. After her controversial marriage to Stephen Van Rensselaer III who was the then 10th richest man in America, Peggy clinched even a higher place for herself in the society. She gave birth to three kids but only one survived – Stephen Van Rensselaer IV who went on become a Major General in the Militia.
Unfortunately, Peggy Schuyler took ill in 1799 and with the advent of the winter of 1800, her condition deteriorated, and she kicked the bucket on the 14th day of March 1801 at 42 years of age. She was interred in the Van Rensselaer estate but later, her body was exhumed and transferred to the Albany Rural Cemetery where she was reinterred.
Other Facts About Peggy Schuyler
Peggy is the third daughter of Phillip Schuyler, a war veteran and an esteemed individual who was selected by the Continental Congress as a Major General. General Phillip fought victoriously at the battle of Saratoga. Peggy’s mother was Catharine Schuyler, a descendant of the Van Rensselaer family whose life spanned from 1734–1803. Being a daughter of a prominent family, Peggy commanded as much respect as it was possible for a woman to get during her time.
Peggy’s pet name
Peggy was named Margarita Schuyler Van Rensselaer at birth, so her real name was Margarita. Instead of taking on a proper first name like her other sisters Elizabeth and Angelica, she preferred being referred to as Peggy. Meggy was actually the real nickname for her birth name but the name metamorphosed into Peggy over time.
You cannot talk about the major wealthy landowners in Albany in mid-1600 without mentioning the Schuyler family. They are of Dutch origin, both Peggy’s father Phillip and mother Catharine were from very powerful and respected families and the Schuyler family was heavily involved in the politics of that time. They hobnobbed with many prominent personalities like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. As a result of their exalted position in the society, the Schuyler sisters were very popular. Today, they are often referred to as the Kardashians of the 1700s. Although Peggy was not always mentioned, she was just as grand as her socialite sisters.
Peggy was described as having a lively and amiable personality. She is remembered as a person whose presence can light up a room and has a personality that cannot be overlooked. The socialite is very humane and would always think of others first. She even risked her life once for her infant sibling when a raiding party made an assassination attempt on their father’s life. Upon realizing that the baby was left alone downstairs when the Schuyler sisters were trying to run for their lives, Peggy was the only person with enough courage to go back downstairs to retrieve the baby even in the face of danger. Peggy succeeded in saving the baby but she barely escaped death at the hands of the raiders.
Peggy Schuyler got married to her distant cousin Stephen Van Rensselaer III who was much younger than her in June 1783. Stephen was 19 while Peggy was 25 years of age. There was much talk about Stephen and Peggy’s marriage and the lovebirds had to elope in order to be able to get married in peace. Stephen was then rated the 10th richest man in all of America and a powerful Landowner. By getting hitched to Stephen, Peggy made a brilliant marriage and also secured an enviable position for herself.
Peggy’s marriage was blessed with three kids, but she lost two of her kids as infants. Her only surviving child was Stephen Van Rensselaer IV who served in the New York Militia after graduating from Princeton University in 1808. Stephen retired from the military with the tile of Major General.