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Arent van Curler memorial tablet, Nijkerk, Netherlands
Arent van Curler, later van Corlaer, (1619, Nijkerk, Gelderland - 1667) was the cousin of Kiliaen van Rensselaer and undertook the management of Rensselaer's patroonship Rensselaerswyck in the Dutch colony of New Netherland perhaps as early as 1630, and continued there until 1646.
In 1643, van Curler married the widow of Jonas Bronck, Teuntie Joriaens, aka Antonia Slaaghboom, and the couple settled in Beverwijck, near Fort Orange.
In 1662, he founded the city of Schenectady on land he purchased from the Mohawks. He was known for his fair dealings with the Indians, negotiating disputes and arranging for captives to be freed.
In 1666 he aided De Courcelle, governor of New France, who ran into difficulties while on an expedition to the Mohawk Valley. In 1667, on a trip to Quebec at the invitation of Governor de Tracy of he drowned in Lake Champlain when his boat overturned in a storm.
The Hotel Van Curler in Schenectady, built in 1925 – now Elston Hall of Schenectady County Community College – is named after Arent van Curler.