Jeremias van Rensselaer
|Jeremias Van Rensselaer|
Portrait of Jeremias Van Rensselaer
|Born||16 May 1632
|Died||October 14, 1674
Manor of Rensselaerswyck, New York
|Known for||Third patroon of the Manor of Rensselaerswyck|
|Board member of||Dutch West India Company|
|Spouse(s)||Marritje Van Cortlandt|
|Parents||Kiliaen Van Rensselaer
Anna Van Wely
|New Netherland series|
|The Patroon System|
|Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions|
|Directors of New Netherland:|
|People of New Netherland|
|Dutch West India Company
|The Patroon System
|Map of Rensselaerswyck
|Patroons of Rensselaerswyck:
Kiliaen van Rensselaer
Jeremaias was the second son of Kiliean's second wife, Anna van Wely. He grew up on Keizersgracht, and received a Calvinist education. In 1658, traveled to Rensselaerswyck to take the place of his brother, Jan Baptist van Rensselaer.
He was the first of his family to establish himself permanently in America, the remainder of his life, sixteen years, being devoted to the government of the colony, which he exercised with great prudence, energy, and distinction.
Pursuing the sagacious policy begun under the vice-directors, he became a man of great influence among the Indians, and "so attached them to him that they guarded his estates as carefully as they did their own." To the French in Canada he was known as one of the representative and ablest men of the Dutch and English colonies. He had the good judgment to adjust the acute differences with Peter Stuyvesant which had troubled the administrations of his brother and van Slichtenhorst, and during the brief residue of the Dutch authority in New Netherland was on excellent terms with the irascible governor.
In 1661 eight chairs, a bed, a mirror and a cupboard were sent to him from the Dutch Republic.
After his halfbrother Johan van Rensselaer died in May 1662, he and three brothers and two sisters may have inherited his estate. In 1664 Jan Baptist, Elisabeth van Twiller, the widow of Johan, Leonora and Susanna decided to sell all their property in and around Rensselaerswijck to Jeremias. Rijckert went to the colony to assist him.
On the occasion of the landtsdagh or diet summoned by Stuyvesant early in 1664 to deliberate on the critical condition of the province—this being the first general representative assembly held within the present state of New York—he served as presiding officer of that body.
After the surrender to the English in September 1664, he took the oath to the new government, and the rights and immunities enjoyed by his family in its colony were recognized, though the precise future status of the property was not settled in his time. He desired to obtain a new patent in the name of his family, and, failing in this, was privately advised to move in the matter as an individual (being qualified to hold real estate by virtue of his British citizenship), and so obtained a regrant of Rensselarswyck in his personal name.
This counsel he rejected indignantly, saying he was but a coheir, and would not defraud his brothers and sisters. He finally obtained from Governor Andros a patent "to the heirs of Kiliaen van Rensselaer," which, while in a sense only provisional, served all necessary purposes until the manor grant of 1685.
Jeremias left a voluminous correspondence, together with a minute chronicle of events in America, under the title of the "New Netherland Mercury". His great industry and methodical habits have been remarked upon by many writers.
- 1. Kiliaen Van Rensselaer (fifth patroon), second lord of Rensselaerswyck Manor.
- 2. Johannes van Rensselaer
- 3. Anna van Rensselaer, b. 1665 and married Kilaen Van Rensselaer, her first cousin.
- 4. Hendrick van Rensselaer
- 5. Maria van Rensselaer, married Peter Schuyler.
Jeremias died in Rensselaerswyck on October 12, 1674.
- Spooner 1907, p.17
- Birth certificate Amsterdam City Archive
- Spooner, pp. 13-14
- Spooner, pp. 14
- Jacobs, J. (2005) New Netherland: a Dutch colony in seventeenth-century America, p. 411 
- NA 2241, f. 1233-1234, not A. Lock, 13 June 1673.
- Spooner, pp. 14-15
- Spooner, pp. 15
- Jacobs, J. (2005) New Netherland: a Dutch colony in seventeenth-century America, p. 429 
- Jacobs, J. (2005) New Netherland: a Dutch colony in seventeenth-century America, p. 444 
- Spooner, W. W. (January 1907). "The Van Rensselaer Family". American Historical Magazine 2 (1): 13–15.
- This article incorporates text from an article in American Historical Magazine, by W. W. Spooner (1907), a publication now in the public domain.