Abraham Ten Broeck

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Abraham Ten Broeck
Mayor of Albany, New York
In office
Preceded byAbraham Yates, Jr.
Succeeded byPhilip S. Van Rensselaer
In office
Preceded byJohn Barclay
Succeeded byJohannes Jacobse Beeckman
Member of the New York Provincial Congress
In office
Personal details
Born(1734-05-13)13 May 1734
New York City, Province of New York, British America
Died19 January 1810(1810-01-19) (aged 75)
Albany, New York, U.S.
Political partyFederalist
Elizabeth Van Rensselaer
(m. 1773; his death 1810)
Children5, including Dirck Ten Broeck
ParentsDirck Ten Broeck
Margarita Cuyler
RelativesPhilip Livingston (brother-in-law)
Stephen Van Rensselaer II (brother-in-law)

Abraham Ten Broeck (May 13, 1734 – January 19, 1810) was a New York politician, businessman, and militia Brigadier General of Dutch descent. He was twice Mayor of Albany, New York and built one of the largest mansions in the area that still stands more than 200 years later.[2]

Early life[edit]

Abraham Ten Broeck was the son of Dirck Ten Broeck (1686–1751) and Margarita (née Cuyler) (1682–1783). He was the brother of Catharine Ten Broeck Livingston (1715–1802), who was married to John Livingston (1709–1791), a son of Robert Livingston the Younger, Anna Ten Broeck (1717–1731), and Christina Ten Broeck Livingston (1718–1801), who was married to Philip Livingston (1716–1778).[3]

His father was a prominent merchant and politician who served as Albany's mayor beginning in 1746. His paternal grandfather Wessel Ten Broeck (1664–1747), was the son of former Albany mayor Dirck Wesselse Ten Broeck. His maternal grandparents were Abraham Cuyler (1665–1747), the brother of former Albany mayor Cornelis Cuyler, and Caatje (née Bleecker) Cuyler (1670–1734), a daughter of former Albany mayor Jan Jansen Bleecker.[4]


Abraham was sent to New York City to learn business with his sister Christina's husband, Philip Livingston. In 1751, at seventeen years old,[4] he was sent to Europe to learn international business after his father's death, returning to Albany in 1752.[2]

Ten Broeck increased his wealth via trade while in Albany. During the 1750s, he was involved in the provincial militia. In 1759, he was elected to the Albany City Council and in 1760, he was elected to the Province of New York Assembly while continuing to serve Albany.[4]

In 1769, his brother-in-law died at age 27 and Ten Broeck was named co-administrator of the Manor of Rensselaerswyck,[4] a position he held until 1784 when his nephew, Stephen Van Rensselaer III, came of age.[2]

American Revolution[edit]

Ten Broeck continued his military involvement and was named colonel of the Albany County militia in 1775. On June 25, 1778[citation needed], he was named Brigadier General of the Tryon and Albany Counties of Militia and then Albany County only. He resigned March 26, 1781.[2]

He was a member of the New York Provincial Congress from 1775 to 1777 and was its chairman of its Committee of Safety in 1777.[2]

After war years[edit]

After the death of Mayor John Barclay, Ten Broeck was appointed Mayor of Albany in 1779, remaining in office until 1783. In March 1789, he ran for Congress but was defeated by Jeremiah Van Rensselaer. In 1796, Mayor Abraham Yates, Jr. died and Ten Broeck was again appointed Mayor of Albany, remaining in office until 1798 when he was succeeded by another nephew, Philip Schuyler Van Rensselaer (1767–1824).

Ten Broeck was a Federalist presidential elector in 1796, and cast his votes for John Adams and Thomas Pinckney.[5]

Personal life[edit]

"Prospect", the Ten Broeck Mansion, built 1798.

In November 1763, he married Elizabeth Van Rensselaer (1734–1813),[6] a daughter of Stephen Van Rensselaer I (the 7th Patroon and 4th Lord of the Manor of Rensselaerswyck) and a sister of patroon Stephen Van Rensselaer II.[7] Elizabeth and her brother were great-grandchildren of the first native-born mayor of New York City, Stephanus Van Cortlandt. Together, they were the parents of five children, including:[3]

By the mid-1760s, Ten Broeck was one of Albany's wealthiest men. The Ten Broecks lived in a house that was assessed equally with the Schuyler Mansion and Yates Mansion in 1788. In 1797, it was burned in a fire that destroyed several city blocks.[11] Construction was started on the new home soon after, and the family resided there beginning in 1798 calling the place "Prospect." The historic mansion still stands in Arbor Hill more than 200 years later.[12]

Ten Broeck died on Friday, January 19, 1810.[13]


The towns of Ten Broeck, Alabama and Ten Broeck, Kentucky as well as Tenbroeck Avenue in the Bronx, New York City were named after him.

See also[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Spooner 1907, p.17
  2. ^ a b c d e Bielinski, Stefan. "Abraham Ten Broeck". exhibitions.nysm.nysed.gov. New York State Museum. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b Reynolds, Cuyler (1911). Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs: A Record of Achievements of the People of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys in New York State, Included Within the Present Counties of Albany, Rensselaer, Washington, Saratoga, Montgomery, Fulton, Schenectady, Columbia and Greene. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d "Abraham Ten Broeck". www.newnetherlandinstitute.org. New Netherland Institute. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  5. ^ "A New Nation Votes". elections.lib.tufts.edu. American Antiquarian Society | Digital Collections and Archives at Tufts University. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Elizabeth Van Rensselaer (Mrs. Abraham) Ten Broeck (1734-1813)". www.albanyinstitute.org. Albany Institute of History & Art. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  7. ^ Bielinski, Stefan. "Elizabeth Van Rensselaer Ten Broeck". exhibitions.nysm.nysed.gov. New York State Museum. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  8. ^ Bielinski, Stefan. "Cornelia Stuyvesant Ten Broeck". exhibitions.nysm.nysed.gov. New York State Museum. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  9. ^ Daughters of the American Revolution (1898). Lineage Book Daughters of the American Revolution. The Society. p. 283. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  10. ^ Bielinski, Stefan. "Margarita Ten Broeck". exhibitions.nysm.nysed.gov. New York State Museum. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  11. ^ Fire at the New York State Museum web site.
  12. ^ Scheltema, Gajus; Westerhuijs, Heleen (2013). Exploring Historic Dutch New York: New York City * Hudson Valley * New Jersey * Delaware. Courier Corporation. p. 205. ISBN 9780486301259. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  13. ^ Munsell, Joel (1854). The Annals of Albany. Albany, New York: J. Munsell Co. Retrieved 12 September 2017.

External links[edit]

Civic offices
Preceded by
Abraham Yates, Jr.
Mayor of Albany, New York
Succeeded by
Philip S. Van Rensselaer
Preceded by
John Barclay
Mayor of Albany, New York
Succeeded by
Johannes Jacobse Beeckman