Arent van Curler

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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 1638, and continued there until 1646.[1]

In 1643, van Curler married the widow of Jonas Bronck, Teuntie Joriaens, aka Antonia Slaaghboom, and the couple settled in Beverwijck, near Fort Orange.[2]

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. He also fathered a child with a Mohawk woman, [3] possibly before his marriage to Teuntie Joriaens. For many years the Mohawks called the governors of New York "Corlaer", using his name as a title, because of the high regard in which they held him.[4]

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 he drowned in Lake Champlain when his boat overturned in a storm.[1]

The Hotel Van Curler in Schenectady, built in 1925 – now Elston Hall of Schenectady County Community College – is named after Arent van Curler. Van Corlaer Elementary School, built in 1914 on Guilderland Avenue in Schenectady, is also named after him. In the birthplace of van Curler, Nijkerk, two districts and two schools named after him.


  1. ^ a b Monroe, Joel Henry (1914). Schenectady Ancient and Modern. 
  2. ^ Elna Nilsson (2007) Jonas Jonsson Brunk - From Komstad to Bronx Archived August 11, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. in Swedish
  3. ^ Jaap Jacobs (2009) The Colony of New Netherland: A Dutch Settlement in Seventeenth-century America Cornell University Press
  4. ^ Greene, Nelson (ed) (1925). History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925. S.J. Clarke Publishing Company. Retrieved November 26, 2014. 

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