Oliver De Lancey (American loyalist)
Oliver De Lancey
|Nickname(s)||Outlaw of the Bronx|
|Born||September 17, 1718|
New York City, Province of New York, British North America, British Empire
|Died||October 27, 1785 (aged 67)|
Beverley, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
|Service/||New York Provincial Militia (1755-1763)|
British Army (1776-1783)
|Years of service||1746-1748|
|Battles/wars||French and Indian War
|Relations||James DeLancey (brother)|
Major-General Oliver De Lancey Sr. (September 17, 1718 – October 27, 1785) was a merchant and Loyalist politician and soldier during the American Revolutionary War. His surname is also sometimes written as de Lancey or Delancey.
The son of Etienne Delancey and Anne Van Cortland (Cortlandt), Oliver De Lancey was born on September 17, 1718, in New York City, Province of New York. Oliver was the uncle of James De Lancey, of the British Loyalist unit, De Lancey's Brigade, during the American Revolutionary War. The De Lancey family was of Huguenot descent. From 1754-1757, De Lancey served as a New York alderman for the Out Ward and was a member of the New York assembly from New York County from 1756-1761.
French and Indian War
During the French and Indian War, Oliver De Lancey was selected by the New York Assembly, with the support of his brother James De Lancey, the acting Governor, to provide provisions for New York provincial units. During the war, De Lancey commanded the New York Provincial Militia, 1755-1763, and commanded a provincial detachment in the Ticonderoga campaign of 1758. In 1766, De Lancey was one of the judges in the Pendergast case, where the alleged leader of the Dutchess County land rebels was convicted and sentenced to death.
Colonial politics and military command
Oliver De Lancey was a member of the provincial executive council, from 1760, until the American Revolutionary War. In 1768, he allied himself with Isaac Sears and the Sons of Liberty. De Lancey spoke out against the Boston Port Act, of 1774, but did not support non-importation. He was one of the persons responsible, for the creation of the Committee of Fifty. In 1773, he was appointed colonel in chief, of the Southern Military District.
American Revolutionary War
Oliver De Lancey was a senior Loyalist officer, during the American Revolutionary War. De Lancey joined General Howe, on Staten Island, in 1776, and raised and equipped, the three battalions, with his brother, James, of DeLancey's Brigade, consisting of 1,500 loyalist volunteers from the Province of New York, and served as commanding officer on Long Island.
The house of Oliver De Lancey was plundered, by Patriots, in November, 1777 and confiscated in October, 1779.
In the fall of 1742, Oliver De Lancey secretly married Phila Franks, the daughter of a prominent and successful New York Jewish family. For six months, they kept the match secret, but in the spring of 1743, Phila announced the union and went to live with her husband. The letters of Abigail Franks, Phila's mother, to her son Naphtali in England speak of her sense of betrayal and her pain, and she never spoke to Phila again. Her husband, on the other hand, accepted the marriage.
Phila and Oliver de Lancey had at least two sons and a daughter:
- Stephen (1748–1798) who became clerk of the city and county of Albany in 1785, Lieutenant Colonel of the 1st New Jersey Loyal Volunteers in 1782, afterwards Chief Justice of the Bahamas, and in 1796 Governor of Tobago. He married Cornelia, daughter of the Rev. H. Barclay of Trinity Church, New York. They had several children, including William Howe De Lancey, a British staff officer mortally wounded at the Battle of Waterloo.
- Oliver (c. 1749–1822), who became a general in the British Army,  and who also had a son called Oliver (1803–1837) who served as a British Army officer and was killed in action while fighting for the British Legion during the First Carlist War.
- Susanna De Lancey who married William Draper
Exile in England and death
- Bonomi, Patricia (1971). A Factious People, Politics and Society in Colonial New York. ISBN 0-231-03509-8.
- Chichester, Henry Manners (1888). "De Lancey, William Howe". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography. 14. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 304, 305.
- Stephens, Henry Morse (1888). "De Lancey, Oliver (1749-1822)". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography. 14. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 303, 304.
- Ketchum, Richard, Divided Loyalties, How the American Revolution Came to New York, 2002, ISBN 0-8050-6120-7