Solomon Van Rensselaer

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Solomon van Vechten van Rensselaer
Solomon Van Rensselaer.jpg
Postmaster of Albany, NY
In office
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 9th district
In office
Preceded byRensselaer Westerlo
Succeeded byStephen Van Rensselaer
Personal details
Born(1774-08-09)August 9, 1774
East Greenbush, New York, British America
DiedApril 23, 1852(1852-04-23) (aged 77)
Near Albany, New York, U.S.
Spouse(s)Harriet Van Rensselaer
ParentsHendrick Van Rensselaer
Alida Bratt

Solomon van Vechten van Rensselaer (August 9, 1774 – April 23, 1852) was a United States Representative from the state of New York, a lieutenant colonel during the War of 1812, and postmaster of Albany for 17 years.

Early life[edit]

Solomon van Rensselaer was born on August 9, 1774 in East Greenbush, New York,[1] the son of Hendrick Kiliaen "Henry" Van Rensselaer (1744–1816) and Alida Bratt.[2] He completed preparatory studies in East Greenbush.[3]


He appointed as a cornet in the United States Army in 1792, was promoted to captain in July 1793, and then to major in January 1799, before being honorably discharged in June 1800. He was Adjutant General of New York from 1801 to 1809, 1810 to 1811, and 1813 to 1821. He served in the War of 1812 as a lieutenant colonel of New York State Militia.[4]

He was elected as a Federalist to the Sixteenth and Seventeenth United States Congresses, and served from March 4, 1819 to January 14, 1822, when he resigned. He was postmaster of Albany, New York from 1822 to 1839, and from 1841 to 1843 and a delegate from New York at the opening of the Erie Canal on November 4, 1825.[4]

Personal life[edit]

In January 1797, he married his cousin, Harriet "Arriet" Van Rensselaer (1775–1840), the daughter of Philip Kiliaen van Rensselaer (1747–1798), the owner of the Cherry Hill mansion. Of their many children, only five daughters and one son survived to maturity:[1]

  • Adaline "Alida" Van Rensselaer (1797–1858)[2]
  • Elizabeth Van Rensselaer (1799–1835),[2] who married Richard Van Rensselaer (1797–1880)[5]
  • Rensselaer Van Rensselaer (1802–1850),[2] who married Mary Euphemia Forman in 1840.[6]
  • Van Vechten Van Rensselaer (1806-1812),[2] who died aged 6.
  • Rufus King Van Rensselaer (1809–1809),[2] who died aged 3 months.
  • Margarita Van Rensselaer (1810–1880)[2]
  • Stephen Van Rensselaer (1812–1813),[2] who died aged 10 months.
  • Harriet Maria Van Rensselaer (1816–1896),[2][7] who married Dr. Peter Elmendorf[8] (1815–1881)
  • Catharine Visscher Van Rensselaer (1817–1891),[2] who married Rev. Samuel W. Bonney (1815–1864) in 1856.[6]

Van Rensselaer died near Albany, aged 77. He was interred in the North Dutch Church Cemetery, in Albany, and reinterred in Albany Rural Cemetery. His home at Albany, Cherry Hill, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.[9] As his sons had all predeceased Solomon, his daughter, Harriet Maria Elmendorf inherited Cherry Hill.[8]



  1. ^ a b Bielinski, Stefan. "Solomon Van Rensselaer". New York State Museum. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Munsell, Joel (1871). Collections on the History of Albany: From Its Discovery to the Present Time; with Notices of Its Public Institutions, and Biographical Sketches of Citizens Deceased. Albany, NY: J. Munsell. p. 184e.
  3. ^ Records of the Reformed Dutch Church of Albany, Part 6, p. 25; Catharina Van Rensselaer Bonney, Legacy of Historical Gleanings (J. Munsell, Albany, N.Y., 1875)[1], pp. 10, 91.
  4. ^ a b "VAN RENSSELAER, Solomon Van Vechten - Biographical Information". United States Congress. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  5. ^ indicates that Elizabeth married her cousin Richard Van Rensselaer (1797–1880) and had 4 children with him. Richard was the son of Kiliaen Killiense VanRensselaer (1763-1845) and was previously married to Matilda Fonda Van Rensselaer (1804-1863).
  6. ^ a b V. R. Bonney, Catharina (1875). A Legacy of Historical Gleanings. Albany, NY: J. Munsell.
  7. ^ Blackburn, Roderic H.; Piwonka, Ruth (1988). Remembrance of Patria: Dutch Arts and Culture in Colonial America, 1609–1776. SUNY Press. ISBN 9780939072064.
  8. ^ a b "The Elmendorf Household Collection Third & Fourth Generations: 1814-1920". Historic Cherry Hill. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  9. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.


External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Rensselaer Westerlo
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 9th congressional district

Succeeded by
Stephen Van Rensselaer