Margaret Hardenbroeck

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Margaret Hardenbroeck
Margareta Hardenbroeck

c. 1637
Diedc. 1691
OccupationShipowner, merchant
Peter Rudolphus de Vries
(m. 1659; his death 1661)

Frederick Philipse
(m. 1662; her death 1691)
ChildrenEva, Philip, Adolphus
Parent(s)Adolph Hardenbruk

Margaret Hardenbroeck de Vries Philipse (c. 1637c. 1691)[1] was a prominent and wealthy merchant in the colonial Province of New York. She inherited great wealth from her first husband after his early death, and later married another merchant and landowner, Frederick Philipse, who became 1st Lord of Philipse Manor.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Born "Margareta",[4] in the Rhine Valley of the Netherlands at Elberfield.[1] She was the daughter of Adolph Hardenbruk, a German emigrant who lived in New Jersey across from the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam,[5] along with her older brother Abel Hardenbroeck, who came as an indentured servant to the Ten Eyck family.[1]


She established herself in the burgeoning city in the late 1650s[6] working in as an agent for her cousin, Wolter Valck, an Amsterdam trader.[7] She traded pins, cooking oils and vinegar in exchange for furs.[7]

British seizure[edit]

Margaret Hardenbroek's marriage to her second husband, Frederick Philipse, was conducted under Dutch law that permitted women to maintain their legal identity and do business in their own name, called usus. In addition, she signed a prenuptial agreement with him ensuring that her daughter would inherit all her former husband's wealth, as well as all or part of his and theirs together. Margaret Hardenbroek owned house lots in Manhattan and Bergen, and several ships including the New Netherland Indian, Beaver, Pearl, and Morning Star.[8][9]

In 1664, the British seized control of New Amsterdam and under the new laws of the British many of her rights were taken away.[6] Though an accomplished businesswoman and merchant,[7][10] as a woman she was no longer considered legally independent.[6] She was unable to purchase goods under her own authority or act as legal agent. In addition, all the profits that had been made by her thriving businesses were now legally her husband's.[6][1] Margaret Hardenbroeck continued to run the businesses, and with her wealth her husband was able to expand his holdings and become one of the wealthiest men in New York.[2]

Together the couple purchased many properties, and expanded their transatlantic trading ventures,[6] From her first marriage, Margaret owned several ships, one of them the King Charles.[6] She made several voyages between Europe and America on these as supercargo[6] responsible for all the purchases and sales of goods.[6] Among the Philipses' top cargoes were slaves, being regarded among the biggest slaver traders in the northern Colonies, who also used slave labor extensively in their businesses and operation of their 52,000 acre Manor.

In 1698, though long a member of the governor's Executive Council, the British governor, Lord Bellomont, banned Frederick Philipse from government office for conducting a slave trade into New York.[11]

Personal life[edit]

On October 10, 1659,[1] she married Peter Rudolphus de Vries but continued to do business under her maiden name.[6] In 1660, they had a daughter:[12]

In 1661, her husband died, leaving considerable property.[10]

Through her daughter, she was the grandmother of Frederick Van Cortlandt (1699–1749) and Mary Van Cortlandt (1705–1777), who married Peter Jay (b. 1701) in 1728, the parents of Founding Father, John Jay (1745-1829).[14]

Second marriage[edit]

Frederick Philipse, 1st Lord of Philipse Manor and second husband of Margaret Hardenbroeck

In 1662, she married Frederick Philipse (1626-1702),[6] a merchant who through trade with the Indians and good relations with the governors had become one of the leading men of the Colony.[5] Upon their union, the court of Orphan Masters of New Amsterdam required her to render an inventory of her child's parental inheritance. Owing to its unsettled state she was unable to do. Her husband overcame what were considerable difficulties by adopting her two-year-old daughter Eva, promising that if he had no children of his own she would inherit half of his estate, and if other children were born she would share equally with them.[5][12] Together the couple had several children, including:[15]

  • Philip Philipse (1663-1699), who married Maria Sparks (d. 1698),[2] daughter of Governor Sparks of Barbados.[16]
  • Adolphus Philipse (1665–1750), who died unmarried.
  • Annetje Philipse (b. 1667), who married Phillip French II (1666/7–1707), the 27th Mayor of New York City.
  • Rombout Philipse (b. 1669)

Her grandson through her eldest son Philip, was Frederick Philipse II (1698-1751), the 2nd Lord of Philipsburg Manor who married Johanna Brockholst (1700–1765), daughter of Anthony Brockholst, acting Governor of Colonial New York. Johanna's sister, Susannah Brockholst (1696–1730) was married to Phillip French III, parents of Susanna French (1723–1789), who married William Livingston (1723–1790),[17] "War-Governor" during the American Revolution, and was the mother of Henry Brockholst Livingston, who was associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1806-1823.[18][19]


  1. ^ a b c d e Waldrup, Carole Chandler (1999). Colonial Women: 23 Europeans Who Helped Build a Nation. McFarland. pp. 89–94. ISBN 9780786451067. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b c The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography: Being the History of the United States as Illustrated in the Lives of the Founders, Builders, and Defenders of the Republic, and of the Men and Women who are Doing the Work and Moulding the Thought of the Present Time. J. T. White Company. 1910. p. 275. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Philipse, Margaret Hardenbrook (d. 1690) - Dictionary definition of Philipse, Margaret Hardenbrook (d. 1690)". Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c Savery, Florence M., Cold Springs Recorder, 1912
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Mays, Dorothy A. (2004). Women in Early America: Struggle, Survival, and Freedom in a New World. ABC-CLIO. p. 295. ISBN 1-85109-429-6.
  7. ^ a b c Catterall, Douglas (2012). Women in Port: Gendering Communities, Economies, and Social Networks in Atlantic Port Cities, 1500-1800. BRILL. p. 183. ISBN 90-04-23317-2.
  8. ^ "Margaret Hardenbroek De Vries Philipse". The National Society of Colonial Dames in The State of New York. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  9. ^ Carver, Wees, Beth; Higgins, Harvey, Medill (2013). Early American Silver in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 182. ISBN 9781588394910. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  10. ^ a b Appleton, W.S. The Heraldic Journal, Recording the Amorial Bearings and Genealogies of American Families, Wiggen & Lunt, Boston, 1867
  11. ^ Lewis, Tom (2007). The Hudson: A History. Yale University Press. pp. 109–112. ISBN 0-300-11990-9.
  12. ^ a b Pelletreau, William Smith (1907). Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Family History of New York. Lewis Publishing Company. p. 147. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  13. ^ Cutter, William Richard (1912). Genealogical and Family History of Western New York: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Building of a Nation. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 233. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  14. ^ Harrington, Matthew P. (2008). Jay and Ellsworth, the First Courts: Justices, Rulings and Legacy. ABC-CLIO. p. 33. ISBN 9781576078419. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  15. ^ "Margaret Hardenbroeck Philipse | History of American Women". History of American Women. 1 February 2008. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  16. ^ N.Y.), First Reformed Church of Tarrytown (North Tarrytown; N.Y.), First Reformed Church of Tarrytown (Sleepy Hollow (1898). Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, October 10 and October 11, 1897: 1697-1897. De Vinne Press. p. 132. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  17. ^ Livingston, Edwin Brockholst (1910). The Livingstons of Livingston Manor: Being the History of that Branch of the Scottish House of Callendar which Settled in the English Province of New York During the Reign of Charles the Second; and Also Including an Account of Robert Livingston of Albany, "The Nephew," a Settler in the Same Province and His Principal Descendants. New York: The Knickerbocker Press. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
  18. ^ William Nelson (1876). Biographical Sketch of William Colfax, Captain of Washington's Body Guard.
  19. ^ Tobin, Cathy (2001). Wayne Township. Arcadia Publishing. p. 11. ISBN 9780738509471. Retrieved 16 November 2017.