Jacobus Van Cortlandt was a merchant and served in many governmental positions, including several judgeships in New York City. He eventually rose to the position of mayor of New York City and served for two terms; the first term ran from 1710 to1711, and the second term ran from 1719 to 1720. He was not the first Van Cortlandt to serve as mayor of New York City. His older brother, Stephanus Van Cortlandt [1643-1700], had been the first native mayor of New York City, serving his first term from 1677 to 1678 and his second term from 1686 to 1688.
Jacobus Van Cortlandt, and later Jacobus's family, owned the land that is now Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. The land was acquired by the father of Jacobus, Oloff Van Cortlandt [1600-1684], who acquired most of these lands from the estate of Adrian Vander Donck, following Vander Donck's death. Vander Donck was given title to these lands for the services he performed for the Dutch West India Company during the early years of the colony of New Amsterdam. Van Cortlandt Park was named after the Van Cortlandt family, in 1889, when the park was established by the city of New York. Jacobus's son, Frederick Van Cortlandt, built a house on the property in 1747, and named it the Van Cortlandt House. Following the establishment of Van Cortlandt Park, the house eventually became a museum, and was named the Van Cortlandt House Museum, which it still is today.
Jacobus Van Cortlandt's other claim to fame is his grandson, John Jay [1745-1839]. John Jay became one of the founding fathers of the Republic. He was named the first Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, and also became the first Secretary of State, then called Foreign Affairs, in the George Washington Administration. Following his service in these positions, he returned to his native New York, and became Governor of New York State.
Jacobus Van Cortlandt is also the progenitor of the Van Cortlandt's Westchester branch of the Van Cortlandt family. The other branch of the Van Cortlandts was established by Jacobus's brother, Stephanus, and it became the Van Cortlandt's Croton on Hudson branch, near Peekskill, New York.
Jacobus Van Cortlandt was the son of Oloff Van Cortlandt [1600-1684], who arrived in New Amsterdam in 1638 as an employee of the Dutch West India Company [DWI]. Oloff Van Cortlandt was active in the administration and governance of the New Amsterdam colony in its early years. Heeventually left the DWI and became a wealthy merchant, brewer, banker, ship owner andland owner. Oloff was married to Annetje Loockermans [?-1684] in 1642. In 1739, Jacobus Van Cortlandt passed away at the ripe old age of 81. He was survived by his son Frederick, and his three daughters, Margaret, Anne and Mary.
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Jacobus Van Cortlandt, Wikipedia
Van Cortlandt, Wikipedia
Van Cortlandt Park, Wikipedia
Van Cortlandt, Jacobus, www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0850411.html
Oloff Stevense Van Cortlandt, Famous Americans