Robert Bruce Van Valkenburgh was born in Prattsburg, Stueben County, NY on September 24, 1821. He attended Franklin Academy in Prattsburg, NY and studied law. He was admitted to the NY Bar and practiced law in Bath, NY.
He was a Member of the NY State Assembly in 1852, 1857 and 1858. He became involved in recruiting for the Civil War. In that position he commanded the Recruiting Depot in Elmira, NY and organized seven regiments for the Civil War.
He was elected as a Republican to the 37th and the 38th U.S. Congresses and served from March 1861 to March 1865. While in Congress he was the Chairman of the Committee on the Militia. Following his congressional service he served as a Colonel of the 107th Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry, and was its commander at the Battle of Antietam.
In 1865 he also served as the Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs. In January 1866 he was appointed as Minister Resident to Japan, and served until November 1869.
Following his diplomatic service in Japan, he settled in Florida. Several years later he was appointed to the Florida State Supreme Court in May 1874, and served until his death fourteen years later.
Robert Bruce Van Valkenburgh passed away in Suwanee Springs, near Live Oak, Suwanee County, Florida on August 1, 1888 at the age of 66. He was interred on the south side of the St. Johns River, south of Jacksonville, FL.
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PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICANS, CURRENT AND HISTORIC
EIGHT PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICAN FAMILIES: THE ROOSEVELTS, VANDERBILTS AND OTHERS, 2015
FIFTEEN PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICAN FAMILIES: THE VAN BURENS, KOCH BROTHERS, VOORHEES AND OTHERS, 2015
PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICANS IN U.S. GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP POSITIONS, 2015
DUTCH PEGELS INVOLVED IN WARS
ALLIED EUROPE CAMPAIGN—1944/1945: TACTICAL MISTAKES, 2017
THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN THE NETHERLANDS: MEMOIRS, 2017
FRENCH REVOLUTION, NAPOLEON AND RUSSIAN WAR OF 1812, 2015