Stephanus Van Cortlandt was the first native mayor of New York City. He served twice in that capacity, first from 1677 to1678, and later from 1686 to 1688. In the year he was born, New York City was still governed by the Dutch, and then went by the name of New Amsterdam.
The parents of Stephanus Van Cortlandt were Oloff Van Cortlandt [1600-1684] and Annetje Loockermans [?-1684]. Oloff came over to New Amsterdam in 1638 as an employee of the Dutch West India Company [DWI]. He was active in the administration and governance of the colony in its early years. Eventually he left DWI and became a successful and wealthy merchant, brewer, banker, landowner and ship owner.
Stephanus Van Cortlandt also held a number of other public positions in New York City and in the State of New York. He was a councilor for many years, was associate justice of the provincial Supreme Court, and was appointed chief justice shortly before his death. In addition he served as commissioner of customs for a period of time.
Van Cortlandt was the Patroon of Cortlandt Manor near Croton on Hudson, New York. His father had acquired large tracts of land in Westchester County and near Croton on Hudson. Upon his father’s death, Stephanus acquired the land in the Croton on Hudson area, and his brother Jacobus acquired the lands in Westchester County and in New York City.
Stephanus Van Cortlandt’s younger brother, Jacobus Van Cortlandt [1658-1739] was also mayor of New York City for two terms. He served his first term as mayor from1710 to 1711, and his second term from 1719 to 1720. Stephanus’s grandson, Pierre Van Cortlandt [1721-1814], was the first lieutenant governor of New York State. One of Stephenus’s great grandsons, Philip Van Cortlandt [1749-1831], commanded the Second New York Regiment in the Continental Army during the American Revolution, and retired from the army as a brigadier general. He later served as a U. S. Representative in the U. S. Congress from 1793 to 1809.
Stephanus was married to Gertrude Schuyler [?-1723], a sister of Pieter Schuyler [1657-1724]. The Schuyler family was a Dutch American family that dated back to the New Amsterdam period. Stephanus Van Cortlandt passed away in the year 1700 at the rather young age of 57.
Stephanus Van Cortlandt, Wikipedia
Van Cortlandt, Wikipedia
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