Howard Strong (American, 1800-1850) Stephen Van Rensselaer III (1764–1839), Lieutenant Governor of New York, wearing black coat, red waistcoat, white chemise, stock and cravat
Lot 91Y
Howard Strong
(American, 1800-1850)
Stephen Van Rensselaer III (1764–1839), Lieutenant Governor of New York, wearing black coat, red waistcoat, white chemise, stock and cravat
£800 - 1,200
US$ 1,400 - 2,100
Auction Details
Lot Details
Howard Strong (American, 1800-1850)
Stephen Van Rensselaer III (1764–1839), Lieutenant Governor of New York, wearing black coat, red waistcoat, white chemise, stock and cravat.
Signed on the obverse H Strong, gilt-mounted wood frame, the obverse with gilt-metal plaque engraved 213 Steven Van Ransselaer/ H. Strong, the reverse bearing label inscribed 213/ Stephen Van Rensselaer/ The Patroon of Albany/ miniature/ painted on ivory/ by H. Strong/ 1830/ Born in N.Y. City 1764/ Lieut Gov of N.Y. 1795/ Prest. Erie Canal/ Commission/ Founder of Rensselaer/ School in 1824.
Rectangular, 78mm (3 1/16in) high

Footnotes

  • The present lot is after a portrait miniature by Charles Fraser.

    Van Rensselaer served firstly as a member of the New York State Assembly (1789-1791) before becoming a member of the New York State Senate (1791-1796). As Lieutenant Governor of New York (1795-1801), Van Rensselaer was a leading candidate for Governor of New York.

    Despite the fact that as a Federalist, Van Rensselaer had been against the Anglo-American War, he accepted a post in the United States Army, commanding troops at the battle of Queenston Heights in 1812 (an American attempt to establish a foothold on the Canadian side of the Niagara River). Van Rensselaer's lack of training meant that he was ill prepared as a Commander. He was not only unable to secure the element of surprise; there were not enough boats for his men to cross the Niagara River and worse still, his soldiers had insufficient ammunition to see the attack through. The defeat at Queenston Heights spelled the end to his military career, and after the battle, Van Rensselaer resigned his post as Commander. His political ambitions were far from over, but, as a result of his military failure he would never become Governor of New York; losing the election in April 1813 to Daniel Tompkins.

    Van Rensselaer did not give up his political career and enjoyed some popularity becoming a member of the New York State Constitutional Convention in 1821 and two years later, holding a seat in the House of Representatives that his cousin Solomon had vacated. Between February 1822 and March 1829, he served during the Seventeenth to Twentieth Congresses. Van Rensselaer did not stand for re-election after 1829, choosing to retire from political life to focus on educational interests. He was regent of the University of the State of New York (1819-1839) and co-founded the Rensselaer School in 1824 with Amos Eaton for 'the application of science to the common purposes of life'. The school is now known as the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

    Van Rensselaer married in 1783 Margarita Schuyler, the daughter of the Revolutionary War General, Philip Schuyler. Margarita died in 1801 and Van Rensselaer married, in 1802, Cornelia Paterson, daughter of former New Jersey Governor William Paterson.
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