Schuyler, Philip John

Schuyler, Philip John skīˈlər [key], 1733–1804, American Revolutionary general, b. Albany, N.Y. He was a member of one of the wealthiest colonial New York families. After serving in the French and Indian Wars he was a member of the New York assembly (1768–75) and of the Second Continental Congress (1775). He was a strong advocate of the colonial cause, and in the Revolution he was appointed (1775) a major general and head of the Northern Dept. After Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys captured Ticonderoga, Schuyler helped to plan the Quebec campaign (1775–76), but illness forced him to give his command to Gen. Richard Montgomery. When Gen. Arthur St. Clair surrendered (1777) Ticonderoga without a shot, Schuyler was accused of negligence and Horatio Gates was given the high command in the Saratoga campaign (1777–78). At his own insistence, Schuyler was brought before a court-martial and acquitted by it, but he then resigned (1779) from the army. He was (1779–80) a member of the Continental Congress, he favored adoption of the Constitution, and he was (1789–91, 1797–98) U.S. Senator. He advocated a canal (eventually the Erie Canal) and helped found Union College. His house (built 1777) in Schuylerville, N.Y., is a national monument. Schuyler's daughter, Elizabeth, married Alexander Hamilton.

See biography by B. Tuckerman (1903, repr. 1969); studies by D. R. Gerlach (1964) and M. H. Bush (1969).

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