DAR Emblem
History of Our Chapter

General Peter Gansevoort Chapter
 
No. 369, Albany, NY
National Society Daughters of the American Revolution
Organized November 18, 1897, by Catherine Gansevoort Lansing,
Granddaughter of General Peter Gansevoort
Charter granted December 27, 1897.

 


Chapter History Topics--

 


Our Chapterís FoundingCelebrating our 100th Anniversary

General Peter Gansevoort Chapter celebrated its 100th Anniversary on November 15, 1997; however, our chapter actually goes back to the year 1895, when it was officially organized as a chapter of the Daughters of the Revolution, General Society. It was not until the year 1897 that it became a part of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

Mrs. Catherine Gansevoort Lansing and Mrs. Matthew Hale, our chapterís founders, had been interested for several years in forming a DAR chapter in the Albany area.  On May 10, 1894, they invited a group of interested women to an organizational meeting at the home of Mrs. Hale.  On February 22, 1895, at a meeting held in the home of Mrs. Lansing, with forty enthusiastic women in attendance, our chapter was officially organized. Mrs. Lansing was unanimously elected Regent and a Treasurer, Secretary, and Registrar were elected.  The next order of business was a name for our chapter. After some discussion, all agreed to the name of Gansevoort Chapter after one of the most famous officers of the Northern Department of the Continental Army and the heroic defender of Fort Stanwix, General Peter Gansevoort, and, incidentally, the grandfather of Mrs. Lansing. The name was later changed to its present form, General Peter Gansevoort Chapter, to make clear that we were named in honor of the General.

At a meeting on March 10, 1897, it was voted unanimously to become a new chapter in the Daughters of the American Revolution.  On May 21, 1897, the following individuals were chosen for charter members:  Catherine Gansevoort Lansing, Charlotte Bancroft Curtis, Mrs. Matthew Hale, Caroline Gale Hun, Katharine DeWitt Learned, Frances Abbey Wallace, Caroline Van Valkenburgh Buchanan, Susan Babcock Munson, Margaret Williams Hunter, Isabel Riley Phisterer, Alice Easton Pray, Anna Sedan Williams, Margaret Snow Vander Veer, Anna White Holden, and Emma Jones Wadhams.

 


General Peter Gansevoort
Ancestor of our Founder Catherine Gansevoort Lansing

Gen. Peter Gansevoort statue at Ft. Stanwix

General Peter Gansevoort
Officer of the Revolutionary War - Major 1775, Colonel 1776
Brigadier-General of the United States Army in 1809
Commander of the Northern Department of the Army

Peter Gansevoort was born to a prominent family in Albany, New York colony, July 17, 1749. He was the eldest son of Harme Gansevoort and Magdalena Douw. Harmen Gansevoort, Peterís great-grandfather, emigrated to America before 1660, and settled at Catskill, on the Hudson. Harme moved to Albany in 1677, where he bought a lot from Paulus Martense Van Benthusen, at the southeast corner of Broadway (at the time called Market Street) and Maiden Lane. He built his home and a brewery on the spot. It was here that Peter Gansevoort was born.Sculpture of Gen. Gansevoort - State Capital Stairway

A fire destroyed the old buildings in 1832, and Peterís sons, Herman and Peter, built "The Pavillion" on the exact location. The name was later changed to "Stanwix Hall," by the request of the citizens of Albany, to honor the Gansevoort family. The Hall was later razed to make way for the present Federal Building and Post Office. In the basement of the present building, at the end of the corridor, is a tablet with the following words inscribed, "This stone was salvaged from the debris of Stanwix Hall and placed here, the exact location where it originally rested in its former home.Ē Brigadier General Peter Gansevoort was commemorated in ceremonies on June 15, 1939, by members of the Chapter, with many dignitaries present, when the unveiling of the tablet took place revealing the inscribed brass plate.Monument to Unknown Soldiers of the American Revolution at Ft. Stanwix

Peter Gansevoort had a brilliant military career. He was an officer of the Albany County militia and a Brigadier General in the Continental Army. He defended Fort Stanwix in the Battle of Oriskany and commanded some 3,000 troops in the Battle of Saratoga. His marriage to Catherine (Caty) Van Schaick, daughter of Wessel and Maria (Gerritse) Van Schaick, took place in the Van Schaick Mansion, our Chapter House, January 12, 1778. Peter died July 2, 1812, in Albany, at the age of 63 and is buried in the family plot at the Albany Rural Cemetery. The Closeup view of monument to unknown soldiers.family owned a summer home in Gansevoort, a small village in Saratoga County, NY.

For more details, read General Peter Gansevoort, Hero of Fort Stanwix an excerpt from our book One Hundred Years in Review 1897-1997 - A History of General PeterGansevoort Chapter. Contact the chapter for more details.

 


Designer of the DAR Banner - Mary Frances Tupper Nash--

Mary Frances Tupper
Mrs. Charles White Nash
August 11, 1873 Ė July 28, 1952Mary Tupper - Designer of DAR National emblem

Mrs. Nash was probably our chapterís most outstanding member.  She was born at Erie, Pennsylvania, daughter of Captain James Tilton Tupper of the U. S. Navy and Mary Talmadge. Not only did she serve as Chapter Regent for eight years altogether, but she was New York State Regent for six consecutive years, 1920-1926.  As the representative of the state with the largest membership, she was an influential member of the National Board.

In 1921, she designed a banner and introduced it during her N.Y. State Conference, encouraging other chapters to design their own banners.  She took the model to Continental Congress and presented a resolution requesting that it be made the National Societyís banner.  The DAR had never had an official bannerChapter banner - DAR adopted center emblem and in 1924, the Board accepted her resolution.

Upon her death, the model banner became the property of our chapter. We had it framed with the following words inscribed on the plaque, ďGansevoort Chapter, NSDAR, by Mrs. Charles White Nash, Past State Regent, 1920-1926.Ē  In 1954, this original model of the National DAR banner was presented to the National Society at the 63rd Continental Congress.

 


Homefront Support During World War II - Canteens and War Bonds

DAR Canteen, Albany, NY

Our first Hospitality Center was opened in a vacant building adjacent to the Armory on Washington Avenue, April, 1941. Our second Hospitality Center at 400-406 Broadway, Albany, opened after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, and closed after 43 months of continuous service.DAR members offering pies to troops in their canteen Over one hundred fifty thousand men and women of the armed forces of the United States and our Allies were served.

We are proud of our war work.  Our chapter was presented a Certificate of Commendation signed by Major General T. A. Terry, Headquarters, Second Service Command, United States Army, in recognition of meritorious service performed by the War Work Committee of the Gansevoort Chapter. In May 1946, we received another Certificate from the American National Red Cross, signed by the President of the United States, Harry S. Truman, and the Red Cross Chairman in recognition of meritorious personal service performed in behalf of the nation, her armed forces, and suffering humanity in the Second World War.

 


How We Obtained the Van Schaick Mansion

Around 1940 our chapter had the opportunity to purchase the Lansing house on Washington Ave.  We turned down the opportunity as we felt we could not do this.  The Lansing house was that of the granddaughter of Gen. Peter Gansevoort.  The house was later torn down and the ladies were devastated over the loss.  When the opportunity arose to acquire the Van Schaick Mansion, the ladies didn't want to see this house destroyed, made into apartments, or neglected because of its significance to our chapter, to New York State, and to our nationís history.Van Schaick Mansion Aug. 2001

We always knew that the mansion was in Cohoes.  We learned of the pending sale when we saw the article in the paper in 1999.  It had a picture of the mansion and an article saying that an upcoming auction was pending. We first brought the subject up at our annual meeting in May 1999.  We met to see slides on the mansion as well as other historic houses in the area.

We set up a committee to investigate the possibility of moving forward.  We met several times with anywhere from 14 to 20 members and they voted to have the committee meet with the owners, solicit an attorney, and proceed towards a bid on the mansion.  The committee was authorized to negotiate a solid asking price and proceed towards a contract for sale.

Through the particular efforts and talent of various chapter members, who learned  the skill of grant writing, we were able to obtain funds for the purchase. Without grant money, the acquisition of the mansion would have been beyond the means of our chapter.

We took possession in August of 2001.

 

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