Captain Philip Schuyler played an active role in the militia and at what would come to be known as The Battle of Lake George. Here, after the near-disaster of an early morning ambush upon Americans, British, and their Mohawk allies, the tide--in northern New York --turned. In the course of a day’s hard fighting, their combined forces eventually gained a victory.
“They fought in the morning like good boys, at noon like men, and in the afternoon like devils.”
A “Dutch gabled house made of brick from Holland,” it stood a half mile from the Albany stockade, now the intersection of State and Pearl Streets. In those days the place was a common grazing ground, referred to as “the pastures.” A third daughter, Peggy, arrived in September 24, 1758, and the family of five now lived in a few small rooms. Three babies in three years must have kept Catherine busy.
Our French & Indian War--The Seven Year's War to the Europeans--involved every nation on the continent, except the Ottoman Turks. In North America, that conflict had begun to wind down. Philip Schuyler, wanting to settle his accounts with the British army--he'd been a quartermaster, among his other duties--sailed to England to present his case. It was at this time that the building of the Schuyler's grand new home would begin, overseen by the energetic Catherine, for a brief time on a childbearing vacation.
At last it was deemed sufficiently safe to build outside of Albany's city limits, so work on what is today called the "Schuyler Mansion" got underway, as well as the construction of a large farmhouse on family property north and east of Saratoga. As the sea lanes cleared of warships, furniture and window treatments, bed curtains and rugs of both linoleum and fine wool made their way from Europe, traveling up the Hudson.
While in England, Philip Schuyler became fascinated by the many busy canals he observed. When he returned home, he often entertained the local farmers by demonstrating how "water could be made to run uphill." He was an early proponent of the first great engineering--and wealth-creation--project of the next century--the Erie Canal. It was at this time too that he paid passage for skilled laborers to come settle on his lands. One of the first flax mills in the America would be built under Schuyler's fore-sighted direction.
His wife returned to woman's business, first producing a set of short-lived (no doubt premature) twins. Ten other deliveries, including a set of triplets, would follow. The three older girls, now moved into their new home, would grow up with some small sibling continually toddling after them.
Catherine's last child, (also "Catherine,") would be born in 1781, shortly after her eldest, party-girl Angelica--with, of course, the help of her husband, John Barker Church--had already twice made her a grandmother. George and Martha Washington came on a winter visit at the tail end of the Revolution to stand as Catherine's godparents. Daughter #2, Elizabeth, herself not far behind in the generational baby race, gave birth to her and Hamilton's first child, their beloved, ill-fated son Philip, at the Albany house early in January of 1782.
I'm skipping back and forth, I know, but I'd like to end with this story. When, in 1777, during the American Revolution, General Burgoyne attacked Albany, coming down the ancient warpath, Catherine, with a few servants, made a dangerous journey in the face of an invading army to burn the wheat at their Saratoga Farm to keep it from the hungry invaders. This tale is said to be only "a tradition," but, knowing the capable, no-nonsense Mrs. Schuyler, I think I'll chose to believe it.