Goose Van Schaick

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Goose Van Schaick
Born September 5, 1736
Albany, Province of New York, British America
Died July 4, 1789 (aged 53)
Albany, New York, U.S.
Spouse(s) Maria Ten Broeck (m. 1770)
Children 7, including Myndert Van Schaick

Goose Van Schaick (September 5, 1736 – July 4, 1789) was a Continental Army officer during the American Revolutionary War.[1]

Early life

Van Schaick was born in Albany on September 5, 1736. He was the first child born to Sybrant Van Schaick, who served as Mayor of Albany, New York from 1756 to 1761, and Alida (née Rosebloom) Van Schaick.[2]

His paternal grandparents were Albany trader and landholder Gosen Van Schaick and Catharina (née Staats) Van Schaick.[3] Goose's cousin Catherine (née Van Schaick) Gansevoort and her husband Peter Gansevoort, the Sheriff of Albany County, were the grandparents of author Herman Melville.[4]


In 1758, he was a captain of a New York regiment that participated in the attack on Fort Frontenac and Fort Niagara during the French and Indian War. From 1760 to 1762, he was lieutenant colonel of first the 2nd regiment of New York Provincials and then later the 1st regiment of New York Provincials.[2]

On June 28, 1775 he was commissioned as colonel of the 2nd New York Regiment. On March 8, 1776 he was made colonel of the 1st New York Regiment. On July 6, 1777, he was wounded at the Siege of Fort Ticonderoga. He served under Gen. William Alexander at the Battle of Monmouth.[2] [5]

He is most famous for his April 1779 expedition against the Onondaga Indians, starting from Fort Stanwix.[6] His force of 558 troops attacked and burned their principal settlement together with provisions and stores, killed their cattle, and took 32 prisoners without a loss of a single man.[7] Because the most militant warriors had already left, the villagers were mostly neutrals. The Onondagas accused the soldiers of raping and killing the women. On May 10, 1779, an act of the Continental Congress: "Resolved, that the thanks of Congress be presented to Colonel Van Schaick and the officers and soldiers under his command, for their activity and good conduct in the late expedition against the Onondagas". At the time, the expedition was considered to be more effectual than the soon-following Sullivan Expedition.[8]

He was appointed brevet brigadier general on October 10, 1783,[9] and he served until November 1783.[10][11]

Personal life

On November 15, 1770, Van Schaick was married to Maria Ten Broeck (1750–1829), the eldest of ten daughters born to John Tobias Ten Broeck.[12] By 1787, they were the parents of seven children, including:[2][13]

  • Alida Van Schaick (b. 1771)
  • John Van Schaick (b. 1774)
  • Sybrant Van Schaick (b. 1776)
  • Tobias Van Schaick (b. 1779), who married Jane Staats (1783–1823), daughter of merchant Henry Staats in 1811.[14]
  • Myndert Van Schaick (1782–1865), who was a New York State Senator.
  • Elizabeth Van Schaick (1786–1786), who died young.
  • Abraham Van Schaick (b. 1787).

He died at his home on July 4, 1789, of cancer of his facial wound received in the battle of Fort Ticonderoga of 1758. The site of his burial is unclear. It appears he was buried in the family cemetery on Court St. in Albany until 1808, when he was reinterred in the Reformed Dutch Burial Grounds.[15] Graves from the Dutch Cemetery were later reinterred in the Church Section of the Albany Rural Cemetery.[16]


  1. ^ Bielinski, Stefan. "Goose Van Schaick". New York State Museum. Retrieved 5 January 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Colonel Goose Van Schaick, 1st New York Regiment". The New York State Society of the Cincinnati. Retrieved 5 January 2018. 
  3. ^ Bielinski, Stefan. "Sybrant G. Van Schaick". New York State Museum. Retrieved 5 January 2018. 
  4. ^ Bush, Clesson S. (2011). Episodes from a Hudson River Town: New Baltimore, New York. SUNY Press. p. 48. ISBN 9781438440330. Retrieved 5 January 2018. 
  5. ^ Gansevoort Jr, Peter (2014). Hero of Fort Schuyler: Selected Revolutionary War Correspondence of Brigadier General Peter Gansevoort, Jr. McFarland. p. 117. ISBN 9780786479481. Retrieved 5 January 2018. 
  6. ^ Mann, Barbara Alice (2008). George Washington's War on Native America. University of Nevada Press. p. 192. ISBN 9780803216358. Retrieved 5 January 2018. 
  7. ^ "The Van Schaick Expedition - April 1779 - Fort Stanwix National Monument". U.S. National Park Service. Retrieved 5 January 2018. 
  8. ^ "From George Washington to Colonel Goose Van Schaick, 9 May 1779". Founders Online. Retrieved 5 January 2018. 
  9. ^ "George Washington to Goose van Schaick, April 5, 1777". The Library of Congress. Retrieved 5 January 2018. 
  10. ^ Hitman, Francis B., Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army during the War of the Revolution. New, enlarged, and revised edition., Washington, D.C.: Rare Book Shop Publishing Company, 1914
  11. ^ "Goose Van Schaick (1736—1789)". Oxford Reference. doi:10.1093/oi/authority.20110803115211166. Retrieved 5 January 2018. 
  12. ^ Bielinski, Stefan. "Maria Ten Broeck Van Schaick". New York State Museum. Retrieved 5 January 2018. 
  13. ^ Albany County (N.Y.) (1916). Early Records of the City and County of Albany: Deeds. 1678-1704. University of the state of New York. p. 379. Retrieved 5 January 2018. 
  14. ^ Howell, George Rogers; Tenney, Jonathan (1886). Bi-centennial History of Albany. W. W. Munsell & Company. p. 400. Retrieved 5 January 2018. 
  15. ^ The Annals of Albany by Joel Munsell, 1855, p. 186
  16. ^ The State St. Burial Grounds, Albany, NY, The Troy Irish Genealogy Society

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