American Revolutionary Figure. Born one of nine children to Magdalena Douw and Harme Gansevoort, a prominent businessman and part of the Dutch establishment in Albany, New York. He followed his father into the family businesses, and worked in brewing, lumber, and shipping. He joined the Albany militia as a lieutenant and after the outbreak of hostilities with the British in 1775, he was commissioned a major in the 2nd New York regiment of the Continental army. In August of that year, he was with the army which invaded Canada under Richard Montgomery. He successfully seized the Canadian Fort Chambly. After Montgomery's death, he led the New York forces south in a fighting withdrawal that stopped the British advance. In June 1776, he was assigned as commander of Fort George on Lake George. In April 1777, he was promoted to Colonel, and given command of the 3rd New York. He elected to garrison Fort Stanwix where he and his 700 men withstood a three-week-long siege. His actions won him the thanks of Congress, having proved that it was possible to hold a fort against British forces. He then distinguished himself at Saratoga. In 1778, he married Catherine Van Schaick, and then joined the Sullivan Campaign in Western New York in 1779. In 1780, he was assigned to command the New York Brigade, and established his headquarters at Fort Saratoga. After 1783, he returned to the life of a businessman in Albany, where he operated the family brewery. He established lumber and grist mills at the Snook Kill Falls in Saratoga County, an area that eventually came to be called Gansevoort, New York. He was appointed sheriff of Albany County in 1790 and served for two years. In 1809, he was appointed a Brigadier General in the Army, and placed in command of the Northern Department. In 1811, he presided over the court-martial of General James Wilkinson, an accused Burr conspirator. Returning home after the trial, he fell ill and never truly recovered. He succumbed several months later. His name has also been recorded as Gansvoort and Gansvort. He was author Herman Melville's maternal grandfather.
Bio by: Iola
He served under Montgomery in Canada in 1775. In 1777 defended Fort Stanwix against St. Ledger thereby preventing his junction with Burgoyne and died in active command at the beginning of the war of 1812.
In the memory of Peter Gansevoort, a Brigadier General in the army of the United States. He died on the day in 1812, aged 63 years
Catherine Van Schaick Gansevoort