William Peter Van Ness

William Peter Van Ness

Birth
Ghent, Columbia County, New York, USA
Death 6 Sep 1826 (aged 48)
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Plot Lot 12113, Sections 99|119
Memorial ID 6998562 · View Source
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He was a federal judge in New York City when he died at the age of 49 years. He had previously been a fugitive from justice when a warrent was issued for his arrest for being a second to Aaron Burr when Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel in New Jersey on July 11, 1804. (Alexander Hamilton did not die immediately from his wound and was transported across the Hudson River back to New York where, before dying in agony from his wound, he eventually received last rites from the reluctant Episcopal bishop Benjamin Moore since the bishop did not approve of dueling.) William Peter Van Ness fled to Kinderhook to his parents' house for help and his father, Judge Peter Van Ness, refused to answer his knock on the front door. William went elsewhere for refuge and eventually sought the help of lawyer Martin Van Buren who had once been his law clerk. Martin Van Buren, who was known as a fine lawyer before he became a politician, managed to get the charges against William Van Ness dismissed. William then went on to eventually become a federal judge in New York City.

William Van Ness was a son of Judge Peter Van Ness of Kinderhook, Columbia County, New York and his second wife Elbertie Hogeboom. Peter Van Ness had had a large house built in Kinderhook which was eventually owned by the 8th President of the United States, Martin Van Buren. When Martin Van Buren bought the house he gave one of his sons permission to extensively renovate the house but insisted that the front door and knocker be left in its original condition. Lindenwald is now a National Historical Site and is open to the public.

According to an entry in Volume 3 of Baltimore: its history and its people, published in 1912 by the Lewis Historical Publishing Company of New York and written by Clayton Colman Hall, William Peter Van Ness married Anne McEvers at Red Hook (Dutchess County, New York?) on September 20, 1800 with the Rev. John B. Romeyn officiating. Also according to Hall, they were both members of the Dutch Reformed Church and they had five children: Edward, born November 3, 1801 who married Catherine Halcomb; Harriet Mary, born August 16, 1803 who died March 28, 1825 and who married William Maury of England; Eugene, born in New York City December 6, 1804, died in Baltimore, Maryland on May 28, 1862 and who married Julia A. Brush, daughter of Dr. Nehemiah and Margaret (Underhill) Brush; Martha Eliza, born April 10, 1806 and who died unmarried in 1869; and Charles William Van Ness, born October 1, 1807 and died unmarried at Kinderhook, Columbia County, New York on March 13, 1883. Also according to Hall, William Peter Van Ness is buried at the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York as is his son Eugene who was an Episcopalian.

This biography was updated by Barbara Doxey on December 24th and 25th of 2009 when she was contacted by David Van Ness that Judge William Peter Van Ness was eventually buried at the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York (original place of burial not known). At this point, Barbara Doxey went online and found the 1912 book with much information about William Peter Van Ness and his wife and children.

He is the William P. Van Ness who was reinterred in 1860 at the Green-Wood with transfer from New York. His second burial date was April 16, 1860 in Lot 12113, Section 119 at the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. There is a monument for him there which mentions his son Eugene (who died May 28, 1862). Anne McEvers Van Ness is said to have died on September 6, 1829 and to eventually have been buried at the Green-Wood Cemetery with her husband.


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  • Created by: Barbara Doxey
  • Added: 8 Dec 2002
  • Find a Grave Memorial 6998562
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Peter Van Ness (13 Feb 1778–6 Sep 1826), Find a Grave Memorial no. 6998562, citing Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA ; Maintained by Barbara Doxey (contributor 46556096) .