Henry Rutgers

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Henry Rutgers (October 7, 1745 – February 17, 1830) was a United States Revolutionary War hero and philanthropist from New York City, New York.


Born in 1745 in New York City, in the Province of New York, Henry Rutgers was the son of Hendrick Rutgers and Catharine DePeyster. He graduated from King's College (now Columbia University) in 1766 and promptly became an advocate for independence of the American colonies from Great Britain. He went on to serve as a captain of American forces at the Battle of White Plains, and later as a colonel for the New York militia. His home served as a barracks during the British occupation of New York in 1776. Colonel Rutgers would continue to play a role in the defense of the young nation after the Revolution, presiding over a meeting held June 24, 1812 to organize American forces in New York in anticipation of a British attack in the ensuing War of 1812.

In 1784, Colonel Rutgers was elected to the New York Legislature, where he served several terms. He also served on the New York Board of Education Regents from 1802 to 1826. He was a Presidential Elector, chosen by the legislature, in 1808, 1816, and 1820.

In his later years, Rutgers, a bachelor, devoted much of his fortune to philanthropy. As a landowner with considerable holdings on the island of Manhattan (especially in the vicinity of Chatham Square), he donated land for the use of schools, churches, and charities in the area. Both Henry Street and Rutgers Street in...
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