Rip Van Dam

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Rip Van Dam (ca. 1660 – 10 June 1749) was the interim acting governor of the Province of New York from 1731 to 1732. As one of the leaders of the republican liberal party, Van Dam confronted the subsequent royal governor William Cosby.

Early life

Rip Van Dam was born, about 1660, at Beverwyck, Albany, New York, where he was raised. His father was Claes Ripse Van Dam, a middle class local socialite who traded through his carpentry business and operated as a contractor. By him, Van Dam was related to the Dutch Church of Albany. Van Dam's mother was named Maria Bords.

Merchant of New York

In Albany, Van Dam was employed since his adolescence by Robert Story, a businessman of Manhattan, New York City, who was trading around. Subsequently, Van Dam was sent to New York, to study business management earnestly, and he became a prominent merchant, running his own business. Van Dam was married, in 1684, to Sarah Van Der Spiegle of New York, begetting 9 children at least.


During the New York Province royal governance of Lord Bellomont, Van Dam resisted his restrictions of commerce and Bellomont reacted confiscating some vessels of Van Dam, which would have infracted the laws of customs. By such struggle, Van Dam became engaged into politics. In 1699, Van Dam was elected to represent New York City into the New York State assembly, in Albany, and he became the opposition leader.

Councilman of the Royal Governor

Van Dam rallied those merchants who had been affected by...
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