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Mayors of Albany

Volkert Peter Douw
Mayor 1761-1770
Volkert Peter Douw, Mayor from September 29, 1761, to September 10, 1770, was one of the nine children of Petrus Douw and Anna Van Rensselaer (daughter of Hendrick). He was born at Wolvenhoeck, in Greenbush, March 23, 1720, and married Anna Schuyler, May 20, 1742, and had ten children. His son, General John De P. Douw, was a distinguished citizen, who died at his residence in State street, February 26, 1835.

Mr. Douw was Mayor of the city in trying times, but proved himself equal to the occasion. From October 2, 1759, to January 10, 1770, he was by royal appointment, presiding Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. Regardless of personal considerations, he took a decided stand in the cause of the colonists in opposition to royalty. For this reason General Dunmore refused to re-appoint him to office.

He was Recorder of the City from 1750 to 1760; member of the Provincial Assembly in 1757-59. He was also a member of the important Indian Commission. May 4, 1775, he became an active member of the Committee of Safety, and in 1779 was appointed Commissary of the Northern Army. In 1775 he was a member of the First Provincial Congress and its Vice-President. After the organization of the State Government he was made First Judge of the County Court, which office he held until his resignation, March 26, 1781. From 1786 to 1793 he was a State Senator. In the battle of Lunenburg, in 1780, he was a Captain.

He was a famous horseman and kept a stable of thoroughbred horses. He lived in great style for those days, never keeping less than twenty slaves. He was 6 feet 2 inches in height, straight as an arrow, and very fine looking. Judge Douw died March 20, 1801, and his wife June 14, 1794, and were both buried at Wolvenhoeck. His will, dated July, 1794, was proved May 4, 1801.

The History of the County of Albany, by George Howell, (c)1886, pg 661.

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