Angelica Schuyler Church Biography

(American Socialite and Eldest Daughter of Continental Army General ‘Philip Schuyler’)

Birthday: February 20, 1756 (Pisces)

Born In: Albany, New York, United States

Angelica Schuyler Church was a prominent member of the social elite during the time of American Revolution. She is best known for her charming personality and has often been described as "muse", "confidante", and "thief of hearts". As the daughter of Continental Army General Philip Schuyler, she interacted with a number of revolutionary figures during her time, both in America and in Europe, where she spent a significant part of her life. She was admired by men and women alike and had developed lasting friendships with artists and politicians like Edmund Burke, John Trumbull, Richard and Maria Cosway, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Marquis de Lafayette. After her private correspondence with her acquaintances were revealed to the public in the late twentieth century, her relationships with Thomas Jefferson and her brother-in-law, Alexander Hamilton, became the focus of attention due to their flirtatious nature. It has also been pointed out by some that she had often tried to influence the men around her about political issues of her time. She has been portrayed as sassy, witty, and flirtatious in the Broadway musical 'Hamilton', which traces her relationship with her brother-in-law, albeit with poetic license.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Angelica Church, Angelica Schuyler

Died At Age: 58


Spouse/Ex-: John Barker Church (m. 1777–1814)

father: Philip Schuyler

mother: Catherine Van Rensselaer Schuyler

siblings: Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, John Bradstreet Schuyler, Margarita Schuyler Van Rensselaer, Philip Jeremiah Schuyler

children: Philip Schuyler Church

Socialites Family Members

Died on: March 6, 1814

place of death: Manhattan, New York, United States

Ancestry: Dutch American

City: Albany, New York

U.S. State: New Yorkers

  • 1

    What role did Angelica Schuyler Church play in the American Revolution?

    Angelica Schuyler Church was known for her involvement in the Revolutionary War, where she supported the Patriot cause and maintained correspondence with influential figures such as Alexander Hamilton and George Washington.
  • 2

    How did Angelica Schuyler Church contribute to society beyond her role in the American Revolution?

    Angelica Schuyler Church was known for her intelligence, wit, and charm, which made her a prominent figure in New York society. She was also involved in philanthropic efforts and supported various social causes.
  • 3

    What were some of the interests and hobbies of Angelica Schuyler Church?

    Angelica Schuyler Church was known for her love of literature, music, and art. She was well-read and enjoyed engaging in intellectual discussions with her peers.
  • 4

    What impact did Angelica Schuyler Church have on women's rights during her time?

    Angelica Schuyler Church was seen as a progressive thinker for her time, advocating for women's education and empowerment. She believed in the importance of women's voices being heard in society.
  • 5

    How did Angelica Schuyler Church's legacy live on after her passing?

    Angelica Schuyler Church's legacy continued through her descendants, who carried on her spirit of independence, intelligence, and social activism. She remains a celebrated figure in American history for her contributions to society and the arts.
Childhood & Early Life
Angelica Schuyler Church was born on February 20, 1756, in Albany, New York, to Philip John Schuyler and Catharine Van Rensselaer Schuyler. Her father was a Major General in the Continental Army and an aide to General Rochambeau.
Both her parents were descendants of influential third generation American Dutch families. Her paternal great grandfather was a landlord and the Mayor of Albany, while her mother was a descendant of Kiliaen van Rensselaer, one of the founders of New Netherlands.
She was the eldest of her parents' fifteen children, of which eight survived till adulthood. She grew up in her father's estate at Saratoga, but became exposed to the progressive culture of New York City where she spent considerable amount of time during her childhood.
As the daughter of a general during the American Revolution, she witnessed the political turmoil during her early years. She also had the opportunity to meet prominent leaders of the revolution at the Schuyler house, where many of the war councils took place.
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Marriage & Social Life
In 1777, Angelica Schuyler met John Barker Church, an English born businessman and supplier of the Continental Army during the American Revolution, at a war council held at her father's estate. While some believed that he fled to America to escape his creditors after his business went bankrupt in August 1774, other sources indicate that he had killed somebody in a duel prior to leaving Europe.
The two became romantically involved despite knowing that her father would not approve of the union due to Barker's dubious past. They eloped and got married at her grandfather's house and moved to Boston following their marriage.
Her husband invested in banks and shipping companies and became successful as one of the three commissioners appointed by the Continental Congress. In 1783, after the war was over, along with her husband and two children, she left America and moved to Paris where her husband became a U.S. envoy to the French government.
Known for her energetic disposition, she charmed everyone wherever she stayed for a considerable amount of time. During the couple of years she spent in France, she befriended visionaries like Benjamin Franklin, the U.S. Ambassador to France, his successor Thomas Jefferson, and the French aristocrat Marquis de Lafayette.
Along with her family, Angelica Schuyler Church briefly visited New York in 1785 and settled in Sackville Street, London, following her return to Europe. Her husband's business affairs required her to interact with diplomats as well as artists, which helped her develop friendships with luminaries like William Pitt the Younger, Edmund Burke, John Trumbull, Richard and Maria Cosway.
She became a part of a fashionable group of social elites, hosting balls for Prince of Wales and developing close contacts with Whig party leader, Charles James Fox, and playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Also known for her intellect, she was considered as a confidante by many men and women of the era, who kept in touch with her via correspondence even after she moved back to America.
Due to her father's contributions to the war, she was invited to America to attend the inauguration of President Washington in 1789. Her father, who was elected to the Continental Congress in 1775, became a U.S. Senator from New York to the First United States Congress in July 1789.
In May 1797, she moved back to America with her family and settled in western New York where her husband was granted 100,000 acres of land as payment for his supplies during the war. He later became a founding director of the Manhattan Company and a director of the Bank of North America.Awards & Achievements
Personal Life & Legacy
Angelica Schuyler Church had eight children with her husband John Barker Church. Their eldest child, Philip Schuyler Church, was instrumental in selecting the specific landmass offered to the family along the Genesee River for their estate, where he established the village 'Angelica' after his mother's name. The family mansion, 'Belvidere', built in 1804, is now part of the town Angelica in New York.
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Alexander Hamilton married her sister Elizabeth Schuyler in 1780 and the two in-laws shared a strong affinity towards each other. Angelica is a major character of the Tony-winning Broadway musical ‘Hamilton’ by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Her character is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Hamilton, as well as her letters to him, and shows her as an extraordinarily witty and intelligent woman.
She met Thomas Jefferson through mutual friend Maria Cosway in 1787, during her stay in Paris. She had developed lifelong friendships with both Jefferson and Cosway and their correspondence is preserved in the letters of the Church Archive. One of Jefferson's letters is particularly notable for his allusion to a sexually charged scene from a popular novel.
She passed away on March 13, 1814 at the age of 58 and was buried in Trinity Churchyard in lower Manhattan, near the graves of her sister and her brother-in-law, following her wish. After her death, her husband moved back to England, where he died in 1818.
Angelica Schuyler Church earned the title of America's first heartthrob and has often been described as "Muse, Confidante, and thief of hearts." She has both a village and a town named after her.
Facts About Angelica Schuyler Church
Angelica Schuyler Church was known for her wit and intelligence, often engaging in spirited conversations with prominent figures of her time.
She was a talented artist and musician, with a passion for painting and playing the piano.
Angelica had a close relationship with her sister, Eliza Hamilton, and played a significant role in supporting her during difficult times.
She was well-known for her fashion sense and elegance, setting trends in high society circles.
Angelica Schuyler Church was a devoted wife and mother, known for her kindness and generosity towards those in need.

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