Birthday: February 20, 1756
Died At Age: 58
Sun Sign: Pisces
Born in: Albany, New York, United States
Famous as: Daughter of Continental Army General Philip Schuyler
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
Died on: March 13, 1814
U.S. State: New Yorkers
Who was Angelica Schuyler Church?
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.
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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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.
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.