Margarita Schuyler was born September 24, 1758 to Philip and Catherine Schuyler in Albany, New York. She was the sister of Angelica and Elizabeth Schuyler. Elizabeth was the wife of Alexander Hamilton. Margarita went by her nickname, Peggy.
Her family was extremely wealthy and her father was a General in the Continental Army and a United States Senator.
When Peggy was 22 years old, a group of British Loyalists and Native Americans broke into the Schuyler home looking for Philip. Elizabeth and Angelica, both pregnant, ran upstairs. Peggy went to get her youngest sister, Catharine, and was confronted by one of the intruders.
She lied, saying that her father had “gone to alarm the town.” The men fled believing Philip would return with a mob. As Peggy ran upstairs with the baby, one of the men threw a tomahawk at her. It missed and left a mark in the banister.
Aside from being brave, Peggy was described as feisty and witty. She hosted dinners and balls at the Schuyler mansion and adored by her family and guests.
Two years after the raid, Peggy eloped with her cousin Stephen Van Rensselaer III. She was 5 years older than him. Stephen’s family was also extremely wealthy and many people commented that his marriage to Peggy would be good for his career.
Stephen became Lord of Van Rensselaer Manor when he turned 21. The couple had 3 children.
In 1799, Peggy fell ill. She never recovered and died in 1801 with Alexander at her side. The two had written to each other regularly since before his marriage to Elizabeth.
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