GANSEVOORT, PETER. (1749–1812). Continental officer. New York. Born in Albany, New York, in 1749, Gansevoort became major of the Second New York Regiment on 30 June 1775 and was with Montgomery's wing of the Canada invasion; he was present at the victory at St. Jean and the defeat at Quebec. On 19 March 1776 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and placed in command of Fort George. He became colonel of the Third New York on 21 November 1776 and subsequently distinguished himself in the defense of Fort Stanwix (or Fort Schuyler) against St. Leger's expedition in June-September 1777. For this he not only received the thanks of Congress but most thoroughly deserved them.
Temporarily in command at Albany in October 1777, Gansevoort returned to Fort Stanwix, which he commanded until November 1778. From there, Washington ordered him on to Schenectady. The following year, Gansevoort conducted a number of small expeditions against pro-British Indians.
He was the commander of the Saratoga garrison from the fall of 1780 into the following year. On 26 March 1781 he was appointed brigadier general of militia and retired from service, being promoted to major general of militia the following year. In the ensuing twenty years he devoted himself to the lumber business in Saratoga County, New York. In 1790 he became sheriff of Albany. In 1802 Jefferson appointed him military agent for the Northern Department, which mostly involved the movement of supplies. On 15 February 1809 he was commissioned brigadier general in the U.S. Army with responsibility for reviewing courts-martial sentences. In 1811 he presided at the court-martial that found General James Wilkinson innocent of treason. He died at home on 2 July 1812.
Gansevoort-Lansing Collection. New York Public Library, New York, N.Y.
revised by Michael Bellesiles