Commodore Jacobus Wynkoop.

Jacobus Wynkoop's Signature
I am with all Due Respect Your
Honours M Obt & H Servt
Jacobus Wynkoop Comd

    Here you will find original documents detailing the life and military service of Captain Jacobus Wynkoop of Kingston, New York.

    Richard Wynkoop, in the 1904 edition of the Wynkoop Genealogy in the United States of America, has this to say about him on pages 70-73:

    167. Jacobus Wynkoop, Captain, (Cornelius 51, Benjamin 8, Cornelius 1,) baptized March 3, 1725, Dutch church, N. Y. City: d. May 4, 1795: married Alida Koens Myers, born October 11, 1736, in Curacao, died October 16, 1794. She is recorded, at the baptism of her children, as Alida Koens---i. e., Koensze, daughter of Koen, the diminutive of Koenrad---but her descendants call her Alida Myers. Her name is written Cathlina, in the record of the birth of her son Cornelius, in her husband's Bible.
    The tomb inscription suggests that Jacobus was born in 1721: but his parents were married in May, 1724, and he was baptized in March, 1725, and he described himself, in 1775, as fifty-one years old. He was known uniformly as Jacobus, and not as Jacob or James.
    He was commissioned, June 28, 1775, as eighth captain of the 4th N. Y. Continental regiment, commanded by Col. Holmes. He wrote to the Provincial Congress, August 15, 1775, complaining of his position: setting forth that he was fifty-one years old, and had served in the last two wars, by sea and land, and had been in many engagements: that Gen'l [Thomas] Gage had specially honored and trusted him, giving him command of a company, to which his baggage was entrusted: and that he had been offered a commission in the Royal Americans.
    Gen'l Philip Schuyler, in a letter to Nathaniel Woodhull, March 8, 1776, expressed a high opinion of Jacobus's fitness to command certain vessels. It was ordered, in the Committee of Safety, New York, April 13, 1776, that Jacobus Wynkoop should enlist the number of mariners desired by Maj. Gen'l Schuyler, for service on the lakes, and should proceed with them to Albany, and there take Schuyler's orders, as to vessels on the lakes, until the Continental Congress should appoint him, or some other gentleman should arrive at the lakes, authorized to command. The Committee of Safety, April 19, 1776, communicated with the delegate, at Philadelphia, urging the appointment of Captain Wynkoop to command on the lake, and mentioned him as bred a mariner; frequently master of mercantile vessels; as having served with reputation, in the last war, both in the land and sea service; and as an officer of merit. Gen'l Schuyler addressed Capt. Wynkoop, at Fort George, May 7, 1776, ordering him to repair to Ticonderoga, and take command of all the vessels on the lakes. Jacobus, in a letter to the Council of Safety, August 6, 1776, informed them that he had taken command, on April 18, as commodore of the vessels on Lake Champlain. Under advice of the commander of the Northern Department, he requested aid of the Council. The letter was referred to the Governor.
    Gen'l Benedict Arnold, on August 17, 1776, ordered two schooners of the fleet, to proceed down the lake: Jacobus brought them to: Arnold went on board, and satisfied Jacobus of the necessity, and the latter ordered them under sail. Gen'l Arnold, on the same day, made report of the facts, from Crown Point, to Gen'l Horatio Gates, at Ticonderoga. Jacobus also reported the facts to Gen'l Gates, on the same day, and claimed that Arnold should not have issued orders to the captains direct: that he himself was to be independent of all, except the commander in chief [of the Department]. Gen'l Gates, on August 18, ordered Arnold to put Jacobus under arrest, and send him a prisoner to headquarters, at Ticonderoga. On the same day, he wrote to Gen'l Schuyler, urging the dismissal of Jacobus from the service, and, on the day following, he wrote again to Arnold, urging him to delay no longer, in the arrest of Jacobus. Meanwhile, on the 19th, Arnold had written to Gates, that he had ordered Jacobus to headquarters, and he wished that it might be considered proper, to permit him to return home, without being cashiered. Gates wrote to Schuyler, on the day following, that he had given Jacobus a pass to Albany; and that he must, on no account, be sent to Ticonderoga. Schuyler replied, from Albany, that Jacobus was to remain there.
    Jacobus memorialized Congress, on the 27th, and Schuyler transmitted the memorial, two days later, stating that Jacobus was brave and industrious, and equal to the command of the vessels, which were on the lake, when he recommended him; but that he did not know him sufficiently to judge whether he was equal to the command of the vessels now there, and he, therefore, had heard of the appointment of Arnold with the greatest satisfaction. Schuyler wrote to Gates, on the same day, in the same sense. Jacobus was re-instated in the command, in March, 1777, and retained it until the evacuation of Ticonderoga.
    Jacobus communicated with the Council of Safety, August 6, 1777, in relation to the arrangement of accounts, of himself, and of the men serving under him as commodore.
    Jacobus was ordered, October 12, 1777, to take command of the cannon at Kingston: and in the autumn of that year, and the spring following, he was occupied with the raising of the Lady Washington galley, which had been sunk at Kingston.
    He removed his family from Kingston to Albany, two weeks before the British burned Kingston, October 16, 1777.
    In May, 1778, Gen'l Conway ordered Jacobus to Coeymans, to rig out, and put in readiness, the sloops and batteaux that were destined for the defense of the Hudson River.
    In May, 1779, his pay was declared to be that of a captain of a Continental frigate. His pay was stopped July 25, 1780. The Continental Congress, by resolution of April 19, 1782, referred the subject of payment, to the State of New York. He claimed, January 24, 1783, that there was due to him 956, 6s, 8d. In 1790, he obtained from the State of New York, 500 acres of land in lot 51, township of Manlius; 500 acres in lot 53, township of Locke; and 500 acres in lot 59, township of Ovid. The petition was dated, Kingston, January 24, 1783.
    It seems that this was the Jacobus who was master of the brig Esopus, owned by Dirck Wynkoop [292] and plying between Kingston and the West Indies.
    Children of Jacobus and Alida Wynkoop:
416. Cornelius: b. Mch. 17, 1756: bp. Mch. 24, 1756, mother's name Alida Coens, Dutch church, New York City: d. in infancy.
417. Elizabeth: b. Mch. 19, 1758: m. Garret A. Lansing.
418. Sarah: b. July 27, 1760: m. 1st, Nov. 22, 1779, Isaac Fonda. Sara Wynkoop, widow of Yzac Fonda, was received to church membership, at Albany, on confession, March 5, 1790. She m., 2d, Aug. 25, 1801, Asa Douglas of Canaan, Conn., born at Plainfield, Conn., Dec. 24, 1739. She had no child.
419. Cornelius J.: b. Aug. 25, 1763: m., 1st, Dec. 12, 1789, Albany, Mary Forsey: m., 2d, Anne De Wendelaer. He opened a store in Albany, Jan., 1790, for the auction of dry goods, and furniture. On Oct. 26, 1796, Cornelius J. Wynkoop, merchant, of Canaschary, Montgomery County, N. Y., and Mary his wife, daughter and heir of Mary Forsey, conveyed to Obadiah Peniman, a lot on State Street, Albany.
420. James: b. Mch. 9, 1769: m. Catalina Dunbar.
421. Alida: b. Sept. 8, 1772: d. May 15, 1849: m. Jonathan Eights, b. Nov. 26, 1773, Albany, d. Aug. 10, 1848, son of Abraham and Catharina (Broecks) Eights.

    Frankly, I think Jacobus was given a raw deal by General Gates. See what you think after reading the official records.



Captain Wynkoop Reports on Sloops Taken on the Spanish Main.
     From the Pennsylvania Gazette, Thursday June 4, 1772.

Jacob Wynkoop to New-York Congress.
     Letter dated August 15th, 1775 regarding his dissatisfaction with his recent appointment as Captain.

Colonel Holmes to Captain Wynkoop.
     Letter dated December 7th, 1775 directing him to stop the pay of certain deserters from his Company.

Provincial Congress Wishes General Schuyler to Provide a Place for Jacobus Wynkoop on the Lakes.
     Letter dated March 4th, 1776 to Major-General Schuyler.

Jacobus Wynkoop is to go to Major Douglass to know of him, whether he will accept the offered Command.
     March 16th, 1776.

Major Douglass declines to say whether he will take service on the Lakes.
     March 18th, 1776.

The Committee of Safety has prevailed on Captain Wynkoop to engage seamen for the Lakes.
     March 23rd, 1776.

Captain Jacobus Wynkoop agrees to inlist the number of Mariners desired by Major-General Schuyler.
     April 17th, 1776. He will take the General's directions as to the vessels on the Lakes.

Captain Wynkoop requests provisions for his mariners.
     April 20th, 1776.

Captain Jacobus Wynkoop has inlisted the seamen wanted and is ready to proceed.
     April 24th, 1776, He requests a letter to General Schuyler informing him on what conditions Mr. Wynkoop has entered into the service.

General Washington to General Schuyler.
     April 24th, 1776, General Washington grants a warrant to Captain Jacobus Wynkoop for a month's advance wages for him, his officers and men.

Captain Wynkoop Undertakes Service on the Lakes Under Certain Conditions.
     April 25th, 1776, Provided he has leave to resign and leave that department if any person should arrive there to take command of the vessels as his superior.

General Schuyler is asked to appoint Captain Wynkoop to the command of the vessels on the Lakes.
     May 2nd, 1776, In case Major Douglass declines to take the command.

General Washington to General Schuyler.
     May 3rd, 1776, He has given a warrant to a Captain Jacobus Wynkoop, for two hundred and seventy-six and two-thirds dollars, for a month's advance pay for himself, officers, and men.

The Lady Washington Galley.
     The story of her scuttling in Rondout Creek on October 16th, 1777.

The Royal Savage, Interesting Information Relating to Her Building and History.
     From the Plattsburgh Sentinel, Plattsburgh, New York, Friday, 12 November, 1886.

Personal Intelligence.
     From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Thursday, 18 November 1897, p. 6.

Reformed Protestant Dutch Burial Ground Inscriptions.
     Jacobus and Alida Wynkoop's Headstone Inscriptions.

First American Battle Flag.
     From the Washington Post, Sunday, 25 July 1926.

'76 Warship Raised In Lake Champlain.
     From the New York Times, Sunday, 13 January 1935.

Created April 22, 2002; Revised March 13, 2006
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