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A History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times
7: Adult Freeholders — Caleb Beck

Prof. Jonathan Pearson

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[This information is from pp. 89-90 of A History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times; being contributions toward a history of the lower Mohawk Valley by Jonathan Pearson, A. M. and others, edited by J. W. MacMurray, A. M., U. S. A. (Albany, NY: J. Munsell's Sons, Printers, 1883). It is in the Schenectady Collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at Schdy R 974.744 P36, and copies are also available for borrowing.]

[Copies of this book are available from the Schenectady County Historical Society.]

[The original version uses assorted typographical symbols to represent footnotes. To improve legibility, the online version uses the form (page number - note number.)]

Capt. Caleb Beck settled in Schenectady about the year 1700. He was an innkeeper licensed "to draw or sell liquor by retaile." (89-2)

His house lot was on the south corner of Union and Church streets, where after his death in 1733, his widow continued the business together with trade in dry goods and groceries until her death. Beck's son also named Caleb, was an attorney-at-law and succeeded his mother in the ownership of this lot. The last Caleb, grandson of the first, married Catharina Theresa, daughter of Rev. Doctor Romeyn, minister of the Dutch church of Schenectady, and died in 1798, leaving five sons, of whom the best known was Dr. T. Romeyn Beck, late of Albany.

In a mortgage for £8-8 given Sept. 9, 1716, to Harmanus Wendel of Albany, Beck's house lot is described as "a lot in Schenectady bounded south by lot of Josias Swart 179 ft. 10 in. — East by lot of Isaac Van Valkenburgh, formerly Pieter Van Olinda's 105 ft. 9 in. North by the [Union] street and opposite over against the house and lot belonging to th Dutch Church 182 feet, West fronting the [Church] street that leads from the now Dutch Church to the north gate (89-3) of said town of Schenectady at present just by the dwelling house of Adam Vrooman, 107 ft. 4 in. — all English measure, it being a southeast corner lot about in the middle of said town, — by virtue of a conveyance to Caleb Beck by Carel Hanse Toll, Oct. 4, 1714." (90-1)

This lot remained in the family three generations — about 100 years. Capt. Beck made his will 8 March, 1728/9, — proved 29 Sept., 1733, — leaving to his only son Caleb "my waering cloaths from head to foot and that he chues the best gun in the house and has it mended and prepared as he thinks fit for himself and my Pocket Pistol and Sword * * with all my Printed books, and the great new Chest." — "To my son-in-law John Fairly two feet and a half of ground frunting the street that leads to the Church [Church street] on the north side of his own lot and at the eastmost end one foot and a halef wide that jenining to the breath of his own lott." — To Anna his wife, his other property and after her death to son Caleb, if she thinks fit she may sell a lot behind where the bolting-house stands, 50 feet fronting on the [Union] street and so backward to Nicholas Schuyler's. (90-2)

Fairly's lot was south of Beck's, now in possession of Mrs. Volney Freeman. The bolting-house lot is now owned and occupied by Mr. Hugh Cox.


(89-2) In 1717 he was complained of by the Chamberlain of Albany, for being in arrears several years for his license fees. — Albany Annals, VII, 61.

In 1706 his wife Antje refused to pay her license for selling strong liquors. — Albany Annals, V, 150.

In the town records of Portsmouth, N. H., under date May 8, 1674, is the following entry "laid out to C. Beck thirteen acres beginning at his father [Henry] Beck's land;" and under date 15 March, 1679-80, "a rebate is made in the rate of Caleb Beck of 5 shillings." Query, was this the Caleb Beck who afterwards settled in Schenectady?

(89-3) [See Fortifications, — gates. — M'M.]

(90-1) Deeds, V, 343.

(90-2) Will in Court of Appeals office.

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