John Church Cruger (1807-1879)

of Cruger's Island, Barrytown, Dutchess County, New York

Associated Houses

Blithewood (1836)


He was born in New York City and his mother was a niece of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. He completed his education in France before returning to the States where he briefly practised law. In 1835, he purchased an estate on the Hudson River in Dutchess County from Dr. Masten that he named Cruger's Island, on which he settled down to live the leisurely life of a gentleman farmer. It was a large tract of land originally purchased from the Indians by Col. Pieter Schuyler to whom it was confirmed by patent in 1688 by Governor Dongan. On early maps, it was called Magdalen Island and subsequently passed to the Van Benthuysen family and then to Dr. Masten. As a Republican, Cruger was nominated for Congress but was defeated and did not try again. His obituary read that he was, "eminent for his public spirit, his intense patriotism, and his unostentatious domestic values". In 1846, his fortune was estimated at $200,000. His second wife, Euphemia, was the daughter of "The Old Patroon" Governor Stephen Van Rensselaer, and they were the parents of five children.


Contributed by Mark Meredith on 05/12/2019 and last updated on 05/06/2024.