Commander in Chief George Washington Visits Albany

George Washington toured the Mohawk Valley in 1783 and 1784 stopping in Albany along the way.

In 1783 George Washington wrote to his close ally Phillip Schuyler about visiting Albany. The Commander in Chief was interested in the central region of New York and knew that General Schuyler of Downtown Albany could help him plan his tours. Washington rode down what is modern day Washington Avenue in the heart of Albany.

In the summer of 1783 George Washington wrote to his close ally Phillip Schuyler. His letter read about his desire to visit New York State, mainly the upstate and central region. (“Mohawk Valley”) Schuyler and Washington had served together during the Revolutionary War. They were both important generals in their time. Washington became the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army in 1775. (“George Washington”) Schuyler was a general based out of Albany, New York. He constructed the historic Schuyler Mansion of downtown Albany the 1960s. Phillip Schuyler used his mansion as a personal base during the Revolutionary War. He was an intelligence officer for the United States during the tail end of the war and used his home as a base for spies. Schuyler and Washington came away as victors in the war and had a mutual respect. When Washington approached Schuyler about visiting the central region of New York he was welcomed with open arms by Schuyler and his family. Schuyler and his wife Catherine were known for their hospitality. They hosted George and Martha Washington multiple times, including secretly on some occasions. Washington was also close with Alexander Hamilton, who was the husband of Phillip Schuyler’s daughter Elizabeth. ("Schuyler Mansion") Washington and his company toured the Mohawk Valley in the 1783 and 1784. His tour is much documented and many letters between him and colleagues have been archived. (“Mohawk Valley”) During their tour not only did Phillip Schuyler house them, but Washington rode directly down the middle of Albany with his men on a dirt road. This road is the modern day Washington Avenue. (“Historic Markers”)

After they stop in Albany the company and Washington traveled to Newburgh by water. This led to Washington’s historic trip of the central region of New York. He made many stops and made many allies. Washington had been traveling all throughout the country around this time. (“Mohawk Valley”) He lobbied for constitutional convention. He was able to convince many to join his view. In 1789 George Washington was elected the first president of the United States. He is still the only president to receive unanimous Electoral College votes. He was re-elected in 1792. He retired from the presidency in 1797. Washington most likely visited Albany in secret to visit Schuyler at some point during his lifetime. He is noted as attending the Hamilton-Schuyler wedding in secret so that he would not draw too much attention. In 1799 Washington became very ill and ended up dying. The specific illness and cause of death for George Washington have been debated for a long time. (“George Washington”)

Access Information:

Washington Avenue near Swan Street
Location is approximate

Street Address:

99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12210 [map]

Cite this Page:

Sean Greene, “Commander in Chief George Washington Visits Albany,” Albany Walks for Health, accessed January 15, 2019, http://www.albanywalksforhealth.com/items/show/57.
Tour navigation:  Previous | Tour Info | Next

Share this Story