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First Name: Henry

Last Name: Rutgers

Birthplace: NY, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Militia - Revolutionary War

Date of Birth: 07 October 1745

Date of Death: 17 February 1830


Years Served:
Henry Rutgers

•  Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783)


Henry Rutgers
Colonel, New York Militia

Henry Rutgers was born on 7 October 1745 into a wealthy, enterprising New York family. He was the son of Hendrick and Catharine De Peyster Rutgers. In 1766 he graduated from Columbia University and became a passionate advocate of American independence, the cause for which he later fought and was wounded during the Revolutionary War.

His post-war life was dedicated to public service and philanthropy. In 1816-17 he resided in New Brunswick, NJ, where he saved local Queen's College from insolvency. The college subsequently thrived, and in 1825 was renamed "Rutgers." He died 5 years later at the age of 84. Although Rutgers was never buried in Belleville, University groups have undertaken the restoration of its Dutch Reformed churchyard in tribute to the dozens of Revolutionary War soldiers buried there.

Henry Rutgers' only memorial is the State University of New Jersey which bears his name. Although long believed to have been interred in Belleville, NJ, a recent investigation by Rutgers University revealed that he had been buried in and exhumed from two Dutch Reformed Lower Manhattan cemeteries, both defunct since the mid-1800s, before finally coming to rest in a mass grave in Brooklyn. The site, marked by a plain, flat concrete slab bearing only the initials D.R.C.-N.Y. for "Dutch Reformed Church-New York," would probably have pleased Rutgers, a modest man who insisted that "no fuss" be made at his passing.

Death and Burial

Colonel Henry Rutgers died on 17 February 1830. He is buried at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY.

Honoree ID: 3034   Created by: MHOH




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