Monday, July 4, 2011

William Paterson, Signer of the Constitution

In addition to a President, Governors, and scores of other prominent statesmen, the Albany Rural Cemetery is also the final resting place of a Signer of the United States Constitution.

Buried in the Van Rensselaer family plot along the Cemetery's South Ridge Road, William Paterson also served as first Attorney General of New Jersey, Governor of New Jersey and as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

The namesake of Paterson, New Jersey, he died at the age of sixty in Albany while en route to Ballston Spa where he meant to visit the mineral springs in the hope of easing his recovery from injuries caused by a carriage accident. Paterson's daughter, Cornelia, had married General Stephan Van Rensselaer in 1802 and it was at the Van Rensselaer Manor that Justice William Paterson passed away on September 9, 1806.

Originally buried in the private family cemetery at the Manor, Paterson was reburied in the Rural Cemetery when the remains of the Van Rensselaer family were transferred there.

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