Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Captain John Bogart - The Last of The Dutch Skippers

The grave of Captain John Bogart (also spelled Bogert) on the Middle Ridge.

The anchor that adorns this monument is a fitting symbol of sentiment carved below it (Hope Is The Anchor of Soul) and of the man who rests here.

John Bogart was born in Albany in 1761, the son of Hendrick Bogart, a surveyor and Hudson River skipper. Fifteen when Revolutionary War began, he joined the Albany militia, took part in the escort of British prisoners, and served on his father's sloop, Madeleine, transporting supplies for the Continental Army. By the age of seventeen, he was skipper of the sloop.

After the Revolution, young Bogart continued on in his father's profession. He was a respected skipper on the Hudson River and, in the 1790s, was appointed the city surveyor. He served in a number of other civic positions during his life, including alderman, fireman, and treasurer.

When he died in 1855, he was known as "the last of the Dutch skippers." The last line carved on his monument reads, An Old Man and Full of Years; at ninety-two, Bogart was reportedly the oldest man in the Albany at the time of his death.

His monument is located on the Rural Cemetery's Middle Ridge. The white marble is flanked by two smaller headstones marking the graves of his wives, Catherine Ten Broeck (d. 1792) and Christina Vought (d. 1836). Both women were originally buried elsewhere and transferred to the Rural Cemetery to rest beside the Captain's monument. Catherine appears in the list of interments in the Dutch Reformed section of the old State Street Burying Grounds.

A closer look at the monument shows a small broken shot glass resting on the ledge near the anchor. Perhaps someone stopped to drink a toast to the Old Dutch Skipper.

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