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Thomas J. Van Alstyne facts for kids

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Thomas J. Van Alstyne
Thomas J. Van Alstyne.jpg
Mayor of Albany, New York
In office
1898 – 1899
Preceded by John Boyd Thacher
Succeeded by James Henry Blessing
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 16th district
In office
March 4, 1883 – March 3, 1885
Preceded by Michael N. Nolan
Succeeded by John H. Ketcham
Personal details
Thomas Jefferson Van Alstyne

(1827-07-25)July 25, 1827
Richmondville, New York
Died October 26, 1903(1903-10-26) (aged 76)
Albany, New York
Political party Democratic
Sarah Clapp
(m. 1851; her death 1859)

Louise Peck
(m. 1876; her death 1884)

Laura Louisa Wurdemann
(m. 1886; his death 1903)
Alma mater Hamilton College
Occupation Lawyer, judge
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service Army
Rank Major
Battles/wars Civil War

Thomas Jefferson Van Alstyne (July 25, 1827 – October 26, 1903) was a U.S. Representative from New York.

Early life

Thomas Jefferson Van Alstyne was born on July 25, 1827 in Richmondville, New York. He was the son of Dr. Thomas B. Van Alstyne and Eliza Gile.

Van Alstyne attended the common schools, Moravia (New York) Academy, and Hartwick (New York) Seminary. In 1848 he graduated from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. In 1851, he received his master of arts degree from Hamilton.


He studied law in Albany, New York, was admitted to the bar in 1849 and practiced in Albany. In 1848, he entered the law office of Harris and Van Vorst. In 1853, he was invited to and formed a partnership with Matthew McMahon.

He served as a Union Army judge advocate with the rank of major during the Civil War. He served as judge of Albany County from 1871 to 1882.

Van Alstyne was elected as a Democrat to the Forty-eighth Congress and served one term, March 4, 1883 to March 3, 1885. In Congress, he was a member of the Committee on Claims and the Committee on Expenditures of the Department of Justice. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1884 to the Forty-ninth Congress and returned to the practice of law.

He served as mayor of Albany from 1898 to 1900. He won the Democratic primary for reelection but lost the election to James H. Blessing.

Personal life

Val Alstyne was married three times. He married his first wife, Sarah Clapp (1832–1859), on September 3, 1851. Before her death, they had together:

  • Thomas Butler Van Alstyne (1851–1927), who married Anna Richards.
  • Charles Edwin Van Alstyne (1855–1858), who died young.

On October 25, 1876, he married his second wife, Louise Peck (1842–1884), daughter of Samuel S. Peck of Albany. After her death in 1884, he married his third wife, Laura Louisa Wurdemann (1849–1939), a daughter of William Wurdemann and Lydia Vanderbilt and a granddaughter of William Vanderbilt, on February 17, 1886. They were the parents of another son:

  • William Thomas Van Alstyne (1887–1965).

He died in Albany on October 26, 1903. He was interred at Albany Rural Cemetery.

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