Portrait of Judge Robert Troup
|Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New York|
|Preceded by||John Laurance|
|Succeeded by||John Sloss Hobart|
|Born||August 19, 1756|
Elizabethtown, New Jersey
|Died||January 14, 1832 (aged 75)|
New York City
|Resting place||Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York|
|Education||King's College (now Columbia), 1774|
|Years of service||1776–1780|
Robert Troup (August 19, 1756 – January 14, 1832) was an American soldier, lawyer and jurist.
Early life and education
American Revolutionary War
At the start of the American Revolutionary War, Troup joined the Hearts of Oak, a volunteer infantry unit of the New York militia. He entered as a second lieutenant in 1775, serving alongside other King's College students including Hamilton and Nicholas Fish. In May 1776, Troup was a first lieutenant in Colonel John Lasher's regiment. The Hearts of Oak became part of the Continental Army that year, forming the core of the New York Provincial Company of Artillery.
On August 27, 1776, while serving under General Nathaniel Woodhull during the Battle of Long Island, Troup was captured by the British near Brooklyn. He was confined to the prison ship HMS Jersey, and later was transferred to the Provost Prison in New York until his exchange on December 9, 1776.
Troup rejoined the Continental Army in New Jersey, becoming captain of the New York Artillery's 2nd Regiment, and was promoted to major in February 1777.
In August 1777, he became aide-de-camp to General Horatio Gates, and received a commission as lieutenant colonel on October 4, 1777. As aide to Gates, he served in the Battles of Saratoga and the final surrender of General John Burgoyne at Schuylerville, New York on the 17th of October. He was depicted in an 1821 painting by John Trumbull titled Surrender of General Burgoyne.
Troup was appointed by Congress as Secretary to the Board of War in February 1778, serving until it was dissolved the following year. He became Secretary to the Board of Treasury from May 29, 1779 until his resignation on February 8, 1780.
Upon retiring from government service, Troup completed his study of law under Judge William Paterson, later a Governor of New Jersey. Troup maintained a private law practice in Albany, New York from 1782 to 1783, and in New York City from 1784 to 1796. During that period, he was elected as a member of the New York State Assembly in 1786.
From 1789 to 1796, he served as Clerk of Court of the United States District Court for the District of New York. He was nominated to a seat on that court by President George Washington, on December 9, 1796, to fill a position vacated by John Laurance. Confirmed by the United States Senate on December 10, 1796, Troup received his commission the same day. He served as a federal judge until April 4, 1798, when he resigned to return to private practice in New York City.
In 1801, Troup was appointed general agent managing the Pulteney Estate, which had purchased land rights to large portions of upstate New York. The town of Troupsburg, New York was named after him. The town of Charlotte, north of the city of Rochester, New York was named by Troup in honor of his daughter.
Personal life and family
Troup was a lifelong personal friend of Alexander Hamilton, with whom he had roomed at King's College and served in the Hearts of Oak militia unit, and he continued to support Hamilton in politics.
He was a co-founder in 1785 of the New York Manumission Society, which promoted the gradual abolition of slavery in New York, and protection of the rights of free black people. Despite being a slaveholder himself, Troup presided at the first meeting of the Society. Together with Hamilton, who joined the Society at its second meeting, Troup led an unsuccessful effort to adopt a rule requiring members of the Society to free any slaves that they themselves owned. In the absence of such a resolution, Troup himself waited to manumit his slaves, freeing four between 1802 and 1814.
He resided for many years in Geneva, New York, with his wife Jennet Goelet (d. 1840). They had four children together: Charles, Robert, Charlotte, and Louisa. Both of Troup's sons died before him, unmarried. His daughter Charlotte married James Lefferts Brinckerhoff and had two daughters, Charlotte and Maria Louisa.:322
Troup died January 14, 1832 in New York City. He was originally buried at St. Andrew's; however, after the death of his daughter Charlotte in 1872, his body was moved to Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.:322
- Blunt, Joseph (1833). American Annual Register of Public Events for the Year 1831–32. Fressenden and Company. pp. 389–390. Retrieved 2008-01-20.
- Columbia University (1888). Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates of Columbia College (originally King's College) in the City of New York, 1754–1888. p. 64.
- Linn, John B.; Egle, Wm. H. (eds.). "Papers Relating to the British Prisoners in Pennsylvania". Pennsylvania Archives. Series 2. Vol. I. p. 427.
- Schuyler, John (1886). "Robert Troup". Institution of the Society of the Cincinnati: Formed by the Officers of the American Army of the Revolution, 1783. pp. 313–314.
- "Surrender of General Burgoyne". Washington, D.C.: Architect of the Capitol. 2016. Archived from the original on 2018-06-16.
- Milliken, Charles F. (1911). A History of Ontario County, New York and Its People. Lewis Historical Publishing Co. p. 351. Retrieved 2008-01-20.
- Campbell, William W. (1849). The Life and Writings of De Witt Clinton. New York: Baker and Scribner. p. 113. Retrieved 2008-01-18.
- Lodge, Henry Cabot (1904). The Works of Alexander Hamilton. G. P. Putnam's Sons. pp. 107–113. Retrieved 2008-01-20.
- Foner, Eric (2016). "Columbia and Slavery: A Preliminary Report" (PDF). Columbia and Slavery. Columbia University. pp. 22–25. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-06-20.
- "Robert Troup Papers: 1771-1870". Archives & Manuscripts. The New York Public Library.
- Tripp, Wendell E. (1982). Robert Troup: A Quest for Security in a Turbulent New Nation. Ayer Publishing. p. 307. ISBN 0-405-14074-6. Retrieved 2008-02-20. Online excerpt available at Parr, Philip, ed. (2012). "Charles Williamson & Robert Troup: Land Agents for the Pulteney Estate" (PDF). Caledonia, N.Y.: Big Springs Museum. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-06-25.
- Robert Troup at Find a Grave.
- Bielinski, Stefan (2010). Robert Troup. Exhibition of the New York State Museum.
- Robert Troup at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center. Archived from the original on 2018-06-25.
| Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New York
John Sloss Hobart