Schuyler, George Lee (1811-1890) USA

Category: OWNERS

GLSchuylerV1George Lee Schuyler was the grandson of Gen. Philip John Schuyler of Revolutionary fame. He was born in Rhinebeck, June 9, 1811. He early settled in this city, and received his education at private schools and was a graduate of Columbia College. In the early part of Mr. Schuyler‘s business career he was one or the chief owners of the old steamboat line to New-Haven, and was also interested in the New-York, New-Haven and Hartford Railroad.

The Illustrated London News (15 mars 1851)
His means being such as to allow him to gratify a strong taste for yachting, he naturally was one of the nine gentlemen who in 1844 organized the New York Yacht Club and he had retained his active interest in it to the day of his death.

In 1851, in company with J. G. Stevens, Edwin A. Stevens. Hamilton Wilkes, and J. Beekman Finley, he owned the schooner yacht America and entered her in the regatta of the Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes, England, Aug. 22 of that year. The result of the race is familiar to all. After this victory, some of the five member syndicate wanted to have the "Hundred Guinea Cup" melted down so that each owner could have a medal struck from it in commemoration of the race. George Schuyler fought against the idea, urging that the Cup be presented to the New York Yacht Club as an international trophy to be raced for by foreign clubs. His idea was accepted, and George Schuyler was responsible for writing the terms for the conveyance of the Cup to the Club, later known as the Deed of Gift :

July 8, 1857: "Any organized yacht club of any foreign country shall always be entitled through any one or more of its members, to claim the right of sailing a match for this Cup with any yacht or vessel of not less than thirty or more than three hundred tons, measured by the custom-house rule of the country to which the vessel belongs."

"The parties desiring to sail for the Cup may make any match with the yacht club in possession of the same that may be determined by mutual consent; but in case of disagreement as to terms, the match shall be sailed over the usual course for the annual regatta of the yacht club in possession of the Cup, and subject to its rules and sailing regulations - the challenging party being bound to give six months advance notice in writing, fixing the day they wish to start. This notice to embrace the length, custom-house measurement, rig and name of the vessel."

"It is to be distinctly understood that the Cup is to be the property of club, and not the members thereof, or owners of the vessel winning it in the match; and that the condition of keeping it open to be sailed for by yacht clubs of all foreign countries upon the terms laid down, shall forever attach to it, thus making it perpetually a challenge Cup for friendly competition between foreign countries."

The CupIn 1881, Schuyler revised the original Deed of gift to include the following:

  • First, that the challenging yacht be met by only one defending yacht;
  • second, that the challenging vessel be constructed in the country she was to represent;
  • third, that, in the interest of good seaworthy construction, the challenger be required to sail to the site of the match;
  • fourth, that a defeated vessel not be permitted to sail again until a contest with another vessel intervenes, or until 2 years elapses from such defeat;
  • and, finally, that any challenge, to be valid, must come from an organized yacht club of a foreign country.

Mr. Schuyler has always been a constant attendant at the regattas and match races of the New York Yacht Club, and has occupied many official positions in the club. He was referee in his last international contest in 1887, in which the Volunteer and the Thistle took part.

Much interest was taken by Mr. Schuyler in historical and genealogical studies, and he gathered many valuable memorials of his ancestors winch were published in two volumes, one entitled “Correspondence and Remarks upon Bancroft’s History of the Northern Campaign in 1777”; George L. Schuylerand “The Character of Major Gen. Philip Schuyler.”

George L. Schuyler died from heart trouble on board Commodore Elbridge T. Gerry's yacht Electra, in New London Harbor, on the night of July 31st, 1890. Schuyler married Eliza Hamilton, the daughter of James Alexander Hamilton. They had three children: Philip, Louisa Lee, and Georgina. After Eliza Hamilton's death in 1863, Schuyler married her sister, Mary Morris Hamilton. He was left a widower in 1877. He was formerly a member of the Union Club and was a member of the Knickerbocker Club. The New York Yacht Club's colors were at half mast yesterday over the clubhouse out of respect to his memory.