Philip John Schuyler, born 11 November 1733 in Albany, N.Y., served as a colonial officer in the British Army from 1755 to 1758. He represented Albany in the New York Assembly from 1768 to 1775 and served as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress in May 1775. Appointed Major General 19 June, he took command of the Northern Department of New York to plan for the invasion of Canada. Marching northward from Ticonderoga 28 August, his force began a successful 5-week siege against St. John's 6 September. A week later, ill health forced General Schuyler to give actual command to Brigadier General Richard Montgomery. The expedition occupied Montreal 13 November; but, after a combined assault with Arnold's troops against Quebec 31 December, during which Montgomery was killed, the American army retreated to Crown Point, N.Y., the following spring, General Horatio Gates, who took command from General John. Sullivan, blamed General Schuyler for the disasterous Canadian expedition; and, engaging in military intrigue, he brought about Schuyler's dismissal in August 1777. After resigning from the Army in April 1779, Schuyler served during the next decade as a member of the Continental Congress and as a state senator from western New York. In 1788 he joined his son-in-law, Alexander Hamilton; John Jay; and other Federalists in leading the movement for ratification by New York of the Federal Constitution. He served in the United States Senate from 1789 to 1791 and from 1797 to 1798. General Schuyler died in Albany 18 November 1804.
General Schuyler, a small sloop, was purchased by the New York Committee of Safety early in 1776; fitted out by March; and commissioned in the State Navy, James Smith in command. After the British evacuated Boston 17 March, General Washington transferred his forces to New York which soon became the focal point of the war. After his arrival in April, he requested the use of the New York fleet, and General Schuyler was transferred to his control. Commissioned as a Continental privateer in April, she patrolled local waters to suppress illicit trading.
While cruising off New York in June, General Schuyler recaptured a transport that had been taken originally by Continental brig Andrew Doria and then recaptured by British frigate Cerberus. During the same month and under the command of Lt. Joseph Davidson she recaptured four prizes of British frigate Greyhound, while cruising with Montgomery. Later that year General Schuyler recaptured Crawford, another prize of Cerberus. She operated in Long Island Sound and the Hudson River until the British captured New York in August 1776, but her subsequent career and final disposition are unknown.