Jacobus Lefferts

arc.145_lefferts_jacobus bio

Jacobus Lefferts, circa 1780s-1790s

Jacobus Lefferts (1757-1799), great-grandson of Leffert Pieterse, was a member of the of the Lefferts family. In addition to the land he inherited from his father, Leffert Lefferts, Jacobus Lefferts owned a mercantile firm dealing in liquor, dry goods, and foodstuffs located on Water Street in New York City. He maintained a home on Nassau Street, just a few blocks away from his business.

Jacobus increased his wealth and holdings through an advantageous marriage. On August 14, 1780, the New York Mercury announced the marriage of Jacobus Lefferts to “Miss Maria Lott, daughter of the late Mr. Lott, of Long Island; a young lady of great beauty and merit, with a large fortune.” Jacobus and his beautiful and wealthy wife moved to a large waterfront estate that Maria had inherited from her grandfather, situated in the Kings County town of New Utrecht. Tragically, Maria died only a few years later, at the age of twenty-four.

Though New York City was quite a journey from New Utrecht, Jacobus remained a member of the New York Society Library, New York’s oldest library. According to the library’s first charging ledger, Jacobus was partial to books related to ancient history.

Jacobus Lefferts died in 1799, leaving his and Maria’s three children behind. One of those children, Maria Lott Lefferts, was the mother of well-known author Gertrude Lefferts Vanderbilt (1824-1901).

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One branch of Leffertses lived in Bedford Corners, located in present-day Bedford Stuyvesant. The Bedford Turnpike and the Brooklyn and Jamaica Turnpike, two important roads that connected the towns of Brooklyn and Bushwick to the southeastern Kings County towns, intersected there.