Peter H. Silvester

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Peter Henry Silvester
Peter Henry Sylvester.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from 's New York's 11th district
In office
March 4, 1847 – March 3, 1851
Preceded byJohn F. Collin
Succeeded byJosiah Sutherland
Personal details
BornFebruary 17, 1807
Kinderhook, New York
DiedNovember 29, 1882 (aged 75)
Coxsackie, New York
Political partyWhig
Spouse(s)Catherine Susan Bronk
RelationsPeter Silvester (grandfather)
ChildrenFrancis Silvester
John L.B. Silvester
ParentsFrancis Silvester
Lydia Van Schaack
EducationKinderhook Academy
Alma materUnion College
ProfessionLawyer, Politician

Peter Henry Silvester (February 17, 1807 – November 29, 1882) was a U.S. Representative from New York in the 30th and 31st United States Congress. Silvester was the grandson of prominent attorney and former U.S. Congressmen, Peter Silvester.

Early life[edit]

Silvester was born on February 17, 1807 in Kinderhook, New York. He was the only son of Francis Silvester (1767–1845) and Lydia Van Schaack, a niece of Peter van Schaack and a descendant of the Schuyler family.[1][2] He was the grandson of Peter Silvester (1734–1808) and his wife, Jane Van Schaack.[3] Silvester attended Kinderhook Academy, and graduated from Union College, Schenectady, New York, in 1827. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1830 and practiced in Coxsackie, New York.[4]


He was originally a member of the Democratic-Republican Party, and joined the National Republicans and then the Whigs.[4]

Silvester was elected as a Whig to the Thirtieth and Thirty-first Congresses (March 4, 1847 – March 3, 1851). He did not run for reelection in 1850 and resumed practicing law. Like most Whigs, Silvester became a Republican when the party was organized in the mid-1850s. In 1860 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. House, losing narrowly to John B. Steele.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Silvester married Catherine Susan Bronk (d. 1858), the daughter of John Leonard Bronk and Alida Conine, and born in Coxsackie. She attended Troy Seminary in Troy New York. Her father was a lawyer and Columbia College graduate.[5] Together, Silvester and Bronk had four children, of which two survived to adulthood:[5]

  • Francis Silvester (1833–1903), a lawyer[1] who served as District Attorney of Columbia County.[6]
  • John L.B. Silvester (c. 1836)[1][7]
  • Margaret Silvester, died aged 9[1]

Silvester later retired to one of his farms in Coxsackie, where he lived until his death on November 29, 1882.[8] He was interred in Kinderhook Cemetery, along with his family.


  1. ^ a b c d Miller, Peyton Farrell (1904). A Group of Great Lawyers of Columbia County, New York. Priv. print. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  2. ^ Collier, Edward Augustus (1914). A History of Old Kinderhook from Aboriginal Days to the Present Time: Including the Story of the Early Settlers, Their Homesteads, Their Traditions, and Their Descendants; with an Account of Their Civic, Social, Political, Educational, and Religious Life. G. P. Putnam's Sons. pp. 399–400. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  3. ^ New York State Library Annual Report. University of the State of New York. 1922. p. 51. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  4. ^ a b c United States. Congress. Joint Committee on Printing (2005). Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-2005: The Continental Congress, September 5, 1774, to October 21, 1788, and the Congress of the United States, from the First Through the One Hundred Eighth Congresses, March 4, 1789, to January 3, 2005, Inclusive. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. p. 1912. ISBN 9780160731761. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  5. ^ a b Fairbanks, Mary J. Mason (1898). Emma Willard and Her Pupils: Or, Fifty Years of Troy Female Seminary, 1822-1872. New York: Mrs. R. Sage. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  6. ^ "DEATH LIST OF A DAY.; Francis Silvester". The New York Times. 8 December 1903. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  7. ^ John L B Sylvester is listed in the New York State Census, 1855, Line 21.
  8. ^ "Obituary Notes -- Ex-Congressman Peter H. Silvester". The New York Times. 30 November 1882. Retrieved 22 August 2017.

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John F. Collin
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 11th congressional district

March 4, 1847–March 3, 1851
Succeeded by
Josiah Sutherland