J.H.S. 217 Robert A. Van Wyck

Robert A. Van Wyck (1847-1918) was an important political figure in New York during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Born in New York City, ne was the son of Attorney William Van Wyck. Van Wyck began his academic studies at The University of North Carolina and then continued his education at Columbia Law School where he graduated in 1872. He started off his career as a businessman and later becoming a lawyer, and finally a city court judge in 1880.

After ending his career as the Chief Justice of New York, he became involved with Democratic Party politics. Robert A. Van Wyck was inaugurated as Mayor of New York in 1897. He ran for the office with the endorsement of the Tammany Hall political machine led by Richard Croker. Van Wyck presided over the unification of the five boroughs into the modern-day New York City. While in office, Van Wyck worked to improve the city’s fragmented administrative system. After leaving office in 1903, he moved to Paris, France and lived there until his death in 1918.


Gustavus Myers, "The History of Tammany Hall," 2nd ed., rev. and enled. New York: Boni & Liveright, 1917 

New York (N.Y.). Commissioners of Accounts. 1900. Report and Appendix Made to the Hon. Robert Van Wyck, Mayor, at the Request of the Hon. Bird S. Coler, Comptroller, of an Examination to Ascertain the Amount Necessary to Meet the Requirements of the Ahearn Law for the Year 1899, for the Boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx. New York: M.B. Brown Co., printers.  

NYC Department of Records and Information Services, “Collection Guides, Mayor Robert Van Wyck Records” accessed September 30th 2023, https://a860-collectionguides.nyc.gov/repositories/2/resources/9

Steven A. Levine, "In Gotham's Shadow: Brooklyn and the Consolidation of Greater New York." City University of New York ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2002.

Robert A. Van Wyck dies in Paris Home,” New York Times, November 16, 1918,