Facts and Events
He was born in New York, the son of Philip Van Cortlandt (1683 -1748) (a son of New York Mayor Stephanus Van Cortlandt) and Catherine DePeyster (a granddaughter of Johannes De Peyster— an ancestor of Abraham DePeyster and Arent Schuyler DePeyster). His great uncle Jacobus Van Cortlandt was mayor of New York City.
Van Cortlandt was Vice President of the 4th New York Provincial Congress which convened as the New York State Constitutional Convention from 1776 to 1777. He lost the election as Lieutenant Governor of New York to George Clinton who was elected both Governor and Lt. Gov. in June 1777, but formally resigned the office of Lt. Gov. when he took office as Governor. Van Cortlandt was elected to the New York State Senate in 1777 and was elected Temporary President of the State Senate, and thus was Acting Lt. Governor. In 1778, Van Cortlandt was elected Lt. Gov. to fill the vacancy, and took office on June 30, 1778. He was re-elected five times, remaining in office until 1795.