John Nicholas Bleecker was an aggressive leader during the Revolutionary years in Albany and assumed an important role after the capture of Fort Ticonderoga, helping to transport British weaponry to Boston in the winter of 1775 in order to fortify the Colonists in the final siege of Boston.
Albany was a vital hub of Revolutionary activity, in many ways expediting the process and legitimacy of Colonial opposition to the Crown. The city was the seat of the Albany Conference in 1754, where Benjamin Franklin was among those who drafted the Albany Plan of Union, precursor to the Declaration of Independence.
From that date, Bleecker and other principals of Albany society began actively contributing to the Revolutionary movement. Early in the 1760s, Bleecker became a contractor with the municipal government of Albany, known as the Albany Corporation, which was largely in favor of independence. Bleecker was first made Alderman to the Albany Corporation in 1767, a deputy mayor role to which it seems he was re-elected for several years. With the Intolerable Acts in 1774, the city was emboldened, founding the Committee of Correspondence, a group designed to act on behalf of the growing Revolutionary impulse in the region. Bleecker was nominated to the Committee, which worked to promote the rights of the Colonists in accordance with the movements of the Continental Conferences.
When the War began, Bleecker was made Assistant Deputy Commissary General of store and provisions in New York. After the Green Mountain Boys captured Fort Ticonderoga in 1775, Bleecker was instrumental in the transfer of canons and gunpowder from the abandoned fort to Boston. The supplies were carried 300 miles during the winter of 1775, arriving in time to reinforce the final attacks on the British territory in Boston in the spring of 1776.
Bleecker's contributions to the Revolution were rewarded by the state with an allocation of land bounty rights. After the war, he continued to serve in the city government, acting as City and County Treasurer, as well as Clerk of the Board of Supervisors. He lived until 1825, and raised eight children with his wife, Margaret Van Deusen Bleecker.
For more information see: The John N. Bleecker Papers, 1700-1870, at the New York State Library and The Colonial Albany Social History Project, directed by Stephan Bielinski, The New York State Museum