St. Ann’s Episcopal Church
Queen Anne’s Chapel and Saint Ann’s Church
Fort Hunter—Port Jackson—Amsterdam
2012 A.D. marks the 300th Anniversary of the founding of Queen Anne Chapel, the first Anglican outpost towards the west, located where the Schoharie Creek flows into the Mohawk River, subsequently named Fort Hunter.
In 102 five Sachems of the Mohawk Nation met with Lord Cornbury, the royal governor of the New York Colony. They begged the governor to plead with Queen Anne that she “be a good mother, and send them someone to teach them religion.” In 1704 the first priest arrived in Albany. In 1710 four Mohawk Sachems visited England resulting in a decision to support a mission, build a chapel and rectory, and commenced to translate the Bible and Book of Common Prayer into Mohawk. Queen Anne paid for the Chapel, altar cloths, communion silver, surplice and Prayer Books.
In 1712 the Chapel was erected by five Dutchmen, 24 feet square with the first service held October 25. This liturgy was the first organized missionary work that transformed the Church of England into the world-wide Anglican Communion. By the eve of the American Revolution, the area was evangelized and the Mohawk were Anglican Christians.
By the end of the Revolution the priests and people (both Mohawk and settlers) who had been loyal to the crown were driven from their lands. Eventually the mixed community of loyalist and their priest, the Rev. John Stuart, escaped to Canada and became unintentionally the founders of the Church in Upper Canada, now Ontario.
In 1787 a young English priest restarted work at St. Peter’s Albany and in 1797 the Diocese of New York reports the Rev. John Urguhert as Rector of St. Ann’s Church, Fort Hunter. In 1828 Bishop Hobart visited the little congregation, then linked with (the now defunct) St. Mary’s, West Charlton. In 1831 St. Ann’s, Florida, was duly incorporated, then became moribund.
1825 saw the building of the Erie Canal, 1830 the incorporation of Amsterdam, and in 1835 the incept of St. Ann’s Amsterdam and Port Jackson (south side of the river). Bishop Onderdonk consecrated the building in 1837. The present site saw a new church in 1851, expanded and dedicated in 1888.