Jacob Leisler (1640-1691) was intimately bound to the economic, social, and political development of New Netherland and New York from his arrival in New Amsterdam in July 1660 in the employ of the Dutch West India Company until his beheading in New York City by the English governor in May 1691.
One of New York’s richest seventeenth-century merchants and the founder of the Huguenot refugee town of New Rochelle, Leisler catapulted to fame when in May 1689 he led a rebellion against King James II’s government in New York on behalf of the Prince of Orange, William III. The following December he assumed the role of New York governor and implemented a populist government that called for free elections and organized the first inter-colonial congress and military action independent of English authority.
The Jacob Leisler Papers Project at New York University contains over 4,000 document photocopies and manuscripts in several languages, as well as genealogical materials, microfilm, rare books, and visual materials relating to Jacob Leisler and his immediate family from 1550 to 1800. Dr. Voorhees with project assistant Stephanie Krom will present an overview of the collection, its importance as a repository of seventeenth-century New York and Atlantic World materials, and the considerable insight it provides into the world and inhabitants of the former Dutch colony of New Netherland in the post-Conquest period.