The Jacob Leisler Institute for the Study of Early New York History has announced the opening of its office at 46 Green Street in Hudson, New York, on November 3. The Jacob Leisler Institute is a study and research center devoted to colonial New York under English rule, as well as a permanent home to the Papers of Jacob Leisler Project.
At its organizing meeting recently in Albany, Dr. David William Voorhees was elected Executive Director of the Institute and Dr. Firth Haring Fabend its President.
From its inception in 1988, the Papers of Jacob Leisler Project has been housed at New York University. Its move to Hudson signals the Project’s intention to make these materials available in a centrally located place in the Hudson River Valley accessible both to scholars of early New York and to local historians seeking to study the background of their communities during what historians term the “long” eighteenth-century.
In the years spanning 1664 to the American Revolution, New York Province’s diverse European settlers and Native American and African populations were transformed by contact with each other and by the geographical, climatic, and economic conditions of the Americas into a cosmopolitan colonial territory with ties throughout the Atlantic World. The Institute is named for Jacob Leisler (1640–1691), whose ill-fated 1689–1691 administration of New York is the period’s focal point. Leisler’s administration colored New York Province’s political, economic, and cultural life until the outbreak of hostilities with Great Britain in the 1770s.
The Institute is an independent, nonprofit organization. As a study center, its aim is to serve scholars and students of the period as well as teaching the necessary skills in order to preserve and interpret the period’s vast manuscript and material sources. Students of all historical disciplines, including archeology, material culture, and folklore, are encouraged to use and contribute to the Institute as an educational and archival resource, as well as prepare papers, book length manuscripts, and lectures from its holdings.
Located in Hudson, New York, the Institute is easily accessible from New York City, Boston, and Albany by road and rail. Hudson, with a dynamic contemporary culture, and the surrounding countryside provide a wealth of resources relating to the period, such as the Luykas Van Alen House, the Claverack Reformed Dutch church, numerous seventeenth- and eighteenth-century architectural and archeological sites, and the extensive Van Rensselaer and Livingston manorial landholdings.
The Jacob Leisler Institute for the Study of Early New York History can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and by mail at P.O. Box 86, Hudson, NY, 12534.
Illustration: “The residence of Jacob Leisler on ‘the Strand’,” Valentine’s Manual (1869) courtesy the Jacob Leisler Papers Project collection.