Jacob Leisler: Fanatic or Martyr: a Library & Leisler Institute Talk

Program Description: The library’s History Room in collaboration with the Jacob Leisler Institute for the Study of Early New York History presents Fanatic or Martyr: Jacob Leisler, a Window into an Age, a talk by Dr. David Voorhees. On May 16, 1691, Jacob Leisler, de facto governor of New York, was hung til half-dead then beheaded before the largest gathering in New York City up to that date. Leisler’s administration had created a bitter division in New York. This presentation looks at how the deep emotions Jacob Leisler aroused reveal much about the milieu in which he lived and continued to echo in historical evaluations. Moreover, Leisler’s immediate family and their households of servants and enslaved persons, their trade and marital connections, and their actions provide insights into the broader social, ideological, economic, artistic, and political events of colonial New York and its place in the larger world at a time of tremendous change.

Date/Time: Thursday, January 27 6-7:30pm.

Registration: To register and receive the Zoom meeting link click here or contact Brenda Shufelt, History Room Coordinator, at 518-828-1792 x106 or brenda.shufelt@hudsonarealibrary.org for more information.

The Jacob Leisler Library Lectures are made partially possible through the generous support of the Van Dyke Family Foundation.

Dr. Voorhees is director of the Jacob Leisler Papers Project, formerly located at New York University, as well as the Jacob Leisler Institute headquartered in Hudson. He’s also managing editor of de Halve Maen (The Half Moon), a quarterly scholarly journal published by The Holland Society of New York. An NYU research scientist, he is a former managing reference history editor at Charles Scribner’s Sons and has published numerous historical works and articles, and been a consultant on historical exhibits at the Museum of the City of New York and the Bard Graduate Center in Manhattan among others.

The Jacob Leisler Institute for the Study of Early New York History is an independent, not-for-profit study and research center devoted to collecting, preserving, and disseminating information relating to colonial New York under English rule. In the years spanning 1664 to 1773, New York province’s diverse European settlements and Native American and African populations fused into a cosmopolitan colonial territory with ties throughout the Atlantic World. The Institute is unique in focusing on this under examined 109-year period in American history.

The Institute contains a collection of original, digital, and/or paper copies of primary source manuscripts, books, maps, and illustrative materials, as well as a library of secondary resources that provide scholarly context to the primary sources. The Jacob Leisler Institute is an open resource for both scholars and the interested public.