The Jacob Leisler Institute for the Study of Early New York History is a study and research center devoted 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 underexamined 109-year period in American history.
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 the 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, the Institute serves scholars and students of the period as well as teaching the necessary skills in order to preserve and interpret the period’s 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.
The Jacob Leisler Institute is located in Hudson, New York, a small historic city in the bucolic Hudson River Valley. The Institute is easily accessible from New York City, Boston, and Albany by road and rail. Hudson, with its dynamic contemporary culture, and the surrounding countryside provide a wealth of resources relating to the period, such as the Luykas Van Alen House, numerous Reformed Dutch churches and historic sites, including the former Van Rensselaer and Livingston manorial landholdings.