History

The Jacob Leisler Institute

The Jacob Leisler Institute was established in 2014, when the Jacob Leisler Papers Project moved to Hudson, New York. The Leisler Papers Project was established in 1988 under the auspices of the Department of History of New York University to collect, transcribe and translate, and prepare for publication the public and private papers of Jacob Leisler. The project received the endorsement of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) and the federal government in 1989.

From its Leisler Papers Project’s inception, it became apparent that New York under English rule was a seriously neglected topic. Although Jacob Leisler’s ill-fated 1689–1691 administration of New York is central to understanding the province’s political, economic, and cultural life until the outbreak of hostilities with Great Britain in the 1760s, numerous other changes also transformed the Hudson River and Mohawk valleys, Long Island, and East Jersey: French, German, English, New English, and African immigration altered and enriched the culture and society; population expansion created new tensions and mythologies; and the Enlightenment and contrasting religious movements transformed ideologies. In the end, a new society arose by the time of the American Revolution that continues to resonate in the twenty-first century.

As a study center, the Jacob Leisler Institute serves scholars and students of the period and teaches the necessary skills to preserve and interpret the period’s manuscript and material resources. The collection, which continues to develop, is of interest to students and researchers from a wide range of disciplines: history, geography, ethnohistory, economics, political science, demography, art history, and others. We encourage the public to use the Institute as an educational and archival center, and to work with scholars who prepare papers, book-length manuscripts, and lectures from our holdings.