David William Voorhees (Ph.D., New York University, 1988) Director of both the Jacob Leisler Institute for the Study of Early New York History and of the Jacob Leisler Papers Project, is also Managing Editor of de Halve Maen, a quarterly scholarly journal devoted to New Netherland studies published by The Holland Society of New York. Formerly Managing Reference History Editor at Charles Scribner’s Sons and a co-editor of The Papers of William Livingston, his published works include The Concise Dictionary of American History (1983), The Holland Society: A Centennial History 1885-1985 (1985), and Records of the Reformed Protestant Church of Flatbush, Kings County, New York, Volume 1, 1677-1720 (1999), Volume 2, Deacons’ Accounts, 1654-1709 (2009), as well as numerous articles on late seventeenth-century New York. He is currently a consultant to Historic Hudson and Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz, NY. In 2010 Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands presented him with knighthood in the Order of Orange Nassau.
Board of Trustees
Dr. Firth Haring Fabend (Ph.D., New York University, 1988) President of the Board of the Jacob Leisler Institute. She is the author of A Dutch Family in the Middle Colonies, 1660-1800 (1991); Land So Fair (2008), a historical novel set in the Early New York period, treating in fiction this same family; and a historical poem in book form, A Catch of Grandmothers (2004), which portrays the women in this family over ten generations. Other books are Zion on the Hudson: Dutch New York and New Jersey in the Age of Revivals (2000) and New Netherland in a Nutshell: A Concise History of the Dutch Colony in North America (2012). She is the author also of several dozen shorter essays and chapters in books concerning New Netherland and its legacy. Her work has received many awards, the most recent being the Alice P. Kenney Memorial Award of the New Netherland Institute in 2017.
Dr. William Starna (Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 1976) is Vice President of the Board of the Jacob Leisler Institute and Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the State University of New York College at Oneonta. He has held visiting and adjunct appointments at Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario), the University at Albany, Binghamton University, and Hartwick College, and has served as Adjunct Curator of Ethnology at the New York State Museum. A specialist in the Iroquoian and Algonquian peoples of eastern North America and federal-state-Indian relations, he is co-editor of The Journal of Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert (1988, 2013), Iroquois Land Claims (1988), Adriaen Van der Donck’s Description of New Netherland (2008), A Quaker’s Tour of the Colonial Northeast and Canada: The 1773 Travel Journals of Jabez Maud Fisher of Philadelphia (2014), and Gideon’s People, Being a Chronicle of an American Indian Community in Colonial Connecticut and the Moravian Missionaries Who Served There (2009). In 2013 the University of Nebraska Press published his book From Homeland to New Land: A History of the Mahican Indians, 1600-1830.
Annette van Rooy, Secretary and Treasurer of the Board of the Jacob Leisler Institute, served as Executive Director for The Holland Society of New York from 1994 to 2012. Fluent in Dutch, French, and German, she currently volunteers at The New Netherland Institute in Albany, New York, as program and book graphic designer. She is a volunteer on the Lecture Committee of the Pittstown Historical Society. She was also social director at the Northern Lake George Yacht club and a co-editor of The Netherland Club of New York Newsletter.
Dr. Noah L. Gelfand (Ph.D., New York University, 2008) is a Doctoral Lecturer at Hunter College, where he teaches courses on early US history and American Indian history. While pursuing his Ph.D. at NYU, he worked for a number of years as a graduate assistant on the Jacob Leisler Papers Project. He has published several articles and book chapters on Atlantic history and American Jewish history and is currently working on a book about the Jewish Atlantic world in the early modern era.
Dr. Jaap Jacobs (Ph.D., Leiden University, 1999) is affiliated with the University of St. Andrews. He has specialized in the early American history, specifically the Dutch in the Americas in the early modern period. Dr. Jacobs has taught at Leiden University, the University of Amsterdam, Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University. His publications on New Netherland and New Amsterdam include The Colony of New Netherland: A Dutch Settlement in Seventeenth Century America (Cornell University Press, 2009). He is currently working on a biography of Petrus Stuyvesant. He gives lectures and presentations on Dutch New York.
Gary Laube is founder and co-owner of Liberty Gas, a full-service source for residential and commercial propane needs on Long Island’s East End. He was a business partner in Village House Wrights LLC, a firm which specialized in building fine eighteenth-century reproduction homes. A colonial history enthusiast, he has purchased and restored several pre-Revolutionary homes. His former home in Southold, New York, was featured on HGTV and in Early American Life magazine. Mr. Laube also collects historical items, including the only known pre-Revolutionary Pine Tree flag in existence. He is a direct descendant of Col. John Young, one of the chief justices for Jacob Leisler’s 1691 trial.
Jeff Rigby, AIC, operated a full-service book and document conservation company. He began his career with an apprenticeship in archival and conservation at the Newberry Library in Chicago. Since leaving the Newberry, he has had a distinguished career preserving documents for numerous library and archival collections throughout the northeast and mid-Atlantic region, including the Brooklyn Museum, Ellis Island National Park, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, the Frelinghuysen Arboretum, the Museum of Modern Art, the New York County Clerk’s Office, and the New York Stock Exchange. A resident of Hudson, New York, he has served on the Hudson Area Library Board.
Dr. L. H. Roper (Ph.D., University of Rochester, 1992) is the SUNY Distinguished Professor of History at SUNY-New Paltz. His work on colonial Anglo-America has appeared in such venues as Itinerario, The New England Quarterly, and The William and Mary Quarterly. He is a founding co-General Editor of The Journal of Early American History and the related book series, The American Colonies, 1500–1830. In 2017 Cambridge University Press published his book Advancing Empire: English Interests and Overseas Expansion, 1613-1688. He is the editor of The Torrid Zone: Caribbean Colonization and Cultural Interaction in the Long Seventeenth Century (University of South Carolina Press, 2018). His awards and prizes include the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship or Creative Work (2015) and the New Netherland Institute’s Clague and Carol van Slyke Prize (2017).
Sarah Burrows Winch (B.A., Hobart and William Smith Colleges) is a writer, poet, historian, and photographer, with a business background in sales. Her forthcoming publications (under the nom de plume Sarah Tracy Burrows) include Affectionately Yours, Osgood: The Civil War Letters of Colonel Osgood Vose Tracy, 122nd New York State Volunteers, to his Mother, Sarah Vose Osgood Tracy, 1862-1865, which is based upon the letters of her 2x great grandfather and family, (co-editor, with Ryan Keating) and the historical novel Fighting for Nellie. A native of Syracuse, New York, she lives in Wenham, Massachusetts. She is a direct descendant of Jacob Leisler through his daughter Hester.
Ruth Piwonka (M.A. in English Literature, Indiana University) is Trustee Emeritus of the Board of the Jacob Leisler Institute. She moved to Kinderhook in 1969, where she raised two daughters. She serves as a consultant in Hudson Valley regional history. art, and architecture. She was executive director of Columbia County Historical Society 1976-1983 and with Roderic Blackburn she co-authored A Visible Heritage. Columbia County, New York. A History in Art and Architecture and Remembrance of Patria (1988); she also wrote A Portrait of Livingston Manor (1986). She has worked on a variety of projects particularly related to Columbia County, including National Register of Historic Places nominations and museum projects at the county historical society. She has written widely on the region’s seventeenth and eighteenth century Dutch history and material culture. She has also been active in community affairs in her village of residence, serving on the ZBA, Comprehensive Planning Committee, and as village trustee, was Water Commissioner. She has served on not-for-profits boards, Columbia Land Conservancy, Friends of Lindenwald, and Historic Cherry Hill. She retired from town historian role and is presently village historian.
Charles Zabriskie Jr. (B.S., University of Vermont) is Trustee Emeritus of the Board of the Jacob Leisler Institute and President and Chief Executive Officer of the Zabriskie Family Foundation. Following military service, he worked as a bank executive, consultant, and executive recruiter. A former Trustee and President of the Holland Society of New York, he is a recipient of the U.S. Army’s Civilian Distinguished Service Medal.
Library and Archives
Mary Collins (M.S.L.I.S., LIU Palmer School, 2007; M.A. CUNY Graduate Center, 2020) is a librarian and genealogist, with research interests in New York and the wider Atlantic World, and expertise in the colonial era. A contributing author to The New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer, published by the NYG&B (2015), her work has also appeared in The Researcher, The National Genealogical Society Quarterly, and de Halve Maen, which recently published her study of colonial fashion, “Accessories and Ornaments in New Netherland.” Mary was previously the Librarian at The Holland Society of New York.