Message from Leisler Institute President Dr. Firth Fabend

January 3, 2017

Dear Friends of the Jacob Leisler Institute,

Greetings as we start a New Year and our third year as a growing and viable organization dedicated to the study of early New York history.

It has been a busy year for Institute Director Dr. David Voorhees and me and the Executive Committee in general as we moved forward to make the Institute better known and better financed.

To this end, we have developed a new brochure, which you should be seeing soon, concentrating on the early New York history aspects of the Institute rather than solely on Jacob Leisler himself.

This is in line with the Board’s stated desire to emphasize and broadcast the uniqueness of our collection, which is endlessly rich in varied topics from the slave trade to the whaling industry, to lumber milling, the sugar industry, and the trade in European manufactured goods. We should also mention the rum industry and developments in sanitation, as well as spousal abuse (topics usually avoided by the historians and genealogists of the past), and we should not forget the infamous Claverack Giant, interest in whom spiked academic research into paleontology. Early New York history from 1674 to around 1774 has been largely ignored by historians in the past, but we aim to change that.

Along with the new brochure will go an updated membership form in which the public can join in various categories (Friend, Sponsor, Benefactor, the Leisler Circle, or Corporate) for amounts ranging from $25 to $1000.

We initiated a successful internship with a student from New Paltz and another who will join us this year. They are indispensable to the minutiae of running the Institute.

We were distressed to learn this Fall that our trustee Kees-Jan Waterman had a medical emergency that required him to take a back seat for a while, but he is now on the mend and will return to help with the essential fundraising aspects of our responsibilities soon. Charlie Zabriskie has been very generous in his support, moral and financial, throughout the year, and we are most appreciative.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year, and I look forward to your continued interest and your participation, as well as to our Annual Meeting and Luncheon in August, date and place to be arranged.

With best wishes to all,
Firth Fabend
Firth Haring Fabend, President