A Wonderful Gift – The 1717 Burgis Prospect

On June 26, Jacob Leisler Institute Director David William Voorhees accepted the generous donation of William Burgis’s, “A South Prospect of Ye Flourishing City of New York in the Province of New York in America, 1717,” from Trustee Gary Laube. The six-foot-wide panoramic illustration of New York City from Brooklyn Ferry is engraved from four plates on four sheets pasted together. This detailed view provides a comprehensive picture of the city’s East River waterfront in the second decade of the eighteenth century when the city’s population had reached around 6,500 people. It is a most appreciated addition to the Institute’s growing collections.

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History Room on Zoom

In this episode of The Hudson Area Library’s History Room on Zoom, Gary Sheffer interviews Tina Lesem and David Voorhees about the Jacob Leisler Institute.

History Room on Zoom: Tina Lesem and David Voorhees

In this episode of The History Room on Zoom, Gary interviews Tina Lesem and David Voorhees, of the Jacob Leisler Institute. The Jacob Leisler Institute studies the history of New York from 1664-1775. The three discuss this very important, but overlooked, period. For more interviews and videos, and to learn more about our community’s rich history, please visit our History Room page at http://hudsonarealibrary.org/history-room/.

Posted by Hudson Area Library on Monday, June 15, 2020
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Statement from the Board of Trustees

Aware that during the colonial period it is a tragic fact that black chattel slavery became institutionalized in American culture, the board of the Jacob Leisler Institute takes a firm stance against the resulting legacy of discrimination in all manifestations, the glorification of any people over another, and all violence or other tactics to repress or intimidate any group of people.

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Reopening Update

The Jacob Leisler Institute is carefully adhering to State guidelines regarding reopening for the New York State Capital region. While we remain closed to the public for the immediate future, the staff will conduct research at the office for archival and genealogical queries for its customary fee. 

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Passing of Institute Benefactor R. J. Jippe Hiemstra

A portrait of Jippe Hiemstra.

It is with deep sorrow that we note the passing of Jacob Leisler Institute benefactor R. J. Jippe Hiemstra at his home in Buskirk, New York, on April 12, 2020, of pneumonia and congestive heart failure. Mr. Hiemstra was the husband of Leisler Institute Trustee and Board Secretary Annette van Rooy. He was born on October 3, 1941, in De Bilt, The Netherlands, and moved to New York in 1976 to serve as director and president of Oremco, Inc., a joint venture between Dutch steel producer Hoogovens and British Steel. He became actively interested in New York’s Dutch colonial period and its legacy. He joined the New Netherland Institute’s board of trustees in 2007 and served as its president from 2013 until his death. For his role in helping to promote Dutch culture in the United States and abroad, Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands bestowed upon him the honor of Membership of the Order of Oranje Nassau on April 30, 2005. The trustees and staff of the Jacob Leisler Institute extend our sympathies to Mr. Hiemstra’s wife, Annette, and his family and friends.

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COVID-19 Update

Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic crisis, the Jacob Leisler Institute office will continue to operate though in remote mode. We will remain accessible through email (info@jacobleislerinstitute.org) and phone (518-567-6490). As such pandemics were commonplace in the early modern era, let’s remember that this one too will pass just as they did. In the meantime, remain careful and healthy, and take care of those around you.

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Spring Interns

The Jacob Leisler Institute is delighted to have two interns join the team this semester.

Welcome to Columbia-Greene Community College student Vincent DeMarco and SUNY New-Paltz student Eric Knapp.

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Ruth Piwonka Honored

Front cover of the book A Visible Heritage: A History in Art and Architecture by Ruth Piwonka and Roderic Blackburn.

Municipal historian for the village and town of Kinderhook, and treasurer of the Jacob Leisler Institute, Ruth Piwonka is this year’s recipient of the Martha Washington Woman of History Award. The award, given by the Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site, honors a woman who has made significant contributions to the history of the Hudson Valley. The award presentation will be on March 22, at the site in Newburgh.

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Opening Reception

The History of the Census in Hudson
Hudson Area Library
51 N 5th St., Hudson, NY.
Thursday, February 6

Everyone is invited to the opening reception of ‘The History of the Census in Hudson’ exhibition curated by the Hudson Area Library and the Jacob Leisler Institute for the Study of Early New York History, for a shared viewing and conversation with refreshments. 

Since ancient times, societies have kept counts of their populations for various purposes. This exhibit examines the United States federal censuses that have been taken since 1790, the New York State censuses taken since 1825, colonial censuses that precede the American revolution, and the upcoming 2020 federal census. Focusing on Hudson, from its founding and even earlier times, the exhibition includes original 1845 census books for the City, displayed alongside maps, documents and images that illuminate the area’s growth and history. Additional information, regarding the 2020 census and its importance to Hudson and its inhabitants will also be on view.

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2020 Lecture Series

On January 9, Dr. David W. Voorhees delivered the first lecture of the 2020 series in the Hudson Area Library’s History Room. His topic, colonial census enumerations in what is now Columbia County, brought out many interested local residents.

The next lecture, given by New Netherland Institute Director Stephen McErleane, will be on Thursday, April 9.

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