Jacob Leisler Papers Project History

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The Jacob Leisler Papers Project

The Jacob 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. In 1998 Project director Dr. David William Voorhees signed an agreement with Fales Library for the Leisler Papers to become a permanent collection at New York University. A selection of documents is to be published.

Leisler in the Imagination of Later Generations

style=A significant part of the Leisler Papers Collection consists in posthumous references. From the immediate aftermath of his dramatic death to the present, Leisler has been written about, analyzed, accused, vindicated, and used as a mouthpiece. His life has inspired works of all genres: fictional narratives, stage drama, poetry, political theory, and, of course, historical research (and, finally, at least two websites.) The distinction between these diverse materials and the documents that come from Leisler's own time poses archival and conceptual problems. Not only is the story of Leisler's afterlife a fascinating story in its own right, it also significantly affected our understanding of his life. The policy of the collection is thus to be as comprehensive as possible, and to include all references to Leisler up to the present. While this policy blurs the distinction between primary and secondary historical sources, we would like to preserve a modified version of this distinction in the organization of the collection and the website. For this purpose, this page is set up to become a gateway to showcasing research into this secondary material.

Left image: Statue of Jacob Leisler by Solon H. Borglum
on North Avenue in New Rochelle, NY (1913).

Support for the Jacob Leisler Project

The Friends of Jacob Leisler supports the efforts of the Jacob Leisler Papers Project to collect, conserve, and make accessible these important documents and exhibits relating to a pivotal period in the development of New York and modern America.

The Jacob Leisler Paper Project needs your support to cover the expenses of ongoing research, as well as to finance the purchase of additional documents and to create conferences and exhibits.

                            Become a member of the Friends of Jacob Leisler

The Staff

David William Voorhees, Director 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 the Managing Reference History Editor at Charles Scribner's Sons and a Co-Editor of The Papers of William Livingston, he received a Ph.D. in history from New York University in 1988. 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 works on late-seventeenth-century New York.

Firth Haring Fabend, member of the Advisory Board of the Jacob Leisler Papers Project, received a Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University. She is the author of A Dutch Family in the Middle Colonies, 1660-1800, and Zion on the Hudson: Dutch New York and New Jersey in the Age of Revivals, both published by Rutgers University Press, and numerous essays on the Dutch in America. An independent historian, Dr. Fabend is a Fellow of both The Holland Society of New York and the New Netherland Institute.

Jaap Jacobs, member of the Advisory Board of the Jacob Leisler Papers Project, specializes in the colonial history of the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth and eighteenth century, in particular the Dutch in the Atlantic World. He obtained his Ph.D. from Leiden University in 1999 and in 2005 published New Netherland. A Dutch Colony in Seventeenth-Century America. He has published various articles on New Netherland and is currently working on a biography of Petrus Stuyvesant.

Wim Klooster, is an Associate Professor of History at Clark University. His publications include The Dutch in the Americas, 1600-1800 (1997), Illicit Riches: Dutch Trade in the Caribbean, 1648-1795 (1998), The Atlantic World: Essays on Slavery, Migration, and Imagination (2005, coedited with Alfred Padula), and Power and the City in the Netherland World, coedited with Wayne te Brake (2006).

Antonia Kolb, D.I.A., member of the Advisory Board of the Jacob Leisler Papers Project, is a direct descendant of Jacob Leisler's brother, Johann Adam. She studied Architecture at the Technische Universität, München and is a self-employed engineer for projects in Germany and other European countries. She is an active member of several history societies and currently working on different private history projects.

Karen O. Kuppeman, member of the Advisory Board of the Jacob Leisler Papers Project, is Silver Family Professor of History at New York University. Her book Indians and English: Facing Off in Early America (Ithaca, 2000) won the American Historical Association's Prize in Atlantic History. Her other book length publications include Roanoke: The Abandoned Colony, 2nd Edition (2007) and The Jamestown Project (2007).