Leisler Institute Director’s Report, April 2018

Jacob Leisler Institute
Director’s Report
April 30, 2018

April in the Hudson River Valley may have been one of the coldest on record, but events at the Jacob Leisler Institute continued to heat up. Foremost was Trustee William Starnaʼs Leisler Institute Lecture Series presentation at the Hudson Area Library on April 19. Dr. Starnaʼs dynamic talk on New York Indian tribes during the Leislerian period drew a crowd officially estimated at 97, but which spilled out of the Library Community Room into the hallway. On April 27, I was keynote speaker at the Daughters of Holland Dames Annual Meeting at the Colony Club in Manhattan. My presentation was a revision of my paper, ‟The Role of Women in Colonial New York Politics.” A fascinating topic that I continue to research and revise.

The Leisler Institute was the fortunate recipient in April of several seventeenth-century pamphlets donated by the family of our late colleague and dear friend Dr. Martha Shattuck. On April 3, associates from the New Netherland Institute joined the Leisler Institute in a touching ceremony commemorating Dr. Shattuck on the banks of the Hudson River. The Institute was also the recipient of a complete set of I. N. Phelps Stokes, Iconography of Manhattan Island,1498–1909, donated by the New York State Library through the generous efforts of New Netherland Project director Dr. Charles Gehring. On April 18, Leisler Institute Trustee and archival preservation expert Jeff Rigby joined Leisler Institute assistant Tina Lesem in the continuing work of appropriately storing our growing collection of rare books and manuscripts.

In April I finished transcribing and translating several tedious pages of accounts relating to the Frankfurt congregations funding of Johann Heinrich Leislerʼs education. Any doubts as to the Leisler family connections in Europe are put to rest in this document. I also concentrated on research and transcribing Leislerʼs papers during the 1673–1674 Anthony Colve Dutch administration (for a long overdue promised paper).

Tina Lesem has been a dynamo for the Institute: cataloging, researching grant possibilities, and arranging public outreach. Thanks to Tina, we will be participating on May 5 in the Hudson Childrenʼs Book Festival, one of the largest in New York State. We were also fortunate in April to have the return of Hawthorne Valley student intern Josh Desetta. Our intern program and reaching young scholars I consider the most valuable aspect of the Instituteʼs work.

During April the Institute had three on-site research visitors, participated in an open house at 46 Green Street Studios for artist Stacey Petty, during which we welcomed a number of curious attendees, and dealt with a handful of mostly genealogical queries via email.

The Jacob Leisler Institute raised $20,300 in donations during the month of April. We appreciate every donation. We work hard to preserve this important neglected period in New York and our nationʼs history and to expand our outreach programs. Please consider making a generous contribution to the Jacob Leisler Institute, a 501(c)3 nonprofit and New York Charity.

David William Voorhees
Director

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