Return of the Monument Man – Jacob Leisler

Statue of Jacob Leisler in New Rochelle, New York

I have not posted any thing Monument related since I took on the Corsair project, which by and large is a monument.  Check out this beautiful Statue of Jacob Leisler of  in New Rochelle, New York.

Jacob Leisler 
Jacob Leisler is an important figure in the early histories of both New Rochelle and the nation. He arrived in America as a soldier with the Dutch West India company and later became one of the most prominent merchants in New York. He also served for a time as mayor of New York City. He was subsequently appointed acting-governor of the province, and it was during this time that he acted on behalf of the Huguenots.(1)

Leisler and the Huguenots
Acting on behalf of a group of Huguenots in New York, Leisler brokered the purchase of the land upon which they would settle. In 1689 John Pell, Lord of Pelham Manor, officially deeded 6,100 acres to Leisler for the establishment of a Huguenot community. In addition to the purchase money, Leisler and his heirs and assigns were to yield and pay unto John Pell and his heirs and assigns (Lords of the Pelham Manor) one “Fat Calf” yearly as acknowledgment of their feudal obligation to the Manor. This site of this settlement is now occupied by the city of New Rochelle, New York.[2]

Jacob Leisler led an insurrection against local colonial officials from 1689 to 1691 in colonial New York. A penniless soldier, he shared in the widespread colonial resentment of colonial officials, particularly those appointed by Stuart King James II and thus suspected of being Roman Catholics.

Upon receiving word of the Glorious Revolution in England, many colonists rebelled against the deposed king’s colonial officials. Leisler and his militia managed to gain control of southern New York, proclaiming William and Mary as the new sovereigns, and appointing Leisler commander in chief. Though the wealthy viewed his rise as populism run amok, small farmers and city workers actively supported his rule by military force. When King William sent troops under Major Richard Ingolesby in 1691, Leisler refused to recognize Ingoldesby’s authority, and fighting soon broke out. New governor Henry Sloughter arrived thereafter, and Leisler surrendered. He and his son-in-law were tried, convicted of treason and hanged in May 1691. The lingering Leisler/anti-Leisler divide consumed New York politics for generations. Four years after their executions, Parliament retroactively exonerated Leisler and his son-in-law of all charges.[3]

There is a tremendous website about Leisler and his papers at NYU. That site is http://www.nyu.edu/leisler/History.html

The statue is located on North Avenue in New Rochelle off Exit 16 on I-95 directly across the street and west from New Rochelle High School at the intersection of North Ave. and Breamar Ave.

Source
1 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_New_Rochelle,_New_York
2 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Leisler
3 – Shmoop Editorial Team, “Jacob Leisler in Colonial New England,” Shmoop University, Inc.,11 November 2008, http://www.shmoop.com/colonial-new-england/jacob-leisler.html (accessed August 20, 2012).

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