The New Student's Reference Work/Leisler, Jacob

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The New Student's Reference Work  (1914) 
Leisler, Jacob

Leis'ler, Jacob, a revolutionist, born at Frankfort-On-Main, Germany, emigrated to America in 1660, and took up his residence in Albany. He became prominent about 1675. He was appointed one of the commissioners of the court of admiralty in 1683. He was a man of benevolent spirit and firm principles, although these principles were not always in accordance with the public mind, and he was sometimes forced into jail rather than abandon them. In June of 1689 the people of New York, roused and excited by the rumors of the political revolution in England, assembled in arms to overthrow the existing government. Leisler then was at the head of the commercial world in New York, and was looked upon as a man of force and ability. Having declared himself for the Prince of Orange, he was chosen as leader of the revolt. He was at the head of the mob which held the fort “for the present Protestant power that reigns in England.” In 1689, Sloughter, an English stranger, had been commissioned in London as governor of the province of New York. He was detained for some reason in England, and did not arrive until 1691. Then, being a man of no morals and needy and avaricious, he fell into the hands of Leisler's enemies, with the result that the latter's property was confiscated by the new governor. Leisler himself was thrown into prison and shortly afterwards executed.