THE UPRISING IN NEW YORK Our only design and intention was to secure ourselves and country to be wholly devoted to your Majesties' will and pleasure in disposing of our government, to which we are ready with all loyalty and obedi ence to submit. Address of the Militia and Inhabitants of the City of New York to William and Mary. June, 1689.
There is nothing to show that before 1689 he had any political ambitions, or that he had ever taken part in public affairs except when he attacked Domine Van Rens selaer during the first year of Andros's first administration. There is, indeed, a letter written by Fitz-John Winthrop to John Allyn of Connecticut which, as it stands in print, is dated in October, 1682, and says: 'Tis monstrous and unmanly to suffer that cursed yoke of Leis lerism to be tied about our necks by the appointment of such trivial instruments where the poorness of the persons makes the yoke the greater.
But the word here printed as Leislerism ' or, more prob ably, the date of the letter, must have been wrongly tran scribed from the manuscript, which is not now to be found among the many letters written by or to the Winthrops that are preserved by the Massachusetts Historical Society. Such a protest might well have been written in 1690. It could not have been thought of in 1682, for nowhere else can any hint be read that there was even a dim presage of Leislerism' in New York at this time, a time when Governor Dongan had not yet arrived and when no feud had yet originated on Manhat tan to spread in Connecticut antagonism to any New Yorkers.
Closer than any one else to Leisler during his most difficult days stood the Englishman, Jacob Milborne, who had aided him in the attack upon Van Rensselaer. After bringing suit against Andros in London in 1681 Milborne soon returned to New York and there lived peaceably and prosperously. In 1683 he was admitted a freeman of the city and in 1684 was appointed one of the trustees of the Harlem property of Thomas Delavall who had died two years before. Later he bought lands in East Jersey and married the daughter of a well-to-do Englishman, Samuel Edsall. In 1687 and 1688 he appears in the records as a partner with a high official, Major Brockholls, in various trading ventures. In one of Edward Randolph's letters to the Lords of Trade he mentioned Mil borne's brother William, the Anabaptist preacher, with Cotton Mather and three other ministers as leaders of the revolution ists at Boston and 'authors of some of their printed papers.' Samuel Edsall, who also became one of Leisler's most ar dent supporters, had come from Boston to New Amsterdam voL. u. 2 B in Stuyvesant's time, married a Dutch wife, and claimed the Small Burghership when the right was conferred in 1657. Removing to Bergen in East Jersey he sat for a time on Gov ernor Carteret's council and afterwards in the assembly. In 1689 he was living on Long Island, but wherever he lived he always kept up in New York his business as a hat-maker and Indian trader.
There had been a long quarrel about the estate of Govert Locker mans who had died intestate in 1671. Lockermans' sister was Stephanus Van Cortlandt's mother, his daughter by his first wife had married Balthazar Bayard, a brother of Nicholas, and his stepdaughter, the daughter of his second wife, had married Leisler. His own family claimed all his property in which much that belonged to his second wife had been merged. The acrimonious proceedings at law that ensued were still in hand in the year 1689, but meanwhile Leisler and his wife had secured such part of the property as lay in the city of New York.
Whoever was on bad terms with the Van Cortlandts and Bayards could hardly be on good terms with the other lead ing families of New York and Albany, for most of them were connected not only by community in race and in interests but also by the repeated intermarriages which, continued into modern times to the almost entire exclusion of other strains of blood, had an influence upon the history of the province that was often almost as conspicuous as it was in Leisler's day. Stephanus Van Cortlandt's wife was Peter Schuyler's sister; one of his own sisters had married another brother-in-law, Brandt Schuyler; one was the widow of Jeremias Van Rens selaer; and a third became, after the death of Margaret the commercial, the second wife of Frederick Philipse. A brother of this second Mrs. Philipse, Jacobus Van Cortlandt, married Philipse's stepdaughter, the daughter of Margaret by her first husband. Peter Schuyler married a Van Rensselaer; and his sister Alida (sister also to Mrs. Van Cortlandt and widow of Domine Van Rensselaer) married Robert Livingston.
Another active anti-Leislerian was the William Nicolls who is believed to have drafted for the first assembly its admirable Charter of Liberties and Privileges. His father, Matthias Nicolls, had died in 1687 leaving a laige estate embracing lands on Long Island and part of Shelter Island. Dongan had made William Nicolls attorney-general. After the Leisler troubles were over he also allied himself to the prominent Dutch families, taking a wife who was the daughter of Jeremias Van Rensselaer and Catherine Van Cortlandt and the widow of her cousin Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, the third patroon.
These leading New Yorkers and their friends were self made men or the sons of such. The fortunes they were build ing up came from traffic with the Indians, shop-keeping on Manhattan, and trading over seas. Only one or two of the great estates that some of them had acquired were as yet more than estates in a wilderness. They had not by any means the prestige or the influence that their descendants acquired in the eighteenth century; and the community in which they lived was still markedly democratic. No one in New York could have thought of saying to James II what the agents of Massachusetts said that there ought to be in their colony a council composed exclusively of large landowners. There was still no upper class in New York, and there was still no `court' or `crown' party. Nevertheless the differentiation was begin ning which gave rise to such a party. There was an upper group of what William Smith in speaking of this period called `gentlemen of figure,' of what were called at the time `per sons of quality; ; and some of these persons stood in close relationship to the provincial government.
To this upper group Leisler did not belong and would not have belonged had there been no quarrel about an inheritance.
Although his standing in the community was such that in certain documents the infrequent honorific Dutch Sieur' precedes his name, his chief adversaries, says Smith, con sidered him 'inferior in his degree' as well as 'mean in his abilities.' He scoffed at them as ' grandees' ; their words show that they despised him as a plebeian; and a plebeian he undoubtedly was in his breeding and his ideas of life. He seems never to have been touched by that desire to own broad lan&zhich was one contimi&Jiaark_oLihebudding_oxis , is clear that he was not a man of much education al though he had probably learned something more than a hatred and a dread of Catholics from a father who was a German clergyman. When he wrote in English his results were so much worse than those of his semi-Dutch associates that they afford a clew in deciding whether or not he himself set down the things which have been attributed to his pen. But this is no proof of gross illiteracy. He had come as a grown man to a place where for the purposes of daily life and trade it was more needful to know Dutch than English ; and there were persons in New York, certainly not illiterate, who after many years' residence knew less English than he, for he seems to have had no difficulty in understanding or in speaking it. Moreover, although English spelling had by this time pretty well settled into the forms of to-day, many Englishmen of `quality' as well as native-born colonials failed to respect the fact. Sir Edmund Andros wrote many other words in as personal a fashion as emidiatly' and perticuler ' ; Plowman the collector, who was well enough born to have married a lady of noble birth, wrote csudinly,"sivill powar,' and 'hole famelies' ; and John Allyn, who was town clerk of Hartford or secretary of Connecticut for half a lifetime, often made strange work of the public records, as when he wrote that taxes might be paid `a fowerth part in beife well repact.' Nor in the construction of English sentences did persons not pro fessedly scholars show much more skill than they did in spelling.
As far as can be discerned Jacob Leisler, although by no means a boor, was distinctively a man of the people. He was courageous, tenacious, self-confident, and obstinate; not devoid of self-control even when sharply tested, but seldom willing to temporize or to compromise ; sincerely religious, fanatically Protestant; ardently liberal in his political faith yet often convinced of the need to be arbitrary in his own conduct. Enthusiastic and narrow-minded, he was as sure of the folly and heinousness of his opponents' aims and ac tions as of the wisdom and rectitude of his own. He was sometimes rough, passionate, and overbearing in manner, word, and deed, yet more than one anecdote proves his kind ness of heart, his sympathy with the poor and afflicted; and the way in which he rose to power and kept his power shows that more than any man in New York he had won the people's confidence. While the conservative party could not have hated him more intensely, no man in his own party, even when its fortunes seemed most desperate, spoke of setting any one else above him. All his harsher traits were intensified by the intensifying difficulties of his public position and, as is clearly to be read, by the growing influence of Jacob Milborne. Yet on paper at all events his language was less violent than that of some of the gentlemen of figure; and he never thirsted for their blood as they thirsted for his.
There were reasons both of sentiment and of need why New York should welcome the revolution in England even more joyfully than the other colonies. The cloud that had hung over the province for a generation, and was to darken it for gen erations to come, seemed eminently dreadful in 1689, for in the early part of this year Louis XIV listened for the first time with approval to the advice that he should in some way possess himself of New York. To consider defeat seemed needless. Careful direc tions were written out for the treatment of the province which was to be captured, said Callieres, by an enterprise easier than would be the destruction of a single Iroquois canton. Only the Catholic inhabitants of New York should be left undisturbed. Officers and wealthy folk who could pay ran soms should be thrown into jail. Protestant laborers and mechanics might be kept `as prisoners' to cultivate the soil and to work on fortifications. All Frenchmen and especially those of `the pretended Reformed religion' must be sent back to France. Callieres was to govern the conquered territory in dependence upon Frontenac ; and to secure himself he was to destroy 'all the English settlements adjoining Manathe, and further off if necessary.' The details of these instructions, as clear as they were cruel, cannot have been known in New York. But enough was known to make the people think even more of the security than of the liberty that the new government in England should provide for them. And it was as a cry for security in the face of a great and pressing peril that a cry against papists was for the first time raised in the Dutch province. It did not express a new-born desire to opress Catholics but a fear lest a Catholic king might make himself an oppressor and destroyer, a fear that New York might suffer as, during the early weeks of 1689, the Palatinate was suffering from the swords and torches and brutal passions of the soldiers of Louis XIV.
Before 1689 there was neither fear nor hatred of the few Catholics in the province. The assembly of 1683 did not exclude them from the grant of religious liberty; scarcely a document of the time refers to them except two or three let ters written home by the Dutch clergymen; and these men tion them without alarm. As to papists, wrote Domine Selyns on his arrival in 1682, there were none, or if there were any they attended Protestant services. In 1687 he wrote that Domine Dellius, who had recently been sent out to aid old Domine Schaats at Albany where French traders and renegades were familiar figures, had resolved to be a 'light bearer' in warning his church 'against the Papacy and its abominations.' And a year later Domine Varick of Long Island reported that some persons had 'come over' to his church 'from Popery' as well as from Lutheranism.
But while no danger was feared from the actual presence of a few inconspicuous Catholics until after the great changes in England came about, foundations for the feeling that then displayed itself had been laid during many years by the aggressive rivalry of the Canadian French, during four years by a well-grounded distrust of James II and a groundless distrust of the Catholics whom he had appointed to office in New York. It was known 'with great dread' in I689, says a pamphlet called Loyalty Vindicated, published in 1698 in defence of the Leislerian party, that James II felt bound in conscience to try 'to damn the English nation to popery and slavery.' Governor Dongan, although a person of 'large en dowments of mind,' had obeyed his king without reserve and accepted a commission empowering him and his council 'to make laws and taxes as the French king doth,' whereby he and they became 'tools to enslave their country.' This `French government' being introduced, it was natural that papists should be employed in 'the highest trusts such as the council, the revenue, and the military forces.' So New York lay under 'slavery and popery,' and therefore those concerned in the uprising were moved 'to be early in shaking off their tyrants and declaring for their deliverer.' Although Governor Dongan it will be remembered, had impartially befriended Protestant sects and had never obtruded his own religion u on public notice, he had intro duced Catholic priests. He d started in the city, so Jacob Leisler wrote to a New Engla d correspondent, a 'Jesuit col lege . . . under color of a gra mar school,' and Graham and Palmer had sent their childre to it. Probably this meant that he had put a priest in cha ge of the Latin school when David Jamison gave it up. Furthermore he had advised the king to set Jesuits at work among the Iroquois; and to the excited populace of 1689 this safe and statesmanlike plan, which even a Protestant governor might well have favored, seemed fraught with the utmost peril.
It may be added that when Domine Varick wrote home of an increase in the French Protestant congregation of the city due to 'daily' arrivals from Carolina, the Caribbean Islands, and Europe, he indicated what must have been another source of feeling. Two hundred families of recently arrived Huguenot refugee were now living on or very near Manhattan. Driven into exile by the persecutions of Louis XIV they had a much more vivid hatred for Catholi cism than the earlier immigrant or the native-born New Yorker; and without doubt they vigorously fanned such em bers of Protestant fear and fanaticism as they found smoul dering in their new home. 'Fresh material for banditti,' said Denonville when he heard of them.
More briefly put, these were the elements of suspicion, fear, and discord which, allowed to ferment for two years in a prov ince without a regularly established government, threw it into convulsions and almost brought it to the suicide of civil war : the fear that the king who had deprived it of its liberties would try to regain dominion, a still greater fear of French invasion, a consequent dread of Catholics and of Protestants whom the papist James had placed in office, and a long-exist ent personal antagonism between Jacob Leisler, who became the standard-bearer of one party, and those who fell into place as the leaders of the other. There must also be added the antagonism between men naturally inclined to affirm and men naturally inclined to deny the right of a community to think and to act for itself, always latent in every community and now forced to the surface in New York as it had not been since the early days of Stuyvesant's administration.
Although the news of the great events in England reached Manhattan sooner than Boston an uprising did not so quickly follow. Lieutenant-Governor Nicholson, warned by the proc lamation that Andros had issued from Pemaquid in Janu ary, was once more repairing the oft-repaired faIric of Fort James when, on February 5, a skipper arriving from Virginia called to inform him that the Prince of Orange had invaded England. Such news must not be repeated, Nicholson or dered, adding so afterwards deposed two citizens named Greveraet and Brewerton that the Prince of Orange had an example before him in the Duke of Monmouth and that Salisbury Plain would be burying place enough for him and his people or else the 'prentice boys of London would suffice to drive him out. On February 16 Nicholson wrote to Fitz John Winthrop at New London : We have a flying report from Virginia that the Prince of Orange was landed in Tarr Bay and had dined at Exeter; his Majesty had set up his standard upon Salisbury Plain. But this news I want to have confirmed.
On the first day of March the news was confirmed by a letter from the governor of Pennsylvania. Major Brockholls was at Pemaquid with Governor-General Andros, Major Baxter was at Albany in command of the garrison, and all the other king's councillors were at a distance from New York except Nicholson himself, Frederick Philipse, Nicholas Bay ard who was colonel of the city militia, and Van Cortlandt who was mayor of the city and deputy-auditor, under Blath wayt in England, of the king's revenues. Five councillors were needed to form a quorum but, forced to take action, the four decided to send the news at once to Andros both by land and by sea. That it might not be divulged in New York they opened the private letters that the same messenger brought. One which confirmed the report they transmitted to Andros; another they suppressed. Fearing that a fund of some £770 intended for military use at Albany was not safe in the collector's house they desired Plowman to bring it to the fort to be kept there, sealed up in a strong chest, until directions from Sir Edmund should come.
The people heard the great news long before the councillors received, on April 26, a copy of the declaration which had been published at Boston to explain why, on the 18th, Sir Edmund and his associates had been taken into custody. It was startling and embarrassing news for a lieutenant-gov ernor whose chief could no longer direct him yet whose com mission empowered him to act on his own initiative only if his chief should be dead or absent from the Dominion. He was simply the governor's deputy. Should he decide to act as governor in New York might not this imply that he ought to assume authority over the whole Dominion? On the day after the bewildering facts were known he and his three colleagues wrote to such other members of the king's council as lived on Long Island and in Connecticut and Rhode Island urging them to come . . . with all expedition to advise and consult with us what proper is to be done for the safety and welfare of the government, this city and part of the province being resolved to continue in their station till further order.
Only two or three councillors answered; not one of them came. Then the magistrates of the city and the principal officers of the six militia companies the captains, the lieu tenants, and one or two ensigns were called in to decide what might best be done 'for the quietness of the people and security of the government' ; and thereafter Nicholson, Bayard, Van Cortlandt, and Philipse frequently sat and acted with these lesser officials while they continued to sit and to act by themselves as the council intrusted with the conduct of public affairs. The minutes of the proceedings of both bodies are preserved, the one set called 'Proceedings of the Council,' the other 'Proceedings of the Council, Magis trates, and Officers &c.' Bayard wrote about this larger body as a 'convention,' Van Cortlandt as an 'assembly,' and its own minutes call its sessions 'general meetings.' But, says the pamphlet called Loyalty Vindicated, its members forgot the English constitution of calling the representatives of the people.' It was even affirmed that at the first 'general meeting' the members were put under oath to reveal to the people nothing of what they might determine upon.
At once this convention, to use the most convenient term, resolved that the city be 'forthwith fortified as formerly it was' and undertook to supervise the work. As most of the soldiers of the garrison were with Brockholls at Pemaquid and some with Baxter at Albany, and as those who remained, about twenty in number, were mostly 'infirm and old,' the six militia captains of the city were permitted to take turns in guarding the fort with some of their men but not to set sentinels at the most important points. These six captains were Jacob Leisler; Nicholas Stuyvesant, a son of the gov ernor and Colonel Bayard's cousin; Abraham De Peyster, also a native of New York, a son of the immigrant Johannes; Charles Lodwyck who was an Englishman with a Dutch name; Gabriel Minvielle the French merchant who had been mayor of the city; and Johannes De Bruyn who was also called John Browne. Leisler has been described as the senior cap tain, but Minvielle and Stuyvesant bore commissions of the same date as his, September, 1684.
News now came, premature but accepted as true, that France was at war with England and Holland. In instant fear of an attack by sea, the councillors summoned the civil and military officers of the counties near New York, those of Bergen County in East Jersey, and the deputy-governor in charge of this province, Andrew Hamilton. Duly appearing they promised to keep the people quiet and to prepare for the defence of the country. Lookouts were set at Sandy Hook and on Coney Island. Ulster and Albany Counties were warned to be on their guard and to exercise their militia.
On May 1 the councillors wrote to Governor Bradstreet of Massachusetts and his associates that, in their belief, the sur prising ' confusions ' occasioned by the people of Boston could not ' proceed from any persons of quality' but must have been ' promoted by the rabble' ; undoubtedly the present authorities had imprisoned Andros and his officers simply to insure their safety and, as soon as the `fury' should subside, would restore them to their stations or at least give them liberty to come to New York. Such a letter could bring no acquiescent reply. Another, making use of the same expres sions, carried condolences to Andros and asked him to send back the public papers of New York.
Early in May some of the towns of Suffolk County, declar ing that like the New Englanders they had groaned under the extortions of an arbitrary power, sent delegates to Manhattan to demand that, pending orders from parliament, Fort James be put into such hands as the people should choose. In West chester and in Queen's as well as in Suffolk the people elected new civil and military officers or confirmed those in office. Some eighty Long Island militiamen gathered in arms at Jamaica intending, it was said, to march to New York and seize the fort to keep off popery, slavery, and a French inva sion. The whole of Queen's, it was reported to the council on May 9, was in an 'uproar,' the men who had been at Al bany with Dongan clamoring for the pay now long overdue. When they were promised it the same cry spread among the militia of New York. The malcontents, Van Cortlandt afterwards wrote to Andros, `came before the Town Hall in a great uproar,' but when the magistrates decided to pay them 'it was pretty quiet all about.' Among the many things soon to be charged against Jacob Leisler was the enkindling of Long Island. In reality it had been effected by the Boston declaration, widely circulated in printed form. The revolution in England, said the four coun cillors reporting on May 15 to the secretary of state and the Lords of Trade, proved how 'fatal' had been that consoli dation of the colonies which if long continued would have wrought the 'total ruin' of New York. Actually, it was inter fering even with the `free course of justice' ; that is, two of the New York judges, Palmer and Graham, were in jail with Andros. Sir Edward's subordinates on Manhattan, the councillors explained, lacked definite knowledge about the `unparalleled' changes in England. Nevertheless their prov ince would have remained quiet if the `seeds of sedition' had not been 'blazed' from New England to some of its `outward skirts.' In this they deceived themselves. When they added that they did not know how much longer they might be able to resist the efforts of some 'ill affected and restless spirits' to stir up the citizens to sedition and rebellion, they used words which recall with exactness words that Governor Stuyvesant and the West India Company had spoken in 1649.
At the moment when the militia of the city were crying out for their pay alarming reports about the temper of the Indians were coming from Albany. Moreover, several of the mer chants of Manhattan were disputing the payment of customs and other duties as being `illegally established.' Therefore the convention decided that the whole of the public revenue accruing after the first of May should be applied to the works of fortification. Here Jacob Leisler comes visibly on the scene. He refused to pay the duties on a cargo of wines because the collector, being a papist, was not qualified to act for the Prince of Orange, but made the proper entries at the custom-house and promised to pay to such as should there after be legally empowered to receive.
On May 10 the convention framed a resolution to defend the city against all foreign enemies and to suppress 'muti nous persons nigh us,' Captain Leisler signing with his col leagues. On the 11th they decided to ask all the counties to send representatives, two or three from each, to sit with the convention. To this, their first recognition of the people, apparently not one county responded. On the 18th the council received from Andros, who was not permitted to write, verbal instructions which his messenger delivered under oath. Two officials, he directed, should be sent to Boston to demand that he and his fellow-prisoners have liberty to come to New York. Both whom he named, Colonel William Smith of Long Island and Governor Hamilton of East Jersey, said that they dared not go lest rioting break out behind them, and that further action might throw New York into open revolt. The people of his own neighborhood, Smith explained, had already `shook off this government.' Therefore, say the council minutes, it was decided to `forbear acting in the prem ises' till the minds of the people should be `better satisfied and quieted.' Wiser or less timid councillors might well have begun the quieting by saying some word to show that they meant, at all events when duly instructed by the triumphant party in Eng land, to accept the verdict that had there been passed upon James Stuart. The letter, already referred to, which was written in 1698 by some members of the Dutch church in New York to the classis of Amsterdam, giving a summary of what happened at this period, says that while the example of Bos ton so inspired the New Yorkers that they `could not be held back' the councillors exasperated them by refusing their re quest to declare for the Prince of Orange, which would have been a . more appropriate act on Manhattan than in New England as the ancestors of the prince had `delivered our forefathers from the Spanish yoke.' To the official mind the delay was justified by the lack of orders and of news of any kind from an official source. But the excited minds of the people daily remembered, discovered, or imagined things old or new which turned impatience into suspicion and fear. All the councillors had been intimate with Andros, and Van Cortlandt was acting as his attorney for his affairs in New York. The correspondence with him looked as though some scheme for maintaining King James's authority were in hand. As Innis the Anglican chaplain was still praying that James might prevail over all his enemies he was no better than a `mere papist.' Nicholson's words comparing William to Monmouth were cited to prove him also a papist. He had furthermore said, so Captain Lodwyck declared under oath, that as the New Yorkers were a conquered people they could not expect the same liberties as Englishmen. Papists too, it was affirmed, were the other councillors, although all were members of the Dutch church and two were deacons ; even so farcical an incident as the burning of Van Cortlandt's wig in honor of the birth of a Catholic prince seemed a darkly confirmatory fact. Dread of popish plots increased to the point of unreason. It was believed that the Protestants on Staten Island were running about in the woods or sleeping in boats, afraid to go to their homes because their Catholic neighbors had threatened to cut their throats. Half a dozen disbanded regulars from Boston being well received by the government, it was cried about the town that a band of their Irish-Catholic fellows were to follow and to be given control of the fort. Some of the militiamen petitioned that all Catho lics be disarmed and that Colonel Dongan, who was then tarrying in East Jersey near Sandy Hook, should be brought back to the city and kept there, as a ship which he was prepar ing to take him home was said to be meant for 'some warlike design.' In default of a printing-press all these rumors and suspicions were circulated by means of written ' pamphlets' as well as by a thousand eager tongues.
In Albany the papist Baxter who commanded the garrison was distrusted, and even the Iroquois suspected Nicholson. So Mayor Schuyler informed him, explaining that they had heard that his chief, Sir Edmund, had given the Canadians permission to extirpate them, an idea which, if not corrected, would work great mischief. On May 18 Captain John Bull of Connecticut arrived with commissioners from Massachusetts to aid the Albany officials in making a new league with the Iroquois. He brought papers telling of the course of events in England and at Boston. Baxter and Schuyler refused to publish them, saying that such news would make the people `run all mad.' If the mayor did not disclose the news, Bull replied, he would give the people cause to doubt his faithful ness; and so said one or more of the chief militia officers. Schuyler kept the papers, Bull spread the news, and the people vowed that no Catholic should be allowed to stay in the fort or to keep his arms. Major Baxter departed for New York, the other officers set twenty-five townsmen on guard in the fort, and then the people were 'much satisfied.' When Bax ter reached New York his fellow-councillors, yielding to popu lar sentiment, suspended him, permitted him to join Colonel Dongan in East Jersey, and also suspended the Catholic ensign.
Lieutenant-Governor Nicholson now supplied the touch that was needed to turn the currents of a hundred fears into one tempestuous channel. Disputing with Henry Cuyler, a Dutchman and a lieutenant in De Peyster's militia company, about the placing of a sentinel in the fort he flourished a pistol, drove from the room a sergeant who had come to in terpret for Cuyler, and, according to the affidavits of Cuyler, exclaimed . . . that there were so many rogues in the town that he was not sure of his life nor to walk the streets, and that . . . before it would go longer after this manner he would set the town in fire.
These hasty words were everywhere repeated as meaning that Nicholson had actually threatened to burn the town. Soon it was rumored that he and his colleagues, papists in dis guise, were preparing for the coming Sunday another Bartholo mew's Day. Now for the first time Leisler's name was loudly spoken. Although many citizens continued to work on the fortifications under Colonel Bayard's orders, the streets were full of excited militiamen declaring that the flight of King James from England had destroyed the authority of his ap pointees in New York, and calling for Captain Leisler to lead them. They had not intended, says the Dutch letter of 1698, to ignore the governor and the magistrates but only to get such control of affairs that if `outside forces' should appear they might not be `forced into any arrangement' against their will ; but finding that 'nothing could be accomplished with the magistrates' they had 'looked earnestly about for a leader' and had at last induced Captain Leisler 'to begin operations among the citizens.' On the morning of the following day, May 31, Nicholson informed the council that most of the militia were in rebellion, heeding no commands from himself or their colonel, and that some of their officers, he was credibly informed, were the in stigators. At a meeting of the convention called for the after
noon of the same day three captains appeared, Minvielle, De Peyster, and De Bruyn. Leisler, it may be noted, had attended no meeting since the 20th of the month. Nicholson denied that he had spoken as Cuyler asserted. Cuyler repeated the story. Nicholson said he would cancel Cuyler's commission, and thereupon had such hot words with Cuyler's captain that De Peyster angrily left the room. Drums were beating outside and the town was full of noise. Then, says Van Cortlandt in a long journal-like letter which he sent to Andros some weeks later: Seeing the people rise and run together in arms, Mr. Philipse and I went to Jacob Leisler's door where the people met, and endeavored to allay them but in vain ; they marched to the fort where Henry Cuyler received them, and in a half hour's time the fort was full of men, armed and enraged ; no word could be heard but that they were sold, betrayed, and to be murdered; it was time to look for themselves.
When the mayor reported this to the convention, say its minutes, it formally protested, upon motion of John Lawrence, another alderman, and Captain Minvielle, against such 'fac tious and rebellious people,' and declared that to the utter most of its powers it would stand up for the good of the gov ernment and the crown of England. It did not say whether or not it considered this crown to be still on the head of James II. In the evening it met again; and the minutes of this session relate that `the inhabitants of New York' had risen during the afternoon, taken possession of the fort, and dis armed its little garrison of regulars. Cuyler was on guard at the time. Later in the day when Captain Lodwyck was on guard the people, forcing him to accompany them, had come to the City Hall `with a squadron armed' and demanded that the keys of the fort be delivered to Lodwyck. The 'squadron,' it appears from other accounts, consisted of about twenty men led by Sergeant Joost Stoll of Leisler's company whom his antagonists always called the ' dram-man' or the ' Dutch dram-man.' To quiet the fears of the people and to 'hinder and prevent bloodshed,' say the minutes, the convention thought best that Nicholson should give over the keys. Then he asked what means could be found 'to reduce this people from their rising' or otherwise bring them to their former obedience, and the convention replied : This board are of opinion that there is no way to reduce them by force, but their advice is, since they are rise on their own heads with out any aid, that they be let alone for some time.
The public money which had been deposited in the fort, said the board, should be removed to the house of Mr. Philipse. The new guardians of the fort would not surrender it. No officers, Nicholson urged, should head the rebellious militia men. Nevertheless the captains agreed to take daily turns in defending the fort, and with most of their men signed a brief paper which, written in parts in imperfect English, has often been attributed to Leisler's pen but was more probably the work of another. It called itself A Declaration of the In habitants Soldiers Belonging under the Several Companies of the Train-band of New York. Referring to the `popish gov ernor,' Dongan, and his `wicked creatures and pensionaries' now under Governor Nicholson's authority, and to Nichol son's threats and his reception of Catholic soldiers from Bos ton, it said that the signers had unanimously resolved to live no longer in such danger but better to secure the fort, which had been done without resistance or bloodshed, . . . and we declare to be entirely and openly opposed to Papists and their religion, and therefore, expecting orders from England, we shall keep and guard surely and faithfully the said fort in the behalf of the power that now governeth in England, to surrender to the person of the Protestant religion that shall be nominated or sent by the power abovesaid. These are our most sincere intentions that we are glad to manifest as well to the power abovesaid . . . as to other persons, to avoid their reproaches that they could otherwise unjustly lay upon the abovesaid inhabitants.
An endorsement on the declaration noted that it was signed by six captains and about four hundred men and that one of the same tenor was signed `at Eastchester and thereabouts' by one captain and seventy men.
On the following day, June 1, the militiamen besought Colonel Bayard to take command of them against the lieuten ant-governor, in vain but somewhat to Captain Leisler's alarm. On the 2d, it being then Leisler's turn to stand guard, he entered the fort with forty-nine men and resolved not to leave it until he had brought all the train-bands `fully to join with him.' This he wrote two days later to ' The Governor and Committee of Safety at Boston' in the first of his extant letters. On the 3d, when Captain Lodwyck brought alarm ing news of suspicious-looking ships inside Sandy Hook, Leisler `took occasion to alarm the town,' firing the guns of the fort and beating drums. Some of the captains urged Colonel Bayard to give orders. He answered, say the coun cil minutes, that officers as well as men had often disobeyed him, the government could not support him while it had not control of the fort, and he did not think it 'safe to appear in arms' except as a private soldier. Nevertheless his col leagues directed him to give 'suitable orders.' The most of the militiamen, he reported on the following day, disobeyed their officers and 'in a rebellious manner' went into the fort `to side with Captain Leisler and committed insufferable in solences.' And while he was about some business in the cus tom-house Leisler came in, called him `a colonel of a tyran nical power,' used other `filthy and scurrilous expressions,' and so excited the rabble because he would not take their part against the governor that he was 'in danger to be devoured and his house pulled down etc.' In the Dutch letter of 1698 we read in regard to these same events that Leisler was `compelled by the people' to enter the fort. The militia companies then gathered in front of the houses of their captains and, some of these being absent, `led by certain inferior officers marched off to the park about the fort.' Colonel Bayard tried with threats to prevent them from joining Leisler. But one of the ensigns 'had the audacity to march into the fort with his company.' All the others followed and then the captains followed. 'Although some were rather reluctant' all the captains and about four hundred men had signed the declaration in favor of the Prince of Orange. Bayard refused to join with them although the militia ' very courteously' entreated him, some of his personal friends tried to make him 'see his duty,' and he himself confessed that 'if he would but follow, all would follow.' On June 3, the day of the alarm about the supposed French ships, Leisler and his adherents put forth a brief ' public proclamation' in order to prevent the `rash judgment of the world' upon their 'just design.' As, it said, orders for the government of the country were daily expected from the Prince of Orange it was well to announce that . . . as soon as the bearer of the said orders shall have let us see his power, then and without any delay we shall execute the said orders punctually ; declaring that we do intend to submit and obey, not only the said orders, but also the bearer thereof committed for the execution of the same.
It is certain that these words, which were constantly re peated with little variation for two years, faithfully expressed the temper and the intentions of the insurgent party and its leaders. It is less certain that at this early day the king's councillors, true Protestants though they also were, con templated with real satisfaction the overthrow of the Catholic sovereign whose favor they had so conspicuously enjoyed. If they did, they were timid in action beyond the average of their fellow-Americans. This, indeed, seems the more plaus ible supposition : they doubted whether William's success would be permanent. So says the Dutch letter of 1698: they were too timid to risk anything, thinking it might all be 'a Monmouth affair.' And so said Cadwallader Colden, writing before the middle of the eighteenth century: . . . the gentlemen of the king's council, and some of the most con siderable or richest people, either out of love, or what they thought duty, to King James, or rather, from an opinion they had that the Prince of Orange could not succeed, refused to join in the declaration the people made in favor of the Prince, and suffered the administra tion to fall into different hands, who were more zealous for the Protes tant interest, and who were joined by the far greatest number of the inhabitants.
Leisler wrote to New England that the second declaration, meaning the 'public proclamation' of June 3, discouraged the `adverse party.' With the first, Cuyler's deposition about Nicholson's threat to burn the city, and sundry other papers it was sent to Boston to be put in print. Hourly the split between the two factions widened. Shut out from the offi cial residence, the 'Great House' in the fort, Nicholson took up his abode with Frederick Philipse. Distrust of him and of his predecessors deepened when the people discovered the deplorable condition of the fort and of many of its guns and the uselessness of half of its small stock of powder. The next move of their leaders Leisler reported in his letter to Boston of June 4 which, although badly spelled and punctuated in the original, seems too well expressed to be accepted as his unassisted work: The most part of the country have invited the rest to appear as a council of safety, two men out of each county, the 26th of this in stant. In the mean time the fort is guarded by five companies, two watches, 4- company per night, and the captain whose watch it is is for that time captain of the fort. The collector in the custom house is a rank papist; I cannot get the captains to resolve to turn him out. The mayor meddles with no civil affairs and discourages constables to keep the peace expecting some sedition for to make the inhabitants odious. There is none acts others than in quality of a single cap tain. . . .
The authorities at Boston should carefully preserve, Leisler asked, the public papers of New York, which Andros and his `wicked crew' had carried away, until such time as the com mittee of safety might take 'some prudent care' about them.
It was true that Mayor Van Cortlandt was finding little time to attend to ordinary civil affairs. For while longer the mayor's court continued to sit, but as a common council the magistrates did not meet between the latter part of March and the latter part of September.
It was known in New York that there had been introduced in parliament an act to revive, in the colonies as in England, all charters antedating the restoration of Charles II in 1660 the act that King William eventually vetoed. And it is pos sible that, as Nicholas Bayard affirmed, many people, believ ing that the right of Holland to its province would thus be recognized, were expecting orders from William simply as the chief magistrate of the Republic. As soon, however, as the insurgents knew that William was king in England, with loyal enthusiasm they addressed him as such.
In a shape not to be questioned this news was brought on the afternoon of the eventful third of June by a ship from Barbadoes. In Barbadoes and in Virginia as well as in Eng land the king and queen had been proclaimed; and also in Boston although so recently that the fact can hardly have been known in New York. Still the councillors in New York did nothing. They 'resolved to be passive,' Bayard soon afterwards wrote, because they saw the `eminent danger' and the evident impossibility of 'stopping the fury and cur rent of the rebellion' a lame excuse beneath which may be divined a genuine fear that if William of Orange were driven from England all who had acclaimed his advent might suffer.
The popular leaders did not rest passive. Without delay they prepared an address to their Majesties a verbose and in parts ill written paper which seems to show the work of several hands and at one point echoes words of the Boston declaration. As we have it, it bears no more exact date than `June,' but Leisler mentioned it in a letter of June 16. In no way referring to William's connection with the Dutch Republic but expressing profound joy at his accession and that of `our most gracious Queen Mary,' it explains that New York, like England, had long been oppressed by arbitrary and papistical rulers. It says that the militia would not have presumed to take possession of the fort but for 'most just fears' of being betrayed to the enemy, the `most in command' being `bitter papists' and Lieutenant-Governor Nicholson having uttered `rash, hasty, and furious expressions and threats' which the address duly quoted. For these reasons the writers had felt it their bounden duty to take precautions against their Maj esties' enemies but now huinbly awaited their orders, implor ing their favor and protection, and praying that they might long and happily reign and leave ' a succeeding issue to sit on the throne of their ancestors whilst the world endureth." This paper, entitled The Humble Address of the Militia and of the Inhabitants of the City of New York in America, was signed by five persons five of the captains. The sixth, Gabriel Minvielle, refused to add his name and resigned his commission. With corroborative documents the address was sent to certain Dutch merchants in London for transmission to the king and queen. It was at this moment that some of the affidavits already quoted were secured. Evidently it was hard to find a New York justice who would take them, for one or more were attested by a justice from Easthampton, the Samuel Mulford who had been a delegate from Suffolk County to the assembly of 1683.
Two or three travellers now coming by land or sea were stopped by the sentries set by the insurgents and were brought to the fort where the letters they carried, some of them ad dressed to Nicholson and his friends, were opened and read. One who came from Barbadoes brought a copy of the London Gazette of February 18 in which was printed the proclamation of the accession. This Nicholson with some difficulty ob tained. Still he ordered no proclamation in New York. On the following day the council, declaring that the militia cap tains were responsible for many insolencies and injuries' and illegal acts, including the seizure of the fort and the public moneys therein, summoned them before a court composed of the councillors themselves and the city magistrates. Min vielle said that he would come were he not ill. Four made excuses or sent no reply. Leisler answered that he would not come before 'either councillors or magistrates 'nor had not anything to do with them.' Thereupon it was resolved that a protest be drawn up against all the captains excepting Min vielle. And with this entry end the minutes of the general Meeting or convention.
It had failed in the work it was created to do; it hikl not kept order in the city. Nor had the lieutenant-governor, and now he also abandoned the task. He 'departed . . . without taking leave' on the night of June 3, wrote Leisler. Leave of his people, in fact, he did not take; but he did not go as soon as Leisler said, and he did not exactly `abscond' as the historians Smith and Colden believed. On June 6 the council decided that it was `most safe' for him to go to Eng land by the first ship, to give an account of the `desperate and deplorable' state of the government in New York and to pray for `some immediate release.' On the 10th he took leave of his three colleagues, committing to them the burden which even with his assistance had proved too heavy, and instructing the collector also to perform his duties as his com mission prescribed. With the entry of these proceedings the minutes of the council end. Attested by its secretary, Van Cortlandt, they were given to Nicholson, as were likewise the minutes of the convention which were attested by the town clerk. Both sets are now in the Public Record Office.
Nicholson also bore letters from the councillors to the secretary of state and the Lords of Trade, a number of affi davits relating to recent events, and a certificate from the Dutch church attesting the Protestant orthodoxy of Van Cortlandt and Bayard no letter or address to the new sovereigns. On the 11th, in company with Mr. Innis, he secretly left the city. Three ship-masters who were about to sail for Europe one of them the Quaker, George Heath cote, who had carried William Dyre and the charges against him in 1681 now refused to carry the lieutenant-governor and the chaplain whom the people distrusted. Colonel Don gan had recently embarked with a cargo of pipe-staves and flour destined for Madeira but, dreadfully seasick, had come back declaring that he would rather die on land than on the sea. Nicholson bought a half-share in his brigantine, un loaded it, thriftily procured a cargo of log-wood for himself, and on the 24th set sail. Dongan returned to his farm at Hempstead.
As a long and varied after-career in America'showed Francis Nicholson to be, if not a man of discretion, yet a man of cour age, energy, and much personal ambition, his flight from his post in 1689 can be interpreted only as meaning that he doubted the permanence of the changes in England and wished to be where he might most easily trim his sails to the wind of the hour. At the same time, and giving the same reasons for going, Governor Hamilton of East Jersey returned to Eng land. Lord Howard of Virginia soon followed. Nicholson had a brother in New York who remained until the following December. Then Leisler wrote that after he was on board ship, it was reported, he had 'drunk the king's health with a letter J.' The letters prepared for Nicholson by the councilors said that all government had been overthrown in New York by some disaffected and dangerous people in like manner as in Boston,' and that the fort had been seized by the 'rabble.' Now the writers were in daily hope of getting orders to pro claim their Majesties but, they predicted, no orders would be obeyed by the people, adding: We cannot learn that hardly one person of sense and estate . . . do countenance any of these ill and rash proceedings except some who are deluded and drawn in by mere fear which do hope that a general act of oblivion will salve all. . . . But it will be most certain in case no exemplary punishment be established, in future time at every act of government not agreeing to the tempers of such ill minded people the same steps must unavoidably be expected.
Thus began, to be reiterated with ever growing violence, a series of exaggerations and flat falsehoods which hopelessly confused the minds of the authorities in England. Of course none of the revolutionists in New York was counting upon an 'act of oblivion' ; all were looking for praise and encourage ment from the sovereigns to whom they had so plainly shown their loyalty. The fort had not been seized by a 'rabble' but, as the councilors themselves recorded in their minutes, by the train-bands and their captains and the 'inhabitants' of the city. To the best of his judgment all the citizens except `not above forty persons' had joined in the act, said under oath in 1692 Isaac De Riemer, a reputable burgher and in after years mayor of New York. Certain by-laws drawn up for Captain Lodwyck's company and signed by his men show that at least this company accepted strict discipline. And, indeed, it is impossible to picture a rabble dominating a city where, as Andros and Dongan had testified, all poor were cared for and there were no beggars and very few servants or slaves none of the material out of which a rabble forms itself.
Again, things had by no means gone 'in like manner as in Boston.' No new form, or revived old form, of government had as yet been set up, and no officer of the old government had been thrown into jail or even threatened. Dongan had been permitted to set sail in an armed vessel, and Nicholson had been permitted to depart in it although any one could foresee what sort of testimony he would give at Whitehall. As a deposition made by ten Dutch citizens in 1694 explained, Nicholson 'went unmolested out of the city,' was allowed to remain several days longer in the neighborhood, and then, `uncompelled and unconstrained, left the government and withdrew from the execution thereof.' More and more heated grew the letters, reports, summaries, and petitions of the one faction and the other as the months wore away in New York. Chief among these conflicting docu ments are Leisler's letters and despatches; a journal kept by Nicholas Bayard to be sent to Nicholson, which we have in an abstract beginning with June 11, 1689, and continuing for about three weeks; a Brief Deduction and Narrative of the `disorders, abuses, enormities, and insolencies' committed by Leisler and his associates, also written by Bayard but in the third person for the eye of the king; a long letter that Van Cortlandt sent to Andros in July ; and a pamphlet written in whole or in part by Bayard which was called A Modest and Impartial Narrative of Several Grievances and Great Oppressions that the Peaceable and most Considerable Inhabitants of their Majesties' Province of New York in America lie under by the Extravagant and Arbitrary Proceedings of Jacob Leysler and his Accomplices. The imprint on this pamphlet says that it was published at New York and at London in 1690. Really, it was first printed at Boston; there was no printing-press in New York.
Chief among the similar documents of later but not distant years are a pamphlet called A Letter from a Gentleman of New York to Another Concerning the Troubles which happened in that Province in the time of the late Happy Revolution, which, it is believed, Bayard, William Nicolls, and one of their friends, Chidley Brooke, either wrote or employed David Jamison to write; the letter sent by Leislerian members of the Dutch church to Amsterdam in 1698; and the Leislerian pamphlet called Loyalty Vindicated by a Hearty Lover of King William and the Protestant Religion. This answers the Letter from a Gentleman page by page. It is not known who wrote it, but certainly not a Dutch-American unless he had a very capable editor, for in correctness of form and vigor of style as well as in power of invective it equals any of the controversial pamphlets written in England at the time.
Some of the statements repeated over and over again in these papers and in others of their time are patently false. It was not only the 'lesser and meaner part of the people' that followed Leisler ' poor, ignorant, and senseless folk,' as Bayard said, suffering themselves to be 'ruled and hectored by about twenty or thirty ill-drunken sots.' Every man of `sense and reputation' was not from the first opposed to Leisler. He was not a ' vile usurper' prompted by the spur of ' desperate fortunes,' nor were his chief associates likewise of 'mean birth, sordid education, and desperate fortunes.' Neither his religion nor their religion was `as unaccountable and obscure as their birth and fortunes' until they made Protestantism a war-cry in 1689; Leisler as well as Bayard and Van dt had served as a deacon in the Dutch church, and attack upon Van Rensselaer had made his preferences in as early a year as 1675.
These evident slanders cast something more than a doubt upon other assertions, as that Leisler, his fellow-officers, and their men were usually drunk and that they violently at tacked and injured many persons. The people were not `drunk or mad,' Loyalty Vindicated protests ; the fact that in the ' very convulsion of changing the government' no man, woman, or child was hurt not even, except ' by the fright their own guilt had occasioned,' the officials who were most distrusted and hated proved that the `Revolutioners' must have been either ' very sober or loving in their drink.' It is clear, indeed, that at this and at later moments there was often loud brawling in public places, much scuffling and threatening, some drawing of weapons, and at times a nearer approach to a dangerous riot. But these disturbances are credited with equal plausibility now to the one faction, now to the other; and no serious consequences followed them. No one was killed, no one seems to have been grievously hurt. There was no burning, no looting, no murdering on Man hattan as there was in London and at other places in England when the revolution there was young.
On the other hand Loyalty Vindicated shows that the revo lutioners' also slandered their opponents. The papists in office, it says, were `justly' suspected of designs to betray the country to King James's 'faithful ally, the French king;' and with the same sort of justice Protestants were called papists, and officials whose chief fault at first was timidity were charged with the will to commit all kinds of tyrannical and cruel acts.
The councillors, says Bayard's journal, were now hoping to get an actual copy of the proclamation of the accession so that they might publish it `with all speed.' None was brought by Major Brockholls who, coming on June 14 by Way of Bos ton from Maine where the garrisons set by Andros had been disbanded or reduced, was intercepted by the sentries and ordered to go to the fort without speaking to any one. On June 13 the insurgent or resurgent government of Con necticut had proclaimed their Majesties and framed an ad dress to them. Soon afterwards it sent two envoys, Major Gold and Captain Fitch, to advise with the insurgent leaders on Manhattan and to get an account of their actions. The major seems to have been the same Nathan Gold, or Gould, who, then a prisoner on one of the Dutch ships, had witnessed the surrender of New York in 1673. Bayard and Van Cort landt tried in vain to intercept these envoys in Westchester. They brought a copy of the much-desired proclamation. The mayor and his associates asked for it that they might publish it with due 'honor and splendor.' This, as Van Cortlandt wrote to Andros, was on June 22, and so says Bayard's journal although letters written to England by Bayard, Van Cort landt, and Philipse say, mistakenly, that it was on the 17th. Captain Leisler asked the use of the paper for an hour or two, Van Cortlandt continues, and then, at the fort in the fore noon, had the drum beat and the king and queen proclaimed. About three o'clock he and his partisans sent to ask the mayor to be at his house, and, . . . the two Hartford gentlemen and our captains came with their halbardiers; being set down Leisler asked me whether I would not proclaim the king and queen. I told him it was done already. He answered if I would not do it he would do it at the Town Hall. I told him he might do what he pleased. They fell out, called me a papist or popishly affected, and several abusive words in my house.
Gold and Fitch then desiring the mayor to go with them to the City Hall, where they would make the proclamation, he and the aldermen consented : When they came to the Town Hall Leisler comes and would have me to proclaim the king. I answered, He that read it before the fort can read it here; I have no clerk. Upon which he falls into a rage saying, If it was to set up a tyrannical king, a Prince of Wales, he would do it; you're a traitor, a papist ; and made the people just ready to knock me in the head. Others said, Take hold of the rogue. So I was forced to answer for myself, saying that Leisler told a false untruth, I did not hinder the reading of the paper of proclaiming of their Majesties etc.
According to the oddly named Modest and Impartial Nar rative, after the proclamation was read Leisler invited the magistrates to go to the fort to drink the king's health, but when they got there told them that the people were so in censed that it would not be safe for them to stay. This was doubtless because of an incident which Van Cortlaidt did not mention in his report to Andros, an incident which had in truth incensed the populace. On this same day of the proclamation, fire had been set in three places to the church in the fort which was also the store-house for powder, supposedly by a papist who had been seen within the fort.
A Leislerian account of the day says that the `former council' and the city magistrates were asked to join in the proclamation at the fort in the morning; they desired an hour's time to consider, `which being expired and no com pliance yielded but on the contrary an aversion discovered thereto,' Captain Leisler and `the committee of safety and most part of the inhabitants' celebrated the event. This wit ness, it will be noticed, mentions a committee of safety which had not yet been formed; and others, of both factions, like wise forget at times the actual sequence of hurried happen ings.
On the 24th, Mayor Van Cortlandt recorded, he received from a friend a printed proclamation dated February 14 and continuing in office, in the king's name, all minor officials `being Protestants' all `sheriffs, justices, collectors etc.' He did not add that this referred to the colonies, and the date he names shows that it did not. What he held was the proclamation concerning officials within the kingdom itself. Nevertheless he and the aldermen published it, greatly, he said, to the anger of their adversaries ; and then, in defer ence to it, they removed with his own consent Plowman the collector whom Leisler had vainly tried to oust, and appointed Bayard and four others, provisionally, to administer the cus tom-house. The popular leaders turned out these appointees and installed as collector Peter Delanoy, the Dutchman who had held the post temporarily after Santen was suspended and before Plowman arrived, and who was still the treasurer of the city.
On this occasion there was certainly a riot. With 'a party of men in arms and drink,' says the anti-Leislerian Letter to a Gentleman, Leisler came to the custom-house and tried 'to massacre some who were saved by Providence.' Bayard says that 'Stoll the dram-man' would have murdered him 'unless by Providence prevented' ; that he was rescued in Delanoy's house but, this being attacked, made his 'further escape' ; and 'that during the 'fury' the people had the drum beat an alarm and cried Verraet, verraet, or treason, treason, the rogues will kill Captain Leisler.' According to Van Cortlandt, Bayard safely stayed under Delanoy's roof over night; and Loyalty Vindicated also says that this adversary sheltered Bayard although otherwise it gives a different account of the tumult. When Leisler, it relates, questioned the authority of the new incumbents in the custom-house, they threatened to turn him out by force : On which tumult (made by three Jacobites) a guard of inhabitants from the fort came to defend their captain. And the people in the streets were so enraged at Colonel Bayard (who they knew was as inveterate as any papist against the revolution) that they certainly had tore him to pieces had not the good temper of Captain Leisler been his protector, who was the only person capable of saving him in that extremity. . . . No man was hurt, not so much a skin broke of those who deserved the halter.
Colonel Bayard, it grows apparent, was not a lion for valor. He now went up to Albany, as he explained, 'to shun the trouble and hazard of being destroyed' in New York. Van Cortlandt, whose fears prescribed only a two days' seclusion in his own house, was thus left to do what he could as mayor and as virtually the only councillor; for Philipse was playing a strictly follow-my-leader part which seems to justify the tradition that calls him the dullest as well as the richest man in the province.