Abraham Gouverneur

Abraham Gouverneur (1671 – June 16, 1740) was a Dutch born colonial American merchant and Leislerian politician who served as the Speaker of the New York General Assembly.

Abraham Gouverneur
Recorder of New York City
In office
Preceded byJames Graham
Succeeded bySampson Shelton Broughton
Speaker of the New York General Assembly
In office
May 15, 1699 – May 3, 1702
Preceded byJames Graham
Succeeded byWilliam Nicoll
Personal details
Amsterdam, Netherlands
DiedJune 16, 1740 (aged 68–69)
New York City, Province of New York, British America
Spouse(s)Mary Leisler
ParentsNicolas Gouverneur
Maghteld de Riemer

Early life

Gouverneur was born in 1671 "upon the Single, near the Konings Pleyn" in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.[1] He later moved to New York City in what was then the Province of New York, a part of British America. He was the son of Nicolas Gouverneur (d. 1682) and Maghteld (née de Riemer) Gouverneur (1644–1721). He was the brother of Elisabeth Gouverneur, Isaac Gouverneur, and Elisabeth Gouverneur. After the death of his father in 1682, his mother remarried to Jasper Nissepadt (Nesbitt), and had another child, Jannetje Nissepadt.[2]


Gouverneur, a successful merchant, was involved in the organization of Harlem in upper Manhattan,[3] and received land known as the Abraham Gouverneur Patent that he purchased in February 1713.[1] Along with fellow merchant Nicholas Stuyvesant (son of Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch Director-General of New Amsterdam), he was an associate of German-born businessman Jacob Leisler, the 8th Colonial Governor of New York known for his rabid anti-Catholic Calvinist views and the leader of a populist political faction known as "Leislerians".[2] Reportedly, four days before Gov. Henry Sloughter arrived in New York, Gouverneur shot the parish clerk and was charged with his murder.[1] After Sloughter arrived, he put down Leisler's Rebellion and Leisler was hanged in May 1691. A year after Leisler's execution, Gourverneur and Jacob Leisler Jr. traveled to London and lobbied government officials, members of Parliament, and cabinet officers to clear Leisler's name, and were eventually helped by the powerful Whigs.[2]

He was a member of the New York General Assembly, representing Orange County (which is now Orange and Rockland counties), from 1699 to 1702, and later representing New York County (the current New York County, Manhattan), from 1701 to 1702.[4] From May 15, 1699 to May 3, 1702, he was also the Speaker of the Assembly.[5][6] Later, he served as Recorder of New York City, essentially the deputy mayor of New York City, from 1701 to 1703 under mayors Isaac De Riemer, Thomas Noell, and Phillip French.[7]

Personal life

Gouverneur was married to Mary Leisler (1669–1747), the daughter of his associate Jacob Leisler.[8] Mary was the widow of Jacob Milborne, the English born clerk who was an ally and secretary of Mary's father, both of whom were executed for their part in Leisler's Rebellion.[9] Together, they were the parents of four children who reached maturity, including:[1]

  • Nicholas Gouverneur (1700–1739), who was the father of Abraham, Esther, Barent and Nicholas Gouverneur.[1]
  • Jacoba Gouverneur (b. 1701)
  • Elizabeth Gouverneur (1704–1751)
  • Jacob Gouverneur (b. 1710), who died young.[1]
  • Maria Gouverneur (b. 1712), who married Henry Myer Jr. and Captain Jasper Farmer.[1]

Gouverneur died in New York City on June 16, 1740.[1]

Legacy and honors

Gouverneur Street, Gouverneur Lane, and Gouverneur Slip were all named after Abraham.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Riker, James (1881). Harlem (city of New York): Its Origin and Early Annals: Prefaced by Home Scenes in the Fatherlands; Or, Notices of Its Founders Before Emigration. Also, Sketches of Numerous Families, and the Recovered History of the Land-titles. p. 603. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Burrows, Edwin G.; Wallace, Mike (1998). Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898. Oxford University Press. p. 102. ISBN 9780199741205. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  3. ^ Riker, James (1970). Harlem: Its Origins and Early Annals. Ardent Media. p. 821. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  4. ^ Hough, A.M., M.D., Franklin B. (1858). The New York Civil List: Containing The Names And Origin Of The Civil Divisions, And The Names And Dates Of Election Or Appointment Of The Principal State And County Officers From The Revolution To The Present Time. Albany: Weed, Parsons and Co. Retrieved 19 September 2018.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Murlin, Edgar L. (1908). The New York Red Book. J. B. Lyon Company. pp. 356–365. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  6. ^ Eager, Samuel Watkins (1846). An Outline History of Orange County: Together with Local Tradition and Short Biographical Sketches of Early Settlers, Etc. T. E. Henderson. p. 372. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  7. ^ Council, New York (N Y. ) Common (1905). Minutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1675-1776. Dodd, Mead & Co. p. 119. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  8. ^ Dunlap, William (1839). History of the New Netherlands, Province of New York, and State of New York: To the Adoption of the Federal Constitution. p. 239. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Jacob Milborne". Historical Society of the New York Courts. Retrieved 5 October 2015.

External links

James Graham (speaker)

James Graham (1650 – January 27, 1701) was an English born colonial American politician who served as the Speaker of the New York General Assembly.

List of Speakers of the New York General Assembly

The Speaker of the New York General Assembly was the highest official in the New York General Assembly, the first representative governing body in New York from 1683 to 1775 when the assembly disbanded after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War.As in most countries with a British heritage, the speaker presides over the lower house of the legislature and was elected from within the ranks of the General Assembly.

New York General Assembly

The New York General Assembly was the lower branch of government of the British Province of New York and was the first representative governing body in New York from 1683 to 1775 when the assembly disbanded after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War.

Peter Delanoy

Peter Delanoy, who served from 1689 to 1691, was the first and only directly elected Mayor of New York City until 1834. Appointed mayors resumed in the wake of Leisler's Rebellion. He was succeeded by former Mayor John Lawrence.

Recorder of New York City

The Recorder of New York City was a municipal officer of New York City from 1683 until 1907. He was at times a judge of the Court of General Sessions, of the Court of Special Sessions, and the New York Court of Common Pleas; Vice-President of the Board of Supervisors of New York County; Vice-President of the Board of Aldermen of New York City; Deputy Mayor of New York City; a director of the Bank of the Manhattan Company; a commissioner of the city's Sinking fund; a commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Board; and sat on the boards of a large number of charitable organizations. The Recorder was not a recorder of deeds, these were kept by the Register of New York City.

Samuel Ogden

Colonel Samuel Ogden (December 9, 1746 — December 1, 1810) was a colonial businessman in New Jersey who had an iron works. He fought on the side of the patriots during the American Revolutionary War. Afterward, he became a developer and land speculator for a large tract of land in upstate New York.He worked with his brother Abraham Ogden, brother-in-law Gouverneur Morris, and others on developing this tract. The City of Ogdensburg, New York, at the confluence of the Oswegatchie with the St. Lawrence River, was named for him.

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