THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF AND COUNCIL OF NEW YORK TO MR. BLATHWAYT.
New York, August 6th 1691.
We must acquaint you that on the 23rd Instant ( July, 1691) His Excellency Coll. Sloughter our Governor departed this life in a very suddain manner, whose body we caused to be opened by the Phisetians and Chururgeans on the place; a copy of whose report to us upon their oaths we have herewith sent you, by which you will see their opinion concerning the cause of his death. The Lord Governor was at the time of his death preparing to give the Lords Commissioners for Plantacons, an account of the state and condicon of this Province, and hee being prevented by this unexpected accident we think it a duty incumbent upon us to render their Lordships and yourselfe the best relation of affairs we are capable of.
The inclosed Narrative will inform you of the resistance made by Jacob Leisler and his associates to Major Ingoldsby and the King's forces on the Governor's arrival here on the 19th of March last. Hee found the country all in armes, Leisler with near four hundred men in the fort fireing upon the towne, where he killed and wounded severall of the people. After he had published his commission he sent Major Ingoldsby to demand the surrender of the Fort, which was flattly denyed. However Leisler sent one Stoll who knew the Governor in England, to see if he was really come. Upon his return to Leisler, the Governor sent a second summons, which was likewise refused, and then Leisler sent two of his principall counsellors Milborne and Delanoy to capitulate; which would not be admitted and they were ordered immediately to be secured. The next day he sent to demand the prisoners, but the Governor would not receive their message, resolving to attaq the Fort by sea and land, having ordered the man of warr to go and ly at the back of the Fort and Major Ingoldsby to march with the King's forces to the Fort gate and make a peremptory demand of a surrender, otherwise would assault them. They then did admitt Major Ingoldsby to enter alone, who by the Governor's order required them immediately to ground their arms and march out of the Fort, and they all should be pardoned except Leisler and his Council; who they readyly forsook. The Major thereupon commanded the King's forces to enter, and brought Leisler and his Council to the Governor at the Citty Hall, they being found in actual rebellion the Governor with advice of the Councill committed them to prison, and ordered a commission of Oyer and Terminer to be issued out for their legall tryall; where two were acquitted by their country, viz. Delanoy and Edsall, six convict by their country, and two, Leisler and Milborne condemned as mute. The Governor took care the persons appointed to set on their tryall should be such as were most capable of discerneing the truth and the least prejudiced to those people; who indeed executed their commission with all the lenity and patience imaginable. By the advice of the Judges Governor was inclined to reprieve them untill His Majesties pleasure should be known, but the people were so much disturbed thereat, and the Council and Assembly did represent to him the great damage it would be to the King's service and a discouragement to future loyalty if the law was not executed upon the two principall actors, which for the public peace he was induced to do, and on the 17th of May Leisler and Milbourne were accordingly executed, haveing respited all the sentence, saveing the hanging and separating their heads from their bodies.-- Col. Docs. N. Y. iii. 794.