Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 105
Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 105
a foothold in the colony; he imprisoned their ministers and confiscated their little meeting-houses. In this respect, however, he was but a shade worse than the men he ruled over; for the Assembly had passed a law condemning to death all Catholic priests found in the colony,—a law of which the wickedness was neither atoned for nor justified by the fact that the same measure of iniquity was meted out to the Protestants in the countries where the Catholics had control. He appropriated to other uses the moneys furnished by the Assembly to put New York harbor into a state of defense; the result being that a French war-ship once entered the lower bay and threw the whole city into terror. Finally, the citizens of all parties became so exasperated against him as to clamorously demand his removal, which was granted in 1708; but before he left the colony he had been thrown into prison for debt. In dealing with him the Assembly took very high ground in regard to the right of the colony to regulate its own affairs, insisting on the right of the popular branch of the government to fix the taxes, and to appoint most of the public officers and regulate their fees. Resolutions of this character show that during the score of years which had elapsed since the downfall of the Stuarts, the colony had made giant strides toward realizing its own rights and powers. With all their faults, the Leislerians



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