nation generally was Episcopalian; and Duke James, a Catholic, was perforce obliged to advocate toleration for all sects as a step toward the ultimate supremacy of his own. So in New York, Dongan the Catholic found himself ruler of a province where there were but a few dozen citizens of his own faith, the mass of the people being stanch Protestants, of several jarring creeds; and he was not drawn by any special bonds of sympathy to the class of crown officials and the like, who were mostly of the very church which in England was supreme over his own. His interests and sympathies thus naturally inclined him to side with the popular party, and to advocate religious liberty. As he was also vigilant in preserving order and warding off outside aggression, and devoted to the well-being of the colony, he proved himself perhaps the best colonial governor New York ever had.
Dongan reached New York in 1683, and from the first was popular with the colonists. He at once issued writs for the election of the members of the long-desired Provincial Assembly. They were elected by the freeholders; and with their meeting, in the fall of the same year, the province took the first real step,and a very long one,toward self-government. Dongan of course appointed his own council; and he generally placed thereon representatives of the different nationalities and creeds. New York City was of course the