Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 77
Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 77
between them and Leisler, ending with a furious quarrel and the interchange of threats. The common folk at once made the cause of the recalcitrant wine merchant their own, and adopted him as their champion,—a position for which he was well fitted by his truculent daring and energy. Many wild stories were afloat as to the plots which were being concocted by the governmental officers, whom most of the citizens firmly believed to be under the influence of the Catholics, and in secret league with the fallen monarch. It was rumored, now that they were about to surrender the city to the French, now that they were plotting to procure an uprising of the Catholics and massacre of the Protestants. As the latter outnumbered the former twenty to one, this fear shows the state of foolish panic to which the people had been wrought; but foolish or not, their excitement kept rising, and they became more and more angry and uneasy.
  The outbreak was finally precipitated by a misunderstanding between the governing authorities and some of the trainbands; for the latter had been called in to assist the handful of regular troops who were on guard in the fort. The quarrel arose over a question of discipline between the lieutenant-governor and the militia officers. The former chafed under the suspicions of the citizens,—which he was perhaps conscious that he merited,



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