Colonial Governor Thomas Dongan
New York in the late 17th century was still a rude settlement but one which was opening its doors to a great variety of nationalities. Its citizens were independent individuals valuing freedom and self-government above everything else. When Colonel Thomas Dongan, the Duke of York's new governor with a royal proclamation guaranteeing the rights of assembly and the making of their own laws, the people of New York greeted him with cheers. But all was not smooth sailing. This is the story of how Irish Catholic Thoams Dongan overcame many political obstacles, drove back the French, made peace among the Five Nations, and fought for the New York charter. In this volatile time of our history, it was Thomas Dongan and men like him who secured the frontiers of the United States and made it possible for future generations to follow. His story also highlights that the struggle for religious freedom has been with us from the very beginning.