Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BEEKMAN, Gerardus, colonial governor of New York, died in New York city about 1728. He was a physician and a wealthy land-holder in New York City, a major under Jacob Leisler, and a member of his council at the time of the revolution of 1688. After the arrival of Governor Sloughter, when Leisler was condemned and executed for treasonable conduct in refusing to give up the fort at New York, Beckman was one of eight that were condemned with him, but recommended to the governor's mercy. He wrote several petitions for release both to the governor and the queen, saying in one of them that he wished to visit some patients on Long Island who were "very dangerous." He was at length set at liberty, and in 1700 became Lieutenant-Colonel of a militia regiment under Governor Bellomont. He was a commissioner in the case of the claim of the Mohecan Indians to land in Connecticut, and afterward a member of Governor Cornbury's council. After the removal of Governor Ingoldsby, Beckman was president of the council, and acting governor until the arrival of Governor Hunter, from 10 April till 14 June 1710. While holding this place he granted, on his own responsibility, permission to the Rev. Mr. Freeman to officiate in the Churches of " Flatbush and Brookland," jointly with the pastor, Rev. Vincentius Antonides. The latter, and most of his flock, objected, and, as Governor Beckman refused to withdraw the obnoxious permission, the council broke up. Soon after, Beckman had a quarrel on this same subject with one Squire Filkins, who, in a letter dated June 1710, says that as they were drinking wine together in the ferry-house, having just crossed the ferry, Beckman "gave me affronting words, calling me pittifull fellow, dog, rogue, rascal, &c., which caused me, being overcome with passion, to tell him that I had a good mind to knock him off his horse" Beekman was afterward a member of Hunter's council, holding that office till his death.
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