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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LEETE, William, governor of Connecticut, born in England about 1603; died in Hartford, Connecticut, 16 April, 1683. He was educated in England as a lawyer, and, emigrating to this country in 1637, settled in New Haven, and was subsequently a founder of Guilford, Connecticut, and one of the pillars of the church there. He was deputy governor in 1661-'5, was frequently a commissioner of the colony, reelected governor in 1676, and afterward annually chosen until his death. Leete was an ardent republican, and befriended and hospitably entertained the regicides Edward Whalley, William Goff, and John Dixwell while he was deputy in 1661. In July, 1675, when Edmund Andros, governor under the grant of the Duke of York, proceeded with armed men to Connecticut to vindicate his jurisdiction as far as the river, Leete convened the assembly, and signed the proclamation that was forwarded to Captain Thomas Bull, who commanded the garrison at Saybrook. This proclamation, though full of loyalty to the king, forbade Andros's landing, and protested against his illegal proceedings. Dr. John Trumbull says of him: " He presided in times of the greatest difficulty, yet always with such integrity and wisdom as to meet the public approbation. An island near Guilford bears the governor's name.
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