Morris-Jumel Mansion

New York
NY

Morris-Jumel Mansion in upper Manhattan

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Manhattan's oldest existing house was built in 1756 as a summer retreat for loyalist British Lieutenant Colonel Roger Morris and his wife. Between 14-Sep and 20-Oct-1776 it served as headquarters to General Washington during the Battle of Harlem Heights. Later it served as the headquarters of Sir Henry Clinton and Hessian commander Baron Wilhelm von Knyphausen.

It was purchased by Steven Jumel in 1810; when he died his wife, Eliza, continued to live there until her death in 1865. Eliza became the second wife of Aaron Burr for three years in 1833.

Includes 12 restored period rooms.

What ultimately convinced Americans that they must revolt in 1776 was not that they were naturally and inevitably republican, for if that were truly the case evolution, not revolution, would have been the eventual solution. Rather it was the pervasive fear that they were not predestined to be a virtuous and egalitarian people that in the last analysis drove them into revolution in 1776. It was this fear and not their confidence in the peculiarity of their character that made them so readily and so remarkably responsive to Thomas Paine’s warning that the time for independence was at hand and that delay would be disastrous. By 1776 it had become increasingly evident that if they were to remain the kind of people they wanted to be they must become free of Britain.

Gordon S. Wood
The Creation of the American Republic, 1776—1787 (1969)