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.

It is difficult to recapture the intensity of excitement felt by Americans in 1776 over the prospect of forming new republican governments. It is a work, said Thomas Jefferson, of the most interesting nature and such as every individual would wish to have his voice in. Even the business of the Continental Congress was stifled because so many delegates — including Jefferson — left for home to take part in the paramount activity of erecting the new state governments. Constitutions, remarked Francis Lightfoot Lee, employ every pen. ... Nothing — not the creation of [the] confederacy, not the Continental Congress, not the war, not the French alliance — in the years surrounding the Declaration of Independence engaged the interests of Americans more that the framing of these governments.

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