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.

Eighteenth-century writers seemed uncertain how best to describe Britain’s relation to its many overseas possessions. Only tepidly did they employ the concept of empire since for them it carried uncomfortable baggage from ancient history. The traditional usage suggested that control over distant colonies and expansion into new regions depended on military might. But the notion that Great Britain was a modern-day Rome, dispatching powerful legions to conquer the world, did not sit well with a people who celebrated liberty and rights, the blessings of living under a balanced constitution.

T. H. Breen
The Marketplace of the Revolution (2004)