Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Morris-Jumel Mansion: George Washington, Hessians, and the DAR

Morris-Jumel Mansion

"Washington's Headquarters in Manhattan?
That's right! Morris-Jumel Mansion, Manhattan's oldest house, was headquarters to General Washington in September and October of 1776. After Washington's departure, the Mansion played host to a succession of British and Hessian military leaders, served briefly as an inn for weary travelers, and finally returned to its role as country house. And that's just the beginning of the fascinating history of this stately mansion built on a hilltop in 1765. Check out our history to learn more....

That link leads to "George Washington Slept Here," on the Morris-Jumel Mansion website: a short, quite readable, summary of what happened at the house from the late 18th century to the early 20th. Also a little about the architecture of the place. It's a two-story Palladian place with around 8,500 square feet and what was at the time an innovative octagonal feature.

It was built in 1765 by a British Colonel and his American wife. 11 years later the colonists got fed up with King George the Third - and the Morris couple eventually moved back to England.

What happened after that is an example of why the Lemming says that the 'good old days' weren't as ideally serene as one might think. And that's another topic.

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