The Morris-Jumel Mansion, the oldest building in Manhattan, is a beautiful U.S historical landmark that was built in 1765 by Roger Morris, a British military officer. The Mansion served as a headquarters for both sides in the American Revolution. Currently, the building is a house museum that is preserved and open to the public. It has its own collection of archives and exhibitions. For the general public, there are constant events held at the mansion ranging for holiday celebrations to free guided tours.
Backstory and Context
The house would go on to play a significant role during the American Revolutionary War. Because of its very strategic location and positioning in Manhattan, this house attracted the attention of General George Washington and his Patriot officers. They moved in and made the house their headquarters for five weeks in the autumn of 1776 (September 14~October 21). The location of the house was ideal since it provided a great overview of the surrounding area. Within the house, they planned their warfare strategies which eventually resulted in Washington's first victory, The Battle of Harlem Heights. This victory was monumental because it gave the colonists hope that they could actually win the war and that America was not helpless. But, even though this victory was a great rallying moment for the Patriots, it still was not great enough to prevent a British takeover of Manhattan Island. With the British takeover, Washington and his troops were forced from the Morris-Jumel Mansion, and it was occupied by British forces.
The house served as headquarters for the British and their allies for the remainder of the war. When the war finally concluded, the new government of the United States of America confiscated the Mansion and its property. Currently, it holds the title of the oldest remaining house in Manhattan and is now turned into a museum that depicts more than 200 years of New York's cultural history and art.
"Morris-Jumel Mansion." Neighborhood Preservation Center. Accessed Web, 7/31/17. http://www.neighborhoodpreservationcenter.org/db/bb_files/75---MORRIS-JUMEL-INTERIOR.pdf.
"Morris-Jumel Mansion." New York Architecture. Accessed Web, 7/31/17. http://www.nyc-architecture.com/HAR/HAR014.htm.
Ward, Carol S. Morris-Jumel Mansion (Images of America). Charleston, South Carolina. Arcadia Publishing, 2015.