Tuesday, September 15, 2009

NEW YORK- Manhattan

From 9/16- 10/20 1776, Washington stayed here at the Morris-Jumel mansion. After the defeat at the Battle of Brooklyn, Washington and the Continental Army made a night time retreat across lower New York Bay into Manhattan. They continued their retreat up the length of Manhattan and held their ground. Their resolve surprised the pursuing British Army.

The rear of the mansion with it's unusual eight sided rooms. The house was one of many that dotted the hills of old New York. The owners came here to escape the heat of summer and to catch the breezes that swept over upper Manhattan. For Washington's purpose, the house on a hill gave him great views of the East River, lower Manhattan, and a view of the roads that led North. When old New York City burned down, Washington saw that too.

The view is obscured now, but you can still see the East River and Brooklyn in the distance. In 1776 Washington could see the camp fires of the British and Hessian armies. He also spied the British War Ships sailing up the East River.

The mansion still stands at 160th St. and Jumel Place. All the other houses are gone, but this one still guards silently the spot where Washington planned the war effort.

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