Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Looking for the Hudson

At the top of Manhattan, in 1776, the Americans built a fort. They lost it the same year. They built it in the summer, they won the Battle of Harlem Heights and sent the British out of Manhattan, and they lost it on November 16th 1776. Fort Washington ... though I suppose the British didn't call it that while they held it.

The Americans weren't staying in the Fort, or at least the big guys weren't. They were not far away at the Morris Jumel Mansion, though I don't suppose it was a Mansion then (or now). When the Americans moved out, the British moved in and stayed there til they gave up New York.

The Americans finally got the Fort back on November 25, 1783, along with the rest of New York, though it wasn't much to get back and it was a long way from the Fort to the southern tip of Manhattan where the rest of the city was located.

President Washington gave a dinner party at the Mansion in July 1790. At the table that night were three future Presidents of the United States: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and John Quincy Adams.

Sometimes History is interesting all by itself. To know that in those days, you could see all the way to the Harbor , the Hudson River, the Harlem River and the Bronx from right here.

Now, you can't see the River, or much else, from up here. You have to go further up, to the Cloisters to see all the way down the river from up high.... but that's a trip for another day.

I wonder what all those guys talked about on that July night in 1790....

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