New York City has much history related to the founding of the United States and several sites with strong ties to the country’s founders. The city was both a battleground of the Revolutionary War and the nation’s first capital (1789-1790).
The Battle of Brooklyn was fought on today’s Green-Wood Cemetery, which not only serves as a resting place but also conducts public tours that share the grounds’ history. In Harlem, visitors can tour Morris-Jumel Mansion, General George Washington’s headquarters. Hamilton Grange, the summer home of the first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, can be seen in Harlem’s St. Nicholas Park, but won’t reopen until 2010.
Lower Manhattan is full of sites related to American patriotism. At the close of the war, George Washington thanked his troops at Fraunces Tavern, which today is both a restaurant and museum with several exhibits depicting the nation’s heroes. A few blocks west of the tavern, Washington was sworn in as the nation’s first president on the site of today’s Federal Hall, a national memorial and museum. His statue on the steps looks out the New York Stock Exchange, on the corner of Wall and Broad Streets.
A short walk north on Broadway from Federal Hall is St. Paul’s Chapel, where Washington worshipped on his inauguration day. Today the chapel also pays tribute to the heroic emergency responders of September 11th.