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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Postcard Thursday: The Morris-Jumel Mansion and Aaron Burr

Today's card shows the so-called "Council Chamber" -- really the parlor -- of the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Washington Heights. The country house, built in 1765 by Roger Morris, served briefly as George Washington's headquarters during the Revolutionary War. Later, after the British re-took New York, it was used by British general Henry Clinton. The postcard was issued when the site was run by the Washington Headquarters Association, which placed great emphasis on the home's limited role in the Revolution.

The Morrises, staunch loyalists, had the house taken from them by the fledgling American government after the war. It served as a tavern before being purchased by Stephen and Eliza Jumel in 1806.

After Stephen's death, Eliza Jumel married the former vice president, Aaron Burr. Ironically, there are only two great country homes left in this part of Manhattan: Burr's and that of his rival, Alexander Hamilton, whose home "The Grange" is now run by the National Park Service.

Hamilton is, of course, the subject of a blockbuster Broadway musical.

This month in New Jersey Monthly magazine, James ponders what an Aaron Burr musical might look like. You can read the story at:

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