Morris-Jumel MansionEdit profile
The Morris-Jumel Mansion (also known as the Roger and Mary Philipse Morris House), located in Washington Heights, is the oldest house in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It served as a headquarters for both sides in the American Revolution.
It was built by Roger Morris in 1765 and reflects the Palladian style of architecture. Morris, the nephew of a successful English architect, was greatly influenced by the designs of the 16th-century Italian architect Palladio. His residence includes a monumental portico and pediment, supported by grand Tuscan columns, and a large, two-story octagonal addition at the rear. The octagon room is believed to be the first in the country.
The mansion is located on a parcel known as “Mount Morris” from which the Harlem River, the Bronx, Long Island Sound, the Hudson River and the Jersey Palisades are visible.
Roger Morris and Mary Philipse lived in the mansion for ten years. It was from 1765 to 1775, when the war started. They got married in the parlor, which can be seen today. Between September 14 and October 20, 1776, General George Washington used the mansion as his temporary headquarters after he and his army were forced to evacuate Brooklyn Heights following their loss to the British Army under the command of General William Howe in the Battle of Long Island. This house is one of the major remaining landmarks of Battle of Harlem Heights, after which it became the headquarters of British Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton, and the Hessian commander Baron Wilhelm von Knyphausen. The Morris-Jumel Mansion later hosted many other distinguished visitors, including dinner guests John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and John Quincy Adams. Stephen Jumel and his wife Eliza Jumel purchased the house in 1810. After Stephen's death, Eliza married the controversial ex-vice president Aaron Burr who lived at the house briefly in the 1830s. After Burr's death in 1836, Eliza lived in the house alone until she died in 1865. In 1882, the Morris heirs broke up the 115 acres (0.47 km 2) of the estate into 1058 lots. On a rocky eminence overlooking one of the rivers, Fitz-Greene Halleck wrote his famous lines on the Greek patriot “Marco Bozzaris.” The house was purchased by New York City in 1903. The house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961.
The Morris-Jumel Mansion was featured in Bob Vila's A&E Network production, Guide to Historic Homes of America, in 1996. Today, the house is lavishly decorated with period furnishings and careful reproductions of period carpets and wallpaper. It is open to the public as a historic house museum.