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New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Fraunces Tavern Block Historic District

Exploring Downtown

 
 
Fraunces Tavern Block Historic District Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 5, 2008
1. Fraunces Tavern Block Historic District Marker
Inscription. Samuel Fraunces in 1762 named his Queen’s Head tavern after Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III. His politics, however, were strictly patriotic, and his tavern hosted meetings of the radical Sons of Liberty and, later, the New York Provincial Congress. Washington’s farewell to his officers at the end of the Revolutionary War, on December 4, 1783 in the Long Room of the renamed Fraunces Tavern, made this building one of New York’s great patriotic shrines.

Famous for his cooking, especially desserts, Fraunces advertised “Cakes, Tarts, Jellies, Whip Syllabubs, Blaumage Sweet-Meats, &c. in any quantity; cold Meat in small Quantities, Beef Stakes, &c at any Hour; Pickled Oysters for the West Indies or elsewhere.” After the war, which ruined him financially, Fraunces entered Washington’s service as steward and chef, and Congress rented his tavern to house the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Treasury and War.

Threatened with replacement by a skyscraper in 1902, the much altered Tavern was rescued by the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York, under the direction of architect William Mersereau. Today’s Long Room, remodeled in the 1960s after period prints and paintings, recreates a typical 18th century tavern room of the kind in which Washington made his famous farewell.
 
Erected by
Marker in Downtown New York image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 5, 2008
2. Marker in Downtown New York
Fraunces Tavern can be seen in this photo across the street from the marker.
The Alliance for Downtown New York, Inc.
 
Location. 40° 42.217′ N, 74° 0.684′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is at the intersection of Broad Street and Pearl Street, on the right when traveling north on Broad Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 54 Pearl Street, New York NY 10004, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fraunces Tavern (a few steps from this marker); Fraunces Tavern Tallmadge Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Stadt Huys (City Hall) (within shouting distance of this marker); First Church on Manhattan Island (within shouting distance of this marker); Dutch Hoog Straat (within shouting distance of this marker); Vietnam War Veterans Memorial / Dutch City Hall Site (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Stone Street Historic District and Colonial New York Street Plan (about 300 feet away); First Printing Press in the Colony of New York (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in New York.
 
More about this marker. The top left of the marker contains a painting from the December 8, 1783 Independent Journal of Washington bidding his officers good-bye. It has the caption, “At Fraunces’s Tavern, last Thursday at
Fraunces Tavern image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 5, 2008
3. Fraunces Tavern
It was in this building, on December 4, 1783, that Gen. George Washington met with his officers for the final time.
Noon, there was a numerous meeting of Officers of the first distinction in the American army, to take leave of their great commander General Washington, who on filling a glass of wine addressed his brave compatriots as follows: ‘With a heart full of love and gratitude, I now take leave of you. I must devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honourable.’” Under this is a picture of a telescope with the caption. “Among the artifacts on display in the Fraunces Tavern Museum is this 18th century spotting telescope, captured from an English ship. The bottom left of the marker contains two photographs of Fraunces Tavern. The first shows the buildings located next to it, and has a caption of “The rare, early 19th-century buildings next door to Fraunces Tavern once housed the freight forwarders and shipping agents without whom the early port of New York could not have functioned. That the block exists at all is a tribute, first, to the enterprising burghers who reclaimed the land from the river in 1689, second to the luck which let its buildings escape the Great Fire of 1835, and third to those astute New Yorkers who refused to let them be demolished later in the name of progress.” The other photograph showed what the tavern looked like in 1902 when the Sons of the American Revolution purchased it. It has a caption of “By the time the Sons of the Revolution in New York State acquired Fraunces Tavern, it had suffered enormous damage – from a series of fires during the early 19th century to the removal of the entire first story in 1890. Washington would likely have not recognized the building.”
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Take a tour of the markers in lower Manhattan erected by the Alliance for Downtown New York, Inc.
 
Also see . . .
1. Fraunces Tavern Museum. (Submitted on June 5, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. Fraunces Tavern - Hangout of Sons Of Liberty; Hosted Washington, Several Cabinet Departments. New York Freedom Trail website. (Submitted on June 5, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Colonial EraNotable BuildingsWar, US Revolutionary
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 903 times since then and 63 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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