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Chronicles: The Oldest Home in Manhattan

Morris-Jumel Mansion 

The headquarters of General Washington and his men, the home of one of early America’s most infamous men, and the location of numerous ghostly sightings- all in a days work for the oldest remaining house in Manhattan.

It was the summer of 1765 when British Colonel Roger Morris and his wife built their palladian style home on the banks of the Harlem River, on a 130 acre plot of land the couple christened Mount Morris. Eleven years later, George Washington took over the house as his headquarters in 1776. The house exchanged hands with the British before the Morrises were forced to flee the country for good upon the American victory. In 1790, a newly crowned President Washington returned to the Mansion on July 10th to dined with members of his cabinet. Guests at the table included three future Presidents of the United States: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and John Quincy Adams. Alexander Hamilton and Henry Knox were in attendance as well.
In 1810, the home returned to its state as a country house when French owners when Stephen and Eliza Jumel bought the home, adding doorways and stained glass and filling it with French furniture, including a bed that is said to have belonged to the Emperor Napoleon and remains in the Mansion today. After the death of Stephen in 1832, Eliza married former Vice-President Aaron Burr in the home and continued living there until her death.
Today, the home is a National Historic Landmark and reputedly, one of the most haunted locals in New York City. There have been reports of former owner Eliza Jumel wandering the house in a purple dress, rapping on walls and windows; the ghost of a young servant girl who committed suicide by jumping out a window has been seen in the mansion’s servants quarters; and a soldier from the American Revolution, who’s picture hangs on a wall in the mansion, has also been seen.

Morris-Jumel Mansion
65 Jumel Terrace, New York, NY 10032-5360 – (212) 923-8008

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