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New York City, 1776

A tour of New York.

Ben Adelman

on 15 May 2017

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Transcript of New York City, 1776

Leaving Miss Mary Finch's farm, Tew, R.I.
"We're headed up to what folks call the Tea Water Pump. Rich people get their water from there 'cause it tastes the best." p. 37
Tea Water Pump
East River wharf
"The ship was tied up at a long dock, one of many that jutted into the river. The sun sparkled off the water so strong I had to shade my eyes. Tall houses of brick and stone faced us, with rows upon rows of windows looking down at the street." p. 27
Wall Street
"The house was made of blocks of cream-colored stone and was wider from side to side than Jenny's tavern. I tilted my head up and counted: four floors, each with big windows facing the street. There were balcony railings on the roof." p. 42
The Lockton mansion
"The snake took us to Miss Mary's house to collect our blankets and too-small shoes but nothing else." p. 13
"It took two nights and two days for the Hartshorn to sail from Newport to the city of New York. Ruth and me were housed below the packet-boat's deck with six sheep, a pen of hogs, three families from Scotland, and fifty casks of dried cod." p. 24
Voyage to New York
More text here
New York City, 1776
3. July 9, 1776
South to New York
"The battery was the fort at the southern tip of the island, with high walls and cannons that pointed over the water to discourage enemies. ... I marched past rows of tents set up on the grounds outside of the fort, trying very hard to ignore the men and boys who stared as I walked by." p. 100
2. June 23, 1776
City Hall
"The reverend had so much beseeching to do for the royal family, I thought we'd be stuck in church for a week. ... A young boy ran halfway down the center aisle. 'Beggin pardon, Reverend,' he shouted, but the British have sailed into the harbor!'" p. 117-119
June 30, 1776, Trinity Church
Trinity Church historical facts
1698: First service held
September 21, 1776: fire destroys the church
1790: Second church is built
1839: Heavy snow weakens the church, and it’s torn down
1846: Third building is consecrated. The Gothic Revival structure was the tallest in the city.
"'Thomas Hickey, you have been court martialed and found guilty of the capital crimes of mutiny and sedition, of holding a treacherous correspondence with and receiving pay from the enemy for the most horrid and detestable purposes, and you have been sentenced to hang from the neck until dead.' ... With that pronouncement, the hangman kicked the barrel away." p. 116
June 28, 1776
Hanging a traitor
Historical Fact
As a member of Gen. George Washington's Life Guard, Sgt. Thomas Hickey was responsible for making sure his boss stayed alive. Instead, he plotted to kill Washington. He was sentenced and hanged in front of 20,000 spectators.
Rebels gather at
Bowling Green
to topple the statue of King George
"As the crowd marched off to make bullets and celebrate liberty and independence in the taverns ... I picked up a sliver of lead that lay in the street. ... My own piece of majesty. Tyrants beware, I thought as I put it in my pocket." p. 126
Then ...
... and now
"The men cheered so loud it seemed to shake the whole island." p. 124
July 9, 1776
Public reading, Declaration of Independence, City Hall steps
June 30, 1776
'The British have sailed into the harbor!'
p. 119
4. July 15, 1776
Stocks outside
City Hall

Colonial Punishment
Branding and using stocks were not unusual punishments in colonial America. "The aim was to humiliate the wayward sheep and teach him a lesson so that he would repent and be eager to find his way back to the flock," according to James A. Cox on History.org.
"The man with the leather apron pinned my head against the wood. ... I tried to pull away, but my hands and head were locked fast. ... The glowing iron streaked in front of my face like a comet. The crowd roared. The man pushed the hot metal against my cheek. ... They cooked me."
p. 148
"The British thrashed the Patriots in a big battle in Brooklyn. Thrashed them but good. They killed or captured near a thousand rebels and sent the rest scurrying away." p. 169
'The true invasion of New York started with the firing of a hundred ships' cannons when we were at church Sunday morning. ... Rebel soldiers were dashing everywhich direction on the street.' p. 172
September 15, 1776
August 26, 1776
The Battle of Long Island
4. September 15, 1776
"I cannot accept your service, child. We only employ slaves run away from rebel owners.'
- Words of Capt. Campbell,
p. 179
Water Street
September 16, 1776
"The British Army paraded up Broadway the next day, cheered by Loyalists all wearing a red ribbon or flower in their hats in support of the King." p. 185
"Over the rooftops I could see men pouring water on the flattish roof of St. Paul's. ... To the south, Trinity Church was not as lucky." p. 195.
6. September 21, 1776: Great Fire of New York
"Near five hundred homes were destroyed that night, plus shops, churches, and stables." p. 196
Historical fact:
The British believed that the Great Fire was deliberately set by patriots. They arrested 200 suspected sympathizers and hung the American spy, Nathan Hale. Those displaced by the fire set up canvas tents around the destroyed areas in lower Manhattan.
Source: virtualny.cuny.edu
"The end of the Greenwich Road was lined with British soldiers, relaxed and laughing as their prisoners - captured American soldiers - walked three to a row between their enemies through the doors of the Bridewell Prison." p. 204
November 16, 1776
More text here
Captured rebels are brought to Bridewell Prison.
Historical fact:
Bridewell was built in 1775 as a debtors' prison. It was one of several places the British used throughout the Revolutionary War to house captives. Bridewell had no windows, so prisoners were exposed to icy cold winds during the winter. It is estimated that in all, 10,000 American prisoners died in British captivity.
"I gagged and gagged again as I carried out overflowing chamber pots, and forced myself to take a blanket from a corpse." p. 293
January 18, 1777
9. January 18, 1777
"I rowed that river like it was a horse delivering me from the Devil. ... I rowed and the tide pulled and the ghosts - who could indeed travel over water - tugged my boat with all their strength. My eyes closed and the moon drew me west, away from the island of my melancholy." pp. 298-299
1. May 27, 1776
May 27-May 29, 1776
May 29, 1776
May 29, 1776
Historical fact:
The Tea Water Pump was a natural spring-fed well that supplied much of Manhattan with water up until the end of the 18th century.
Source: nychinatown.org
Isabel sneaks down to
the Battery
to inform the Rebel army of the plot to kill General Washington.
After the Battle of New York, Isabel tries to join the Loyalists
8. January 18, 1777
After Madam attacks Isabel and locks her in the
potato bin
, Isabel breaks free and escapes the Lockton home for good.
"I leaned back and took a deep breath, then kicked and kicked with all my strength until the wood broke and flew into the dark." p.285
"'It's one of them old Dutch-style houses. Got a red door and a knocker looks like a heart,' Becky said. 'Can't miss it.'" p. 75
Lady Seymour's house
June 7, 1777
7. December 2, 1776
Isabel goes to Bridewell to feed Curzon. She returns several times over the next 6 weeks.
Isabel Finch's World,

(Based on Laurie Halse Anderson's

Created by Ben Adelman
7th Grade ELA, Susan B. Anthony Middle School, Revere, MA
Full transcript