Monday, May 2, 2011
The Morris-Jumel mansion was built in 1765 (the oldest remaining house in Manhattan), by British Colonel Roger Morris and his wealthy American wife, Mary Philipse (whom it is rumored captured George Washington's interest when he was 24), as their summer home. Known originally as Mount Morris, this northern Manhattan estate stretched from the Harlem to the Hudson Rivers and covered more than 130 acres. Loyal to the British crown (Mary was one of only three women accused of treason to the revolutionary cause during the American Revolutionary War), the Morrises eventually returned to England after the American victory.
Aaron Burr had run up a great deal of gambling debt and decided at age 77 he could make all of his financial troubles disappear with this union (see Aaron Burr's bedroom in above right photo). For her part, Eliza thought she would certainly rise in social status by marrying a former Vice President. They were married in the front parlor of the house (pictured above) and had a reception in the beautiful octagonal room at the east end of the house (pictured at right).
For more information on the mansion, its history, architecture or residents, please visit Morris Jumel Mansion. There are also educational workshops, children's programs and other interesting things that are also definitely worth a look. I really enjoyed the historical fiction writing workshop I attended (and about which I will write next).