Fraunces Tavern Museum Receives Citation From Mayor Adams At Opening Night Gala For “Fraunces Birch Trials” Exhibition

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“THE BIRCH TRIALS AT FRAUNCES TAVERN” OPENS AT FRAUNCES TAVERN® MUSEUM IN NEW YORK CITY

With New York Dignitaries in Attendance

PERMANENT EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTS THE ROLE OF FRAUNCES TAVERN IN THE CULMINATING EVENT OF ONE OF THE LARGEST EMANCIPATIONS OF BLACK PEOPLE PRIOR TO THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

NEW YORK, NY – Fraunces Tavern Museum in Lower Manhattan opened their new permanent exhibition, “The Birch Trials at Fraunces Tavern,” with a gala event on June 26th, attended by several notable government officials and representatives from local organizations, during which the Museum was presented with a Citation from Eric Adams, Mayor of the City of New York.

Remarks from Hannah Young, Deputy Consul General of the British Consulate, Laurie Cumbo, Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for the City of New York who presented the Citation from New York City Mayor Eric Adams, as well as opening remarks by the Museum and Art Committee co-chair, Craig Hamilton Weaver, kicked off this landmark exhibition.


Other notables in attendance included Novella Ford, Associate Director, Public Programs and Exhibitions, Schomburg Centerfor Research in Black Culture; Sacha Kumaria, Counsellor, United Kingdom Mission to the United Nation; Abby Suckle FAIA LEED, Vice President of the Lower Manhattan Historical Association; Peter C. Hein, President of the Sons of the Revolution in New York; Ambrose Richardson III, Co-Chairs of the Museum and Arts Committee of the Fraunces Tavern Museum; Robert N. McKay Esq, former President of SRNY, Ric Murphy, award-winning author and SRNY member, and Ted Knudsen from the Gotham Center for New York City History, among many others.

The Birch Trials at Fraunces Tavern, is the newest permanent exhibition joining the other exhibitions currently at the museum making This is a must-see destination in the city.

These include the historic Long Room where General George Washington bid farewell to his officers at the end of the Revolutionary War; Governing the Nations at Fraunces Tavern– a look at that time in history when the Tavern housed our Departments of War, Foreign Affairs and Treasury; The George Washington Portrait Gallery Honoring Stanley and Elizabeth Scott; and the current special exhibition, Cloaked Crusader: George Washington in Comics and Pop Culture.

Fraunces Tavern Museum–located in the oldest building in Manhattan–unveiled the new permanent exhibition that highlights the role of Fraunces Tavern in the evacuation of thousands of Black Loyalists from New York City at the end of the Revolutionary War, the culminating event in one of the largest emancipations of Black people prior to the American Civil War.

This chapter in the history of Fraunces Tavern adds to the many significant Revolutionary era events for which Fraunces Tavern is already well-known: a meeting place of the Sons of Liberty in the run-up to war breaking out (as depicted in the hit musical “Hamilton”)

The site of General George Washington’s farewell to his officers at the end of the War, and–in the early years of the Republic–the new Nation’s first executive office building, housing the Department of Foreign Affairs (now called the Department of State), then led by John Jay, the Department of War, then led by Henry Knox, and the Board of Treasury.

In 1783, as the Revolutionary War drew to a close, a joint British and American commission–formed as part of the process to implement the peace–met at Fraunces Tavern to review and deliberate upon the eligibility of some Black Loyalists to evacuate with the British Army.

Chairman of the Museum and Art Committee.

Museum and Art Committee Co-Chairman Craig Weaver emphasized that, “The exhibition reflects two years of exhaustive research on both sides of the Atlantic into thousands of pages of existing original documentation and provides the most comprehensive insight to date into this significant event in the history of Black emancipation in the United States.”

The new exhibition also recognizes the thousands of Black Patriots who fought to further the cause of American Independence. For example: Crispus Attucks, a Black sailor killed in the Boston Massacre, who is thought by many historians to be the first American to die in the rebellion; Peter Salem and Salem Poor, who were recognized for their valor in the Battle of Bunker Hill; James Armistead, who served in a unit commanded by French General Lafayette and provided intelligence on the British positions at Yorktown that was crucial to the American victory, and the 1st Rhode Island Regiment–including a large and visible body of Black soldiers, both free and previously enslaved–who fought bravely during the War, most notably at the Battle of Newport, Rhode Island.

This exhibition is an important addition to the narrative of the Revolutionary War and its aftermath and provides powerful visuals and significant historical content for visitors.


Fraunces Tavern Museum Receiving Citation From Mayor Adams.  Image Credit – Fraunces Tavern Museum 

All Images Credit: Fraunces Tavern Museum 


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Fraunces Tavern Museum, Sons of the Revolution

Built by the De Lancey family in 1719, 54 Pearl Street has been a private residence, hotel, and one of the most important taverns of the Revolutionary War. View a photo archive that will take you back in time to explore Fraunces Tavern’s illustrious history as the oldest standing structure in Manhattan.

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