Posted by: history591seventeen | June 8, 2010

Lower Manhattan

Today we experienced quite the treat.  We were taken all over lower Manhattan and we were given the chance to see many of the historical sites of the day.  One of the first sites we visited today was the African Burial Ground. This site started out as many historical sites do; it was a site that was being prepared for the construction of a building.  Then after excavating the site to check to see if it was clear of anything, some 450 burials were found;  it was estimated that within this area there may have been some 20 thousand slaves buried at one time.  The statement used to explain the site fits it very well:  Rediscovery, Reinterment, Remembrance, for the site became a dig and then the bodies were reburied through the use of different ceremoniesThe site does a nice job of representing these slaves and remembering them, and our guide Ed O’Donnell reminded us that New York at one time in the 1700’s, had one of the highest number of slaves.

We went by Trinity Church and visited Alexander Hamilton’s grave, which will help me because I will use those photos in my classroom when I talk about his death after his duel with Burr, and I already have a picture of Burr’s grave taken from Princeton’s cemetery.

 We went into St.Paul’s Church to see George Washington’s pew, and while I was there I gained a new insight into 9/11.  Wow, that was a powerful experience.  I purchased a flag that contains all the names of those who died on September 11, 2001.  I plan to hang it in my classroom; I also purchased a book that I will use with my students when I teach about 9/11.

We also visited the Fraunces Tavern where George Washington gave his “Farewell Address” to his fellow soldiers.  This tavern reminded me of the City Tavern in Philadelphia.  It had the same homey feel as well as color scheme.  The pictures I took at this site will be helpful in demonstrating this place to my students, for “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

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