BROADWAY NORTH FROM TRINITY CHURCH TO THE CITY HALL.
North of Trinity is a magnificent building named after the church. It is in gothic architecture and one of the most notable in appearance on Broadway. Adjoining it is the Realty Building and beyond that at Thames Street is a tablet marking the site of a famous tavern in Revolutionary days, Burns' Coffee House, headquarters of the Sons of Liberty of whom, more here-after. Then comes the well-known Singer Building, the first to possess a tower of important height.
Years. ago on Broadway, about opposite the great Singer Building, stood a cluster of buildings which re-calls another curious feature of old Broadway—the markets. This one became known as "Oswego Market." It became a great nuisance and finally the Common Council ordered its removal to the river front near Cortlandt Street, where it changed its name to Washington Market. By that name every New Yorker knows it, but few realize that it has an ancestry almost as ancient and honorable as any institution in New York.
The Hudson Terminal Buildings, the City Investing Building, the Title Guarantee Trust Company, the Broadway Maiden Lane Building, the Lawyers' Title Insurance Company, old St. John's Church, the father of Methodism in America, just off Broadway on John Street, the wonderful new building of the American Telegraph and Telephone Company on the site of the old Western Union structure, the great National Park Bank and the St. Paul Building, complete the notable structures between Trinity and St. Paul's Chapel. St. Paul's Chapel is our oldest church edifice now standing. Built in 1766, it ranks high among our few colonial treasures.
OLD ST. PAUL'S CHAPEL
Curiously enough, the Broadway end of the building is the rear, for the church was built fronting on the river; and in the old days a pleasant lawn sloped down to the water's edge, which was then on the line of Greenwich Street. One effect of St. Paul's thus looking away from Broadway, is to give us at the portal an increased sense of remoteness from the great thorough-fare and of isolation from its strenuous life, so that all the more readily we yield to the pervading spell of the churchyard's peaceful calm. It is modeled after St. Martin's in the Fields, London.
After the burning of Trinity in 1776, St. Paul's became the parish church; here worshipped Lord Howe and Major Andre and the English midshipman who was afterward King George IV. After his inauguration at Federal Hall in Wall Street, President 'Washington and both houses of Congress came in solemn procession to St. Paul's, where service was conducted by Bishop Provost, Chaplain of the Senate, and a Te Deum was sung. Thereafter, so long as New York remained the capital, the President was a regular attendant here; his diary for Sunday after Sunday contains the entry: "Went to St. Paul's Chapel in the forenoon." Washington's pew remains today as it was then; it is midway of the church on the left aisle, and is marked by the Arms of the United States on the wall.
Across the church is the pew which was reserved for the Governor of the State, and was occupied by Governor Clinton; above it are the State Arms. The pulpit canopy is ornamented with the gilded crest of the Prince of Wales, a crown surmounted by three ostrich feathers. It is the only emblem of royalty that escaped destruction at the hands of the Patriots when they came into possession of the city in 1784.
In the wall of the Broadway portico, where it is seen from the street and is observed by innumerable eyes daily, is the Montgomery Monument, in memory of Major-General Richard Montgomery, who commanded the expedition against Canada in 1776, and on December 31st of that year, in company with Colonel Benedict Arnold (afterwards the traitor), led the assault upon Quebec, where he fell, mortally wounded. Aaron Burr bore his body from the field, and the Englishmen gave it a soldier's burial in the city. Forty-three years later: in 1818, Canada surrendered the remains to the United States. At that time Mrs. Montgomery, in the forty-third year of her widowhood, was living near Tarrytown on the Hudson. Governor Clinton had told her of the day when the steamboat Richmond, bearing her husband's remains, would pass down the river; and sitting alone on the piazza of her home she watched for its coming. With what emotions she saw the pageant is told in a letter written to her niece:
"At length they came by with all that remained of a beloved husband, who left me in the bloom of man-hood, a perfect being. Alas! how did he return? How-ever gratifying to my heart, yet to my feelings every pang I felt was renewed. The pomp with which it was conducted added to my woe; when the steamboat passed with slow and solemn movement, stopping before my house, the troops under arms, the Dead March from the muffled drums, the mournful music, the splendid coffin canopied with crepe and crowned with plumes, you may conceive my anguish. I cannot describe it."
Curiously enough, Mrs. Montgomery and Mrs. Hamilton each survived the deaths of their husbands nearly fifty years. And what changes they witnessed!
St. Peter's Church, corner Church Street and Barclay, is the oldest Roman Catholic church building in Manhattan, established 1786. It has a tablet to Governor Dongan, who obtained the first charter for New York, giving the people a voice in the general government.
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