TRINITY CHURCH. THE MOST FAMOUS CHURCH IN AMERICA.
Trinity is not only old in historic association, but its monuments and memorials are of an unusually interesting character. Beautiful stained-glass windows ornament the interior, together with several memorial tablets, including one to a party of Scoteinnen who were ship-wrecked off the coast of Sandy Hook in 1783.
The charm of this church is not hard to understand. In the midst of the city's roar it still stands quiet and serene. It is a welcome relief to enter its hospitable doors for a few moments respite from the strain of the days work.
This memorable building as you will notice, stands opposite the head of Wall Street. The present building is the third to be erected (1816). The first (1696) was destroyed in the great fire of 1776, the second (1789) was declared unsafe (1839) and torn down. For more than two hundred years the spire of Trinity was the most noted landmark in the city of New York. For many years visitors were allowed to climb the many steps up its steeple, and their energy was well rewarded by the magnificent view of the city and harbor spread out before their eyes.
Today it is hard to find the steeple, so closely is it guarded by the surrounding skyscrapers, and it barely reaches to half the height of the buildings directly around it. It is about one-third the height of the Woolworth Building, a few blocks north of it on Broadway. Trinity Church has played a great part in the social and religious life of our city, and enjoys a large place in the affections of the people. Many persons wonder why Washington selected St. Paul's Chapel instead of the much more noted parent church for his devotional attendance, forgetting that during Washington's residence in New York Trinity was still in ruins and was not re-built till after his departure.
The first objects of interest which attract the visitor are the three pairs of memorial doors in bronze with the allegorical figures in bold relief. They are at the front, North and South entrances. They are the gift of William Waldorf Astor in memory of his f 1ther, John Jacob Astor, 2nd.
In the centre of the North half of the cemetery stands a beautiful marble church yard cross, another Astor memorial, given by Caroline Astor Wilson, in memory of her mother, Mrs. William Astor. The panels illustrate the life of Christ according to St. Luke.
Entering the church yard directly from Broadway we stand in front of the monument erected to that gallant sailor, Captain James Lawrence, of "Don't give up the ship" fame. On the south side directly opposite is the monument of the Martyrs of the Revolution—those who died in prisons. Facing Rector Street is the memorial to Robert Fulton, who is buried beneath in the Livingston family vault, and near him is that of William Bradford, the first printer in New York. The pathetic story of Charlotte Temple is recalled by the beautiful monument to her memory, as is also the tragic death of Alexander Hamilton by his imposing cenotaph. The grave of M. L. Davis, Aaron Burr's second in the duel, is also here. Marinus Willett, General Phil Kearney, Samuel John-son, president of King's College (now Columbia) ; Albert Gallatin, Augustus Van Horne, Sidney Breese, Lady Cornbury, Sir William Alexander, Earl of Stirling; General Clarkson, Rev. Dr. Barclay, the second of Trinity's rectors; the Laights, Bronsons, Ogdens, Lispenards, Bleeckers, Livingstons, Apthorps, Hoffmans, to mention only a few, all suggest prominent families still living in the city and whose members maintain the social importance of their forebears.
Facing Broadway is a memorial drinking fountain, the gift of Henry C. Swords in memory of his mother.
The sexton, Mr. William J. Boyd, is splendidly enthusiastic about old Trinity, and can tell you of many things which lack of space prevents a mention here.
We are now opposite Wall Street. We shall start our trip through the financial district at this point, crossing Broadway, going down Wall Street to the River on the North side and returning on the South.
But first let us refresh ourselves with a little lunch. And with that end in view we will hunt up some unusual eating place for the sake of novelty.