The Morris-Jumel Mansion was George Washington's 1776 headquarters in New York City. On a summer day in 1790, during his first presidential term, Washington revisited the house on an outing to the northern end of Manhattan Island. He was joined by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson as well as several other gentlemen, ladies, and children. Jefferson recorded in his memorandum book: "Grease for wheels going to Fort Washington 1 [shilling]."[1]

Washington described the day in his diary:

Saturday 10th. Having formed a Party, consisting of the Vice-President, his lady, Son & Miss Smith; the Secretaries of State,  Treasury & War, and the ladies of the two latter; with all the Gentlemen of my family, Mrs. Lear & the two Children we visited the old position of Fort Washington and afterwards dined on a dinner provided by Mr. Mariner at the House lately Colo. Roger Morris but confiscated and in the occupation of a common Farmer.[2]

Fort Washington, in the vicinity of present West 183rd Street, fell to the British in November 1776. The Morris Mansion (Jumel Mansion) built by Roger Morris in 1765, was confiscated at the end of the Revolution as Loyalist property, and in March 1790, had been advertised for sale at public auction as "in point of elegance and spaciousness" equal to any house in the state. "From its elevated position," the advertisement continued, it "not only enjoys the most salubrious air, but affords a prospect extensively diversified and beautiful. The farm contains about 140 acres, the greatest part of which is mowing ground." There was also a garden "containing a variety of the best fruits."[3]

- Lucia Stanton, 1992

Further Sources


  1. ^ MB, 1:760. Transcription available at Founders Online.
  2. ^ Diary Entry, July 10, 1790, in The Diaries of George Washington, ed. Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1979), 6:92-93. Transcription available at Founders Online.
  3. ^ The Daily Advertiser [New York], March 12, 1790, cited in I. N. Phelps Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909: Compiled from Original Sources and Illustrated by Photo-Intaglio Reproductions of Important Maps, Plans, Views, and Documents in Public and Private Collections (New York: Robert H. Dodd, 1915-1928), 5:1263. See also the editorial note in Diaries of George Washington, 6:93-94. Editorial note available at Founders Online.