Join us September 14-21 for our fourth annual Spy Week; a week-long celebration of America's Revolutionary War spies! Learn the secrets of America's first spy ring, hear stories of famed spies such as Benjamin Tallmadge and Nathan Hale, and discover the truth about some of the War's unsung heroes who were instrumental in the efforts of Revolutionary espionage.
Guided Tour ~ Included with Museum admission
Explore the history of Revolutionary spies at the Museum! Learn about the tools of the trade for a spymaster, the creation of America’s very first spy ring, and hear the stories of some of the men and women who put their lives in danger for their cause- Nathan Hale, Benjamin Tallmadge, and Lydia Darragh.
Museum Day is an annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian magazine. Fraunces Tavern Museum and other participating museums and cultural institutions across the country provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. Special events at the Museum that day include a variety of programs for our Spy Week Family Day.
*Included with regular Museum Admission
Learn how to be a member of the Culper Spy Ring with author Claudia Friddell! Visit interactive spy stations to learn how to write with invisible ink, use a clothesline to send secret messages like patriot Anna Smith Strong, and use a cipher to crack a code from Benjamin Tallmadge’s code book.
Celebrate the 300th anniversary of the construction of Fraunces Tavern, one of the oldest sites in New York City. This tour will take your through our new exhibition, A Monument to Memory: 300 Years of Living History, to explore the history of 54 Pearl Street, its significance to the American Revolutionary era, and the efforts to restore and preserve the building.
The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington
Taking place during the most critical period of our nation’s birth, The First Conspiracy tells a remarkable and previously untold piece of American history that not only reveals George Washington’s character, but also illuminates the origins of America’s counterintelligence movement that led to the founding of the modern day CIA.
Evening lecture presented by Josh Mensch*
In 1776, an elite group of soldiers were handpicked to serve as George Washington’s bodyguards. In the months leading up to the Revolutionary War, these trusted soldiers took part in a deadly plot against the most important member of the military: Washington himself. Drawing on extensive research, Mensch will discuss how Washington not only defeated the most powerful military force in the world, but also uncovered the secret plot against him.
Start your Halloween off by visiting the oldest standing structure in Manhattan for a special spooky Halloween inspired tour of the Museum led by a costumed guide! Hear stories about the tragic event that took place in this very building, 18th century funerary customs, George Washington’s last days at Mount Vernon, and even learn about the paranormal investigators findings within the Museum itself!
Evening Lecture presented by Aaron Sullivan*
In this lecture, Sullivan explores the British occupation of Philadelphia, chronicling the experiences of a group known to both Patriots and the British as “the disaffected”- people who were pursued, pressured, and at times persecuted, not because they chose the wrong side of the Revolution, but because they tried not to choose a side at all.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23 & SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24
New York City was occupied by the British for over seven years during the Revolutionary War. On November 25, 1783, the British filed onto their ships to leave for good and the War for Independence was finally over. Led by New York City Tour Guide, Fred Cookinham, follow in the footsteps of General Washington and his troops as they entered New York in triumph after the war. Learn about the people and sites of New York and what it was like to be caught up in a revolution.
On November 25, 1783 British troops evacuation New York City, the last City to be occupied at the end of the Revolutionary War. General George Washington led his troops in a parade down Broadway, with a celebratory dinner being held at Fraunces Tavern. Celebrate this momentous event in New York City’s history by visiting the Museum for special programming that includes live performances by the uniformed New Jersey Fifes & Drums.
To commemorate Washington’s emotional farewell to his Officers that took place in the Long Room on December 4, 1783, a special reenactment of the farewell will occur throughout the day in the famous Long Room, and interpreted by Dan Shippey of the Breed’s Hill Institute as General George Washington and William McIlhenny of The American Historical Theatre as Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge. Visitors can also take docent-led tours of the Museum and snap a photo in the colonial costume photo booth!
Evening Lecture Presented by William L. Kidder
On December 25, 1776, the American Revolution seemed all but defeated. Just six months after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Washington’s army had suffered a series of defeats in New York, retreating to temporary safety in Pennsylvania. Kidder will discuss the ten crucial days in which Washington lead his upstart army in daring maneuvers that changed the course of history.
Join us for a cozy winter evening of authentic 18th century food tastings and a lecture on the history of early American cookery! Culinary historian Lavada Nahon will explore the history of everyday dining in the early Republic, accompanied by a tasting buffet of common 18th century dishes.
Hosted by the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York, Inc.
City Hall Park
Join the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York, Inc. as they commemorate martyred spy Nathan Hale at the foot of the Nathan Hale statue which stands at City Hall Park. The ceremony features the SRNY Color Guard, wreath laying, and more.
Special Lecture presented by Norman Goben*
Join us for a look at how spies communicated during the Revolutionary War! In this interactive lecture, historical interpreter Norman Goben will explore the successes and failures of Patriot spy rings and demonstrate their methods of communications.
Walking Tour led by Lucie Levine
Join Archive on Parade founder Lucie Levine as she retraces the steps of Washington’s master spies, who operated in Lower Manhattan. Discover who peddled the first fake news, meet the tailor who saved Washington’s life twice, and find out what Eagles, Turtles, and Vultures have to do with turncoats and saboteurs.
Evening Lecture presented by Victoria Johnson*
In this lecture, Johnson will discuss Dr. David Hosack’s lesser known legacy as the founder of the country’s first public botanical garden, who dedicated himself to training the next generation of American doctors and naturalists.
Evening Lecture presented by Christian Di Spigna*
Not much has been known of Dr. Joseph Warren- an architect of the colonial rebellion, and a man who might have led the country as Washington or Jefferson did had he not been martyred at Bunker Hill in 1775.
Saturday, August 10 and Sunday, August 11 ~ 11:00am-1:00pm
Walking Tour / Led by Bruce Racond
American history comes alive on the streets “where it happened” as you find yourself in historic locations critical to the lives and partnership of Alexander Hamilton and George Washington. This is an immersive tour for lovers of United States’ history and the musical Hamilton!
Evening lecture presented by Michael Newton
For over two centuries, Alexander Hamilton’s birth, youth, and family background have been shrouded in mystery. In this lecture, Newton will discuss his extensive research into the lives of Hamilton, his friends, family, and colleagues.
Evening Lecture presented by Benjamin Huggins*
In this lecture, Huggins will explore George Washington’s relatively unknown generalship. Focusing on 1779, this lecture will highlight several lesser-known aspects of Washington’s leadership in the Revolution: the rouser-in-chief, urging his countrymen to recover the spirit of ’76 and take action to support the army; his diplomacy; his military aggressiveness; and his plan to drive the British from New York City and end the war in 1779.
Just one day after his notorious duel with Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton died on July 12, 1804. Fraunces Tavern Museum will commemorate the life and death of Hamilton with an evening of special programming. Join us at Trinity Church as we memorialize Hamilton with a reading of his eulogy at his gravesite and speak with Eliza Hamilton, portrayed by Kim Hanley of The American Historical Theatre, about her husband’s legacy, accompanied by a Revolutionary War tour of the churchyard.
Those Turbulent Sons of Freedom: Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys and the American Revolution by Christopher Wren*
Hosted by Mary Tsaltas / (Doors open @ 5:30pm)
Wren overturns the myth of Ethan Allen as a legendary hero of the American Revolution and a patriotic son of Vermont and offers a different portrait of Allen and his Green Mountain Boys. Based on original archival research, join us for a discussion of this new account of an important and little-known front of the Revolutionary War, of George Washington (and his good sense), and of a major American myth.
Celebrate America’s independence on this two-hour, early morning walking tour of Revolutionary War history with Ellen Baird. Designed for novices and history buffs alike, this tour explores the sites and history of the crucial events that took place in the streets of Lower Manhattan before, during, and after the American Revolutionary War- from the Stamp Act Riots to New York’s Tea Party, and the Sugar House prisons to George Washington’s farewell to his troops at Fraunces Tavern.
Walking Tour ~ Led by Ellen Baird
Lift your glass and toast to America’s independence on this two-hour walking tour of Revolutionary War history with Ellen Baird. Designed for novices and history buffs alike, this tour explores the sites and history of the crucial events that took place in the streets of Lower Manhattan before, during, and after the American Revolutionary War.
Spend a summer evening visiting the 13 excitingly diverse museums and historic sites in Lower Manhattan- all for FREE! Programming at Fraunces Tavern Museum includes colonial dance lessons provided by the Tricorne Dance Ensemble throughout the evening, accompanied by the live 18th century music of Anne and Ridley Enslow on genuine colonial instruments. Visitors can also snap a souvenir photo in the Colinial Costume Booth, and take a free guided tour of the Museum!
Evening Lecture ~ Presented by Christopher Wren*
In this lecture, Wren uses archival research and dozens of primary sources to paint a vibrant portrait of Ethan Allen, a man whose reputation has been transformed by nostalgia and a mythic heroism that never truly existed in Allen’s lifetime. A reexamination of an often-misunderstood part of the American Revolution, Wren argues that Allen and his boisterous Green Mountain Boys were not the revolutionary heroes of lore, and left a legacy of disrespect of authority that continues to manifest itself in America today.
Hosted by the Sons of the Revolution℠ in the State of New York, Inc.
$1 Museum Admission all day long!
Hundreds of flag-waving participants from NYC schools and organizations such as the NYPD, FDNY, and various historic societies march through Lower Manhattan to celebrate Flag Day, with a parade beginning at City Hall and concluding with festivities in front of Fraunces Tavern.
Evening Lecture ~ Presented by Sara Georgini*
Reflecting on his past, President John Adams mused that it was religion that had shaped his family’s fortunes and young America’s future. From Abigail Adams’ use of religion during the Revolution to her Victorian descendants’ journeys through foreign faiths, Georgini’s lecture will explore how pivotal Christianity- as the different generations understood it- was in shaping the family’s decision, great and small.
Hosted by the Sons of the Revolution℠ in the State of New York, Inc.
Join us for dinner as author Joyce Lee Malcolm is presented with the 2019 Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award for her book, The Tragedy of Benedict Arnold: An American Life. An Honorable Mention will also be presented to Bob Drury and Tom Clavin for Valley Forge, and to Albert Louis Zambone for Daniel Morgan: A Revolutionary Life.
Evening Lecture ~ Presented by John Buchanan*
Nathanael Greene’s campaign in the Carolinas and Georgia was a nightmare of failed logistics, vicious civil war between Rebels and Tories, and military and political turmoil. Buchanan’s lecture will discuss how Major General Nathanael Greene overcame these challenges in a campaign directly responsible for driving Lord Cornwallis north to Virginia and Yorktown, where he lost his army- and with it the War.
Hosted by Randy Cohen and with Special Guest Russell Shorto
6:30pm (Doors open at 6:00pm)
At this live recording of Person Place Thing, host Randy Cohen chats with bestselling author Russell Shorto. Person Place Thing is an interview show based on this idea: that people are particularly engaging when they speak not directly about themselves, but about something they care about. Guests talk about one person, one place, and one thing that are important to them. The result: surprising stories from great speakers. This recording is also accompanied by a live music performance.
Walking Tour ~ Led by Fred Cookinham
Saturday, April 13 & Sunday, April 14
Led by Fred Cookinham
Boston was not the only Colonial city to have its own ‘tea party’ in revolutionary times. Many seaport cities, including New York, had their own rebellions. Join licensed New York City Tour Guide Fred Cookinham to envision New York’s 1774 waterfront and discover why the city was so late in the game to revel in patriotic spirit.
Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America’s Most Notorious Pirates
by Eric Jay Dolin* / Hosted by Mary Tsaltas
Set against the backdrop of the Age of Exploration, Black Flags, Blue Waters reveals the dramatic and surprising history of American piracy’s “Golden Age”—spanning the late 1600s through the early 1700s—when lawless pirates plied the coastal waters of North America and beyond.
Presented by Peter Stark*
Two decades before he led America to independence, George Washington was a young soldier serving the British Empire in the the Ohio Valley. Stark’s lecture will recount the wilderness trials, battles, and entanglements that transformed Washington from a temperamental striver into a mature leader.
Presented by Chris Formant*
Join author Chris Formant as he discusses the research that went into his new historical fiction novel Saving Washington: The Forgotten Story of The Maryland 400 and The Battle of Brooklyn.
This talk will be followed by a Q&A and book signing with the author.
This tour is scheduled for every Saturday in March at 1:00pm
Explore the incredible stories of women who played a pivotal role in the Revolution, from patriotic women fighting for independence, to loyalist women who fought to suppress the rebellion; and African American and Native American women who were caught in the cross fire.
The Museum's parent organization Sons of the Revolution℠ in the State of New York, Inc. is hosting its 129th Annual Church Service to celebrate, in a religious way, the anniversary of George Washington's birth and to honor Sons of the Revolution℠ in the State of New York, Inc. members who passed away in the previous year.