Joe Esposito submitted this article on Fraunces Tavern Museum in New York City. Thanks! -Editor
Those attending the New York International Numismatic Convention this coming week might find Fraunces Tavern Museum in Lower Manhattan a
pleasant and related diversion. The tavern, purchased by Samuel Fraunces in 1762 and originally known as “The Queen’s Head,” was the site of many
In addition to being a popular public gathering spot in the revolutionary era, it was a meeting place of the Sons of Liberty and,
notably, where General George Washington bade an emotional farewell to his officers on December 4, 1783 after independence was won.
In this building, the early national government operated its departments of foreign affairs, treasury and war. Other organizations,
including the New York Chamber of Commerce, Tammany Society and the New York Yacht Club were launched there.
In addition to being an excellent restaurant with some colonial fare, the five-building complex houses a delightful museum. History
buffs will be impressed by the Washingtoniana. There are rooms devoted to Washington lithographs, period and later artifacts, and early
American flags. The Long Room, where the famous farewell took place, is recreated. There is a room of eighteen paintings of Washington and
the Revolutionary period by John Ward Dunsmore.
Although not a numismatic museum, a few 19th century medals commemorating Washington are exhibited. There are three medals honoring
Frederick Samuel Tallmadge, who was instrumental in obtaining the building for the Sons of the Revolution in 1904 and a descendent of one
of those at the 1783 dinner. There also are a number of badges displayed.
Fraunces Tavern and Museum are surrounded by other historic sites, including Federal Hall, where Washington was inaugurated in 1789, and
the South Street Seaport. Walking the neighborhood presents an opportunity to see the seaport area later immortalized by painter John
Stobart, such as at Maiden Lane. A ten-minute walk brings you to 241 Water Street, where the trading concern of Talbot, Allum & Lee was
located; the company, of course, issued the 1794 and 1795 tokens. The address is now the site of the independent Blue School.
Our friends in Europe live among centuries-old buildings, but here in the U.S. a 250-year-old tavern is quite a rarity, especially one
with such a close connection to our national history. Check it out! -Editor
For more information on Fraunces Tavern Museum, see:
Wayne Homren, Editor
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