Presidents’ Day: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, & The Bronx

Van Cortlandt House, where President George Washington slept at least twice and also where he began his journey from into Manhattan to re-capture New York from British rule thus ending their control in America.
Van Cortlandt House, where President George Washington slept at least twice and also where he began his journey from into Manhattan to re-capture New York from British rule thus ending their control in America.

While many of us are off today for Presidents’ Day, do you know the connections that The Bronx has to Washington and Lincoln?

Some of you may already know your Bronx history, especially if you’ve read our Bronx Facts we’ve been compiling since last year but since today’s a holiday why not talk a little more about our borough’s place in history.

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Let’s start with our nation’s first president, George Washington.

On October 12, 1776, the British landed in Throgg’s Neck with 4,000 troops who were later met with the resistance of 350 Americans who were able to hold them off at Pell’s Point in Pelham Bay Park.  This allowed Washington and his troops to safely reach White Plains.  Think about that.  350 Americans against 4,000 British troops!

But it wasn’t until 1783 that George Washington left Van Cortlandt House in The Bronx with his troops in what is considered the final act of the American Revolution which was the recapturing of New York City.  Known as ‘Evacuation Day‘, November 25th, 1783 was that historic day when Washington triumphantly left The Bronx, crossed the Harlem River into Manhattan and headed down the island to New York as the last bit of British Authority fled the shores of America.

Photo Credit: Sgt. Jose A. Torres Jr. Maj. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, commanding general, Military District of Washington, lays a wreath at the foot of the President Abraham Lincoln statue at the Lincoln Memorial in honor of Lincoln's birthday in Washington D.C., Feb. 12. 2012.
Photo Credit: Sgt. Jose A. Torres Jr.
Maj. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, commanding general, Military District of Washington, lays a wreath at the foot of the President Abraham Lincoln statue at the Lincoln Memorial in honor of Lincoln’s birthday in Washington D.C., Feb. 12. 2012.

Then we have president Abraham Lincoln and while he never set foot in The Bronx, his most famous likeness was created right here in The Bronx.

The Piccirilli Brothers of Mott Haven, master sculptors who lived on 142nd Street, sculpted Lincoln’s statue at his memorial in Washington DC.

Not too shabby for our wonderful little corner of New York City and history, huh?

 

 

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