Trinity Church Cemetery

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Church of the Intercession and Trinity Church Cemetery
Trinity Church Cemetery NYC 9109.JPG
Trinity Church Cemetery at Broadway and Wall Street
LocationTrinity Church (shown):
74 Trinity Place
Church of the Intercession: 550 West 155th Street
St. Paul's Chapel: 209 Broadway
New York, New York
Coordinates40°42′30″N 74°00′42″W / 40.70833°N 74.01167°W / 40.70833; -74.01167Coordinates: 40°42′30″N 74°00′42″W / 40.70833°N 74.01167°W / 40.70833; -74.01167
NRHP reference No.80002677

Trinity Church Cemetery consists of three separate burial grounds associated with Trinity Church in New York City. The first was established in the original Churchyard, located since 1698 at 74 Trinity Place at Wall Street and Broadway. When St. Paul's Chapel (St. Paul's Chapel of Trinity Church) was built in 1766, roughly 440 yards (400 m) up Broadway, a burial place was added in its small churchyard. In 1842, Trinity Church was running out of space in its churchyard, so it established Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum in Upper Manhattan; this parcel, located between Broadway and Riverside Drive, was bought from John James Audubon (a portion of the land he bought in 1841 for his own estate),[1] with the cemetery located beside the Chapel of the Intercession that Audubon co-founded in 1846.[2]

A no longer extant Trinity Church Cemetery was the Old Saint John's Burying Ground for St. John's Chapel. This location is bounded by Hudson, Leroy and Clarkson streets near Hudson Square. It was in use from 1806–52 with over 10,000 burials, mostly poor and young. In 1897, it was turned into St. John's Park, with most of the burials left in place. The park was later renamed Hudson Park, and is now James J. Walker Park.[3] (This park is different from a separate St. John's Park, a former private park and residential block approximately one mile to the south that now serves as part of the Holland Tunnel access.)

The burial grounds have been the final resting place for many historic figures since the Churchyard cemetery opened in 1697. A non-denominational cemetery, it is listed in the United States National Register of Historic Places and is the only remaining active cemetery in Manhattan.[2][4] There are two bronze plaques at the Church of the Intercession cemetery commemorating the Battle of Fort Washington, which included some of the fiercest fighting of the Revolutionary War.

Trinity Church Cemetery, along with Broadway, marks the center of the Heritage Rose District of New York City.[5]

Notable burials[edit]

A cenotaph marker erected by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers honoring Robert Fulton at Trinity Church.

Trinity Churchyard[edit]

In the northeast corner stands the Soldiers' Monument, with a plaque reading: "At a meeting of Citizens held at the City Hall of the City of New York June 8, 1852: It was resolved That the Erection of a becoming Monument with appropriate inscriptions by Trinity Church to the Memory of those great and good Men who died whilst in Captivity in the old Sugar House and were interred in Trinity Church Yard in this City will be an act gratifying not only to the attendants of this Meeting but to Every American Citizen."[7] The claim those prisoners are buried in Trinity Churchyard is disputed by Charles I. Bushnell, who argued in 1863 that Trinity Church would not have accepted them because it supported Great Britain.[8] Historian Edwin G. Burrows explains how the controversy related to a proposal to build a public street through the churchyard.[9]

Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum[edit]

1842 addition's Caretaker's House, 153rd street and Amsterdam Avenue
1842 addition on Riverside Drive
The grave of Alfred Dickens in Trinity Church Cemetery
Gravestones in St. Paul's Chapel churchyard

Churchyard of St. Paul's Chapel[edit]


  1. ^ Jackson, Kenneth T.; Keller, Lisa; Flood, Nancy, eds. (December 1, 2010). The Encyclopedia of New York City (2nd ed.). Yale University Press. p. 76. ISBN 9780300114652. Retrieved September 7, 2020 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ a b Julie Besonen (February 6, 2015). "Resting Place for the High and the Low: The Trinity Church Cemetery in Washington Heights Holds Plenty of History". New York Times.
  3. ^ French, Mary (January 5, 2011). "St. John's Cemetery". Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Mary Frances Schjonberg (February 4, 2013). "Former New York Mayor Ed Koch laid to rest in Trinity plot". Episcopal News Service.
  5. ^ Scott Stringer - Manhattan Borough President Archived July 18, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on September 7, 2013.
  6. ^ Chernow, Ron (March 29, 2005). "Epilogue". Alexander Hamilton. Penguin. ISBN 9781101200858.
  7. ^ Chi, Sheena (December 15, 2008). "Trinity Church—Soldiers' Monument—Memorial for Unknown Revolutionary War Heroes". Archived from the original on December 16, 2019. Retrieved December 16, 2019. This inscription is on the south side. An inscription on the east side is more general: "Sacred to the memory of those brave and good Men who died whilst imprisoned in this City for their devotion to the cause of American independence." (Burrows, cited below, p. 230 (caption); photos at Find a Grave, cited below)
  8. ^ Bushnell, Charles I. (1863). A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Levi Hanford, a Soldier of the Revolution. New York: [privately printed]. pp. 66–70 (note 27). This note was also published separately as a pamphlet with its own title: Bushnell, Charles Ira (1863). The Claim of Trinity Church to Having Furnished Burial Places For Some of the American Prisoners, Who Died in the Old Sugar House Prison, in Liberty Street, During the Revolution, Examined and Refuted. New York: [privately published].
  9. ^ Burrows, Edwin G. (2008). Forgotten Patriots. New York: Basic Books. pp. 228–30. ISBN 978-0-465-00835-3.
  10. ^ Gilvey, John Anthony (May 1, 2011). Jerry Orbach: Prince of the City - His Way From The Fantastiks to Law & Order. Milwaukee, Wisc.: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books. p. 152. ISBN 978-1-42348-845-3.

External links[edit]