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Posts in American Revolution
The Upper Barracks: Military Geography in the Heart of New York

The Upper Barracks: Military Geography in the Heart of New York

By John Gilbert McCurdy

In October 1757, the New York Common Council authorized the construction of the Upper Barracks. It was to be a massive building: 420 feet long and 20 feet wide, consisting of two stories and enough space to sleep 800 men. Such a structure dwarfed anything else in the city; it was longer than a city block and twice as large as Trinity Church. The Committee for the Building of the New Barracks situated the barracks at what was then the northern edge of New York, placing them on the city common where Broadway split into roads leading to the suburbs of Greenwich Village and the Bowery. As carpenters set to work, the Upper Barracks claimed a privileged position in New York, placing the city under the watchful gaze of the British army.

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"Republics are not ungrateful": The American Revolution and Memory in New York City

"Republics are not ungrateful": The American Revolution and Memory in New York City

By Jonah Estess

Four years before Abraham Lincoln was elected as president of a house divided, John McKesson Jr. (1807-1893) of Olcott, McKesson and Company (now the McKesson Corporation) petitioned Congress on a matter having to do with the very revolution that established the now troubled union. He had requested that Congress redeem continental currency paid to his great-uncle, John McKesson (1734-1798) — a practicing lawyer in New York City — ​likely for his services as secretary to the New York Provincial Congress, to the New York Committee of Safety, and to the New York State Convention on the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. McKesson Jr. expressed a belief that Congress remained indebted to his great-uncle for his service to the cause of American independence. But by virtue of blood relation, he requested that some repayment be paid to him.

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