HIGHLIGHTS & THEMES (for actual walking tours)
On overview tour of Trinity Church Cemetery usually has something for everyone. Its wide glance at New York City history through the window of the graveyard encompasses several other heritage themes at once. But if your group has in mind a specifically-themed tour relative to African-Americans, women, arts & letters, industry, or you name it, this can also be arranged. The "Highlights & Themes" listed here and on the home page are just a few examples.
Overview Walking Tour
This overview walking tour will convince you that Trinity Church Cemetery in upper Manhattan's Washington Heights is a stirring intersection between past and present. There's something for everyone here. Whether you’re a history buff, a genealogical sleuth, an art enthusiast or just a nature lover, you’ll discover how a cemetery can bring Gotham to life more vividly than many a guidebook.
Evidence of Things Not Seen:
African-American Heritage Tour
No burial markers signify the once distinct “Colored Ground” in this ostensibly all-white cemetery. Nevertheless, African-American history permeates the phalanx of 19th-century headstones with countless untold stories. Highlighted topics of this tour may include the first African Free School; a Founding Father's enslaved black descendant; the famous Colored Orphan Asylum; the African nursemaid who sailed the seven seas; the 20th Regiment U.S. Colored troops; an abolitionist New York City Mayor; and many more.
Women's Heritage Tour
This tour recalls Madame Eliza Jumel, the cemetery's most famous permanent resident, and numerous other women who contributed to New York City’s historical social fabric. Highlights may include Anna Minturn, the muse behind Central Park; Laura Brevoort, host of the first respectable masquerade ball; Lucy Nichols, African-American matriarch of antebellum West Harlem; The Mrs. Astor, doyenne of Gilded Age polite society; Christiana Freeman, enslaved scion of a Founding Father; Rita de Acosta Lydig, legendary beauty of the Belle Epoque era; and Mercedes de Acosta, lesbian paramour of the most important women of the twentieth century.
Policy Wonks & Civic Leaders Tour
This tour visits three 19th-century New York City mayors interred here: the controversial Mayor Fernando Wood; the colorful Mayor A. Oakey Hall; and my own discovery, the anti-slavery mayor Cadwallader D. Colden. Hightlights may include such other policy makers and civic leaders as 20th-century Mayor Edward I. Koch; Robert Bowne Minturn; Samuel B. Ruggles and Judge Samuel Seabury.
Winter Holiday Tour