Although Philadelphia and Boston might have a tight hold on the Revolutionary War spotlight, New York City was equally vital in the nation's fight for independence. Throughout Manhattan, historic sites reveal intriguing details about the American Revolution in New York City. If you're planning ahead, there's no better time to visit these sites than the 4th of July, when Independence Day festivities like spectacular fireworks over the East River are in full swing.

St. Paul's Chapel at Trinity Church

In the Financial District, St. Paul's Chapel at Trinity Church, built in 1766, is significant due to its links to prominent figures of the American Revolution. After George Washington's inauguration on April 30, 1789, he visited the church to worship. You can view the pew where Washington sat during the two years he attended services at St. Paul's, when New York City was the nation's capital.

Alexander Hamilton's grave at Trinity Church Cemetery in NYC

Alexander Hamilton's Grave

The runaway success of the Broadway musical "Hamilton," an homage to American statesman and patriot Alexander Hamilton, has made Hamilton's grave at Trinity Church Cemetery even more popular with visitors. One of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Hamilton was also George Washington's senior aide, the first Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, and an ardent abolitionist.

Hamilton died on July 12, 1804, from injuries sustained in a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr. Hamilton's wife, Elizabeth Schuyler, is also buried at Trinity Church Cemetery, as is Francis Lewis, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Exterior view of Morris-Jumel mansion in NYC under blue sky in autumn

Morris-Jumel Mansion

Morris-Jumel Mansion in Washington Heights served as George Washington's headquarters for five weeks during the fall of 1776. The mansion, now a museum, offered strategic views of Manhattan and the Harlem and Hudson Rivers that helped Washington plan successful campaigns against the British. The British later forced Washington and his troops off Manhattan Island and used the house as their headquarters. When the Revolutionary War ended, the U.S. government reclaimed the mansion.

Daytime view of NYC's oldest building, Fraunces Tavern

Fraunces Tavern

In business since 1762, Fraunces Tavern is not only New York City's oldest building, it's also a museum dedicated to the tavern's role in the American Revolution. During the British occupation of New York, Loyalists to the Crown took the tavern, but by 1783, the Continentals had resumed control. Visit the museum to view Revolutionary War-era artifacts, such as one of Martha Washington's silk shoes and a letter from Continental spy Nathan Hale, as well as exhibits on interesting topics like the war's agents of espionage.

In late November of 1783, George Washington dined — and even ordered take-out — at Fraunces Tavern. On December 4, 1783, he gave his stirring farewell speech to the officers of the Continental Army in the tavern's Long Room. The Fraunces Tavern Museum offers reduced admission on July 4th, and Revolutionary War walking tours traditionally make stops at the tavern.

3 people sit at the bar of Fraunces Tavern in NYC

City Hall Park & Bowling Green

On July 9, 1776, the new Declaration of Independence was read out loud for the first time in New York State to an excited mob at City Hall Park. Members of the mob then made their way to Bowling Green, the city's oldest park, where they pulled down a gilded lead statue of King George on his horse. The patriots dragged the statue up Broadway and sent it to Connecticut, where it was melted down and made into ammunition for the Continental troops.

Long hallway of New York Historical Society on Manhattan's Upper West Side

New York Historical Society

At the New York Historical Society on Manhattan's Upper West Side, you can view fragments of the hapless King George statue that patriots toppled in Bowling Green during the American Revolution. The society also showcases Revolutionary War artifacts, including weapons, flags, souvenirs, and George Washington's Valley Forge camp bed and inaugural armchair.

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