From the Archives
New Yorkers are surrounded by history. But we don’t always realize it.
Take James J. Walker Park, for example. It sits just behind the Tony Dapolito Recreation Center at the intersection of Clarkson and Hudson Streets, an area that was once part of the Queen's Farm, owned by Trinity Church. Today, kids take batting practice and old men rest on sunny benches. It’s a quintessential New York scene. But the park, built in 1897, sits right on top of the old St. John’s Burying GroundRead more
“Talking of Trinity Church, the old feud between Henry Erben and Edward Hodges has ripened into a row which resulted in Hodges being tossed vi et armis out of the organ loft and left sitting on his hinder end in the lobby calling for the sexton and rector.”
—from the diary of George Templeton Strong, September 28, 1846.
Archives are full of juicy, personal stories—if you have the time to piece the evidence together. Here is the tale of a fascinating feud betweenRead more
I am researching the stone industry in New Jersey, and understand that Trinity Church was built with sandstone from Little Falls, N.J., quarries. These were leased, I believe, during the 1840s by the church corporation. Upjohn, the architect, had selected the stone from that area as an excellent material. My questions are 1) Do you have any more detailed information about the selection and quarrying of the material, and the construction of the church with the stone
I am sending this message from the Minster Church of All Saints, Rotherham, England.
I discovered on an internet search that the Trinity Church on Wall Street before the revolution possessed an organ built by John Snetzler. We have in our present organ parts built by Snetzler in 1777 when he installed our organ.
Our organist and myself were chatting about it this morning and both wondered if Snetzler had actually travelled to New York to install the
Saturday's New York Timescarried coverage of an unusual event in Trinity Churchyard--an exploration of the ground underneath a vault stone. The sandstone slab, located in the north churchyard, is engraved with the name of famous eighteenth century fictional character: Charlotte Temple.
Charlotte Temple is the tragic protagonist of America’s first bestseller, Charlotte, A Tale of Truth,published here in 1794. ItRead more
I am a descendant of Captain William Kidd (1645-1701) who was active in the building of Trinity Church before he became a pirate! I understand there is a plaque to his memory in the churchyard. Do you have a reference to this? We were frequent visitors to the church when we lived in NY, but were unaware of this possibility until now.
-John and Anne
Dear John and Anne,
There is no plaque commemorating Captain Kidd in our churchyard. In our
Trinity Wall Street’s archives go back to 1695, making them an excellent resource for students of history--as well as those who want to shape the future. Trinity’s Archive was made fully accessible for the first time in 2003. In addition to its own history, Trinity’s records shed light on the development of the Episcopal Church and the Dioceses of New York. As landowner since 1705, its archives detail the stories of the New York neighborhoods now known as Tribeca and the West Village.Read more