On July 9th 1776, at the Commons in New York City, General Washington read the Declaration of Independence aloud to his troops. His long dream of independence from England was finally being realized. At this critical moment in history, little did General Washington know that the island of Manhattan would be the center stage to the birth of the United States of America.
Local expert insights into the history of George Washington.
Explore the many sites where George Washington changed the course of history.
Private Tour of Fraunces Tavern Museum, the oldest Tavern in New York City.
- Learn about George Washington and the history of the American Revolutionary War on a 3 hour walking adventure of downtown Manhattan.
- Visit City Hall Park, the site of the first reading of the Declaration of Independence in New York.
- Explore Bowling Green Park, the oldest park in New York City and the site of the toppling of the statue of King George III.
- Enjoy a private guided tour of Fraunces Tavern Museum, the oldest Tavern in New York City.
- Complete this perfect adventure at Federal Hall, the site of General Washington’s inauguration as the first President of the United States.
- Meeting Location: City Hall Park (Entrance on Broadway & Park Row)
- Duration: 3 Hours | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
- Adventure Activities: Walking (~2.5 miles)
- Trip Activity Level: Easy*
*Please refer to our Trip Activity Level Guide or speak to one of our Adventure Consultants at 855-208-6800 to determine if this is the right trip for you.right trip for you.
New York City
New York City was the first capital of the United States and nyc3home to many of the most important events in the founding of the Nation. George Washington fiercely defended New York City due to it’s strategic proximity to the Hudson River. Washington viewed the control of the Hudson River to be the “Key to the Continent”. During the American Revolutionary War, the British would occupy New York City from 1776 to 1783. The sovereignty of the United States was finally recognized by the signing of the Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783. On November 25 of that same year, the last of the British troops evacuated New York City.
City Hall Park
The site of the old city Commons, where on July 9, 1776, George Washington read the Declaration of Independence to the troops of the Continental Army. This was the first reading of the Declaration of Independence in New York. In 1776, the northern end of the city Commons marked the border of the developed section of Manhattan Island.
St Paul’s Chapel
St Paul’s Chapel was completed in 1766 and is the oldest public building in continuous use in New York City. George Washington was a man of great faith. He spent many a day at St Paul’s in prayer for the Colonies. Washington’s Inauguration Day Prayer Services were also held at St Paul’s Chapel. On September 21, 1776, during the Great Fire of New York, St Paul’s was one of the few buildings that survived. It’s survival was helped in part due to a Bucket Brigade. Hundreds of people doused the chapel with buckets of water from the Hudson River protect it.
Bowling Green is the oldest park in New York City. After General Washington’s speech at the city Commons, Patriots stormed down Broadway to Bowling Green Park and tore down the statue of King George III. The Patriots also ripped off the iron crowns that were on many of the gate’s posts. The original gate from 1776 still circles Bowling Green Park to this day.
Battle of Brooklyn
On August 27, 1776, British forces clashed with General Washington and the Continental Army in the Battle of Brooklyn. Washington’s Army suffered heavy casualties and were in danger of being defeated and captured. Two days later, on August 29, 1776, under the cover of night, General Washington and 9,000 of his troops crossed from Brooklyn to Manhattan to escape British forces. Many historians call this escape the greatest military retreat in history.
Located in downtown Manhattan and just a few blocks from Wall Street, Fraunces Tavern was first opened in 1762 and is one of the oldest operating taverns in New York City. It is the site where on December 4, 1783, General George Washington gave the farewell speech to his officers of the Continental Army after the Revolutionary War had ended. Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places it houses a museum, bar, and restaurant making it the perfect end to The General’s Fortress Adventure.
Wall Street has become known as the financial center of the United States. Many of the largest financial institutions in the world as well as the New York Stock Exchange call it home. On the morning of his Presidential Inauguration, General George Washington came up Wall Street to the site where Federal Hall now stands to the cheers of crowds lining the street.
On April 30, 1789, General George Washington was inaugurated as the 1st President of the United States at the site of Federal Hall. After his inauguration, the Chancellor of New York, Robert Livingston announced, “Long Live George Washington, President of the United States!” The crowd erupted with applause.