NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – As part of her look at George Washington’s New York, CBS2’s Mary Calvi stopped by historic Fraunces Tavern in Lower Manhattan.
She was joined by Alex Denis.
Fraunces Tavern is the oldest bar in New York City and is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Manhattan. One of the most poignant moments of the American Revolution took place on the second floor of the tavern, which is now a museum. That’s where Washington invited members of the Continental Army to say his farewell at the war’s end.
Col. Benjamin Tallmadge described the scene this way in his memoirs, as recounted on the museum’s website:At 12 o’clock the officers repaired to Fraunces Tavern in Pearl Street where General Washington had appointed to meet them and to take his final leave of them. We had been assembled but a few moments when his excellency entered the room. His emotions were too strong to be concealed which seemed to be reciprocated by every officer present. After partaking of a slight refreshment in almost breathless silence the General filled his glass with wine and turning to the officers said, ‘With a heart full of love and gratitude I now take leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable.’
After the officers had taken a glass of wine General Washington said ‘I cannot come to each of you but shall feel obliged if each of you will come and take me by the hand.’ General Knox being nearest to him turned to the Commander-in-chief who, suffused in tears, was incapable of utterance but grasped his hand when they embraced each other in silence. In the same affectionate manner every officer in the room marched up and parted with his general in chief. Such a scene of sorrow and weeping I had never before witnessed and fondly hope I may never be called to witness again.
WEB EXTRA: Mary Calvi Chats With Author Craig Bruce Smith About His Book ‘American Honor’
In February, Calvi will publish her first novel, after conducting years of research that included reviewing hundreds of letters, witness accounts and journal entries.
It explores the relationship between George Washington and his first love, heiress Mary Philipse, the richest belle in colonial America. The book poses the question: Could unrequited love have helped light the spark that ultimately propelled George Washington to the forefront of the American Revolution?
“Dear George, Dear Mary: A Novel Of George Washington’s First Love” examines why Washington had such bitter resentment toward the British nearly two decades before the American Revolution.