Trinity Church Cemetery

Coordinates: 40°42′30″N 74°00′42″W / 40.70833°N 74.01167°W / 40.70833; -74.01167
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Trinity Church Downtown Churchyards & Uptown Cemetery
Trinity Churchyard at Broadway and Wall Street
LocationTrinity Church (shown):
74 Trinity Place
Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum 770 Riverside Drive New York City, New York
St. Paul's Chapel: 209 Broadway
New York City, New York, U.S.
Coordinates40°42′30″N 74°00′42″W / 40.70833°N 74.01167°W / 40.70833; -74.01167
NRHP reference No.80002677

The parish of Trinity Church has three separate burial grounds associated with it in New York City. The first, Trinity Churchyard, is located in Lower Manhattan at 74 Trinity Place, near Wall Street and Broadway. Alexander Hamilton, Albert Gallatin, and Robert Fulton are buried in the downtown Trinity Churchyard.[1]

The second Trinity parish burial ground is the St. Paul's Chapel Churchyard, which is also located in lower Manhattan (roughly 440 yards (400 m)), six blocks north of Trinity Church. It was established in 1766. Both of these churchyards are closed to new burials.

Trinity's third place of burial, Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum, located in Hamilton Heights in Upper Manhattan, is one of the few active burial sites in Manhattan.[2] Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum is listed on the National Register of Historic places and is the burial place of notable people including John James Audubon, John Jacob Astor IV, Mayor Edward I. Koch, Governor John Adams Dix, Ralph Ellison, and Eliza Jumel.[3] In 1823 all burials south of Canal Street became forbidden by New York City due to city crowding, yellow fever, and other public health fears.[4]

After considering locations in the Bronx and portions of the then-new Green-Wood Cemetery, in 1842 Trinity Parish purchased the plot of land now bordered by 153rd street, 155th street, Amsterdam, and Riverside to establish the Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum. The cemetery is located beside the Chapel of the Intercession that Audubon co-founded in 1846, but this chapel is no longer part of Trinity parish.[4] James Renwick, Jr., is the architect of Trinity Church Cemetery and further updates were made by Calvert Vaux.[5] The uptown cemetery is also the center of the Heritage Rose District of New York City.

A no-longer-extant Trinity Parish burial ground was the Old Saint John's Burying Ground for St. John's Chapel. This location is bounded by Hudson, Leroy and Clarkson streets near Hudson Square. It was in use from 1806 to 1852 with over 10,000 burials, mostly poor and young. In 1897, it was turned into St. John's Park, with most of the burials left in place. The park was later renamed Hudson Park, and is now James J. Walker Park.[6] (This park is different from a separate St. John's Park, a former private park and residential block approximately one mile to the south that now serves as part of the Holland Tunnel access.)

Notable burials[edit]

A cenotaph marker erected by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers honoring Robert Fulton at the Trinity Churchyard.

Trinity Churchyard (Broadway and Wall Street)[edit]

In the northeast corner stands the Soldiers' Monument, with a plaque reading: "At a meeting of Citizens held at the City Hall of the City of New York June 8, 1852: It was resolved That the Erection of a becoming Monument with appropriate inscriptions by Trinity Church to the Memory of those great and good Men who died whilst in Captivity in the old Sugar House and were interred in Trinity Church Yard in this City will be an act gratifying not only to the attendants of this Meeting but to Every American Citizen."[8]

The claim those prisoners are buried in Trinity Churchyard is disputed by Charles I. Bushnell, who argued in 1863 that Trinity Church would not have accepted them because it supported Great Britain.[9] Historian Edwin G. Burrows explains how the controversy related to a proposal to build a public street through the churchyard.[10]

Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum (770 Riverside Drive)[edit]

Cross erected in 1893 by the New York Academy of Sciences in honor of John James Audubon.
Cross erected in 1893 by the New York Academy of Sciences in honor of John James Audubon.
A present-day view of the cemetery with the George Washington Bridge visible in the background.
A present-day view of the cemetery with the George Washington Bridge visible in the background.
The grave of Alfred Dickens in Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum
Gravestones in St. Paul's Chapel churchyard

St. Paul's Chapel Churchyard (Broadway at Fulton Street)[edit]


  1. ^ "History of Trinity Church and Churchyard". Trinity Church Wall Street. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
  2. ^ "Uptown Manhattan Trinity Cemetery & Mausoleum". Trinity Church Wall Street. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
  3. ^ "Overview and History". Trinity Church Wall Street. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Julie Besonen (February 6, 2015). "Resting Place for the High and the Low: The Trinity Church Cemetery in Washington Heights Holds Plenty of History". New York Times.
  5. ^ "Trinity Cemetery Walking Tour Guide" (PDF).
  6. ^ French, Mary (January 5, 2011). "St. John's Cemetery". Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  7. ^ Chernow, Ron (March 29, 2005). "Epilogue". Alexander Hamilton. Penguin. ISBN 9781101200858.
  8. ^ Chi, Sheena (December 15, 2008). "Trinity Church—Soldiers' Monument—Memorial for Unknown Revolutionary War Heroes". Archived from the original on December 16, 2019. Retrieved December 16, 2019. This inscription is on the south side. An inscription on the east side is more general: "Sacred to the memory of those brave and good Men who died whilst imprisoned in this City for their devotion to the cause of American independence." (Burrows, cited below, p. 230 (caption); photos at Find a Grave, cited below)
  9. ^ Bushnell, Charles I. (1863). A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Levi Hanford, a Soldier of the Revolution. New York: [privately printed]. pp. 66–70 (note 27). This note was also published separately as a pamphlet with its own title: Bushnell, Charles Ira (1863). The Claim of Trinity Church to Having Furnished Burial Places For Some of the American Prisoners, Who Died in the Old Sugar House Prison, in Liberty Street, During the Revolution, Examined and Refuted. New York: [privately published].
  10. ^ Burrows, Edwin G. (2008). Forgotten Patriots. New York: Basic Books. pp. 228–30. ISBN 978-0-465-00835-3.
  11. ^ "Will Barnet (1911–2012) – Find A Grave Memorial". Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  12. ^ Schjonberg, Mary Frances (February 4, 2013). "Former New York Mayor Ed Koch laid to rest in Trinity plot". Episcopal News Service. Archived from the original on February 6, 2013.
  13. ^ Gilvey, John Anthony (May 1, 2011). Jerry Orbach: Prince of the City – His Way From The Fantasticks to Law & Order. Milwaukee, Wisc.: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books. p. 152. ISBN 978-1-42348-845-3.

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