The Fraunces Tavern

The Fraunces Tavern, a very important meeting place within New York City. Many meetings regarding the war, the city’s finances, and the Constitution were held here.

The Fraunces Tavern, located at 54 Pearl Street, was purchased by Samuel Fraunces in 1762 and opened what was originally known as the Queen’s Head Tavern. In the 18th century taverns were very important places, they were the center of the community, meeting places, exchanging of ideas and news for both locals and visitors, a place to send mail or look for jobs. Many clubs within New York held their meetings at taverns like the Fraunces Tavern. This tavern was one of the meeting places for the secret society, the Sons of Liberty, as well as the meeting place that established the New York Chamber of Commerce in 1768. After the Revolution ended celebrations were held at the tavern to celebrate the British troops evacuating New York City.  [1]

In 1775, the “Hearts of Oak,” a King’s College student militia group in which Alexander Hamilton was a part of, met here and fired cannons on the HMS Asia, and the retaliating fire sent a cannonball through the roof of the tavern. Meetings of the Continental Congress were held here after the war as well as British-American Board of Inquiry meetings; it soon became the office space for the Department of Foreign Affairs. During this time, New York City was the capital of the nation and became the seat of the Confederation Congress under the Articles of Confederation. Soon after, Samuel Fraunces sold the tavern but its importance remained, the tavern now was also a place of meeting for both the War Department and the Treasury Department. The Fraunces Tavern is now a New York City landmark today and acts as a museum displaying many galleries and artifacts of the history of New York City.  [2]