Karen Q's Patriot Tours NYC

Karen Q's Patriot Tours NYC History like you never learned it in school! The true story of the Founding of America. Forget those boring books and classes, experience history as if you are really there. Reawaken your patriotism and love of America!
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See us on the Travel Channels' Mysteries at the Museum! Since 2005, we've been leading our customers through the most historic parts of the city, along streets laid in the 1700’s and into national historic landmarks and are a daily presence in Lower Manhattan! We know the story of every nook and cranny of the Southern tip of the Island and we can’t wait to share it with you. Our Research To prepare for our tours we comb through hundreds of archival documents. Newspapers, broadsides, pamphlets, personal papers and prints all go into our storytelling of the city’s past. We visit research libraries and historic sites throughout the region to flesh out our understanding of events and people. We virtually live in the time period, recreating it in a way that allows us to answer all of your questions, no matter how obscure. Your Tour Experience We keep our group sizes small to give you personal attention. Each tour is a unique experience as we tailor it to meet the needs of your group. As the tour moves along we pay attention to your questions and what you seem most interested in so that we change the narrative accordingly. No two tours are exactly the same! Plus, if you have an ancestor or specific person or event you’d like to know about, let us know before the tour and we’ll be sure to include it for you. Your Guide Karen Q has spent nearly fifteen years immersed in NYC’s early history. What began as a hobby, reading original documents, became a passion when she learned the stories of people long forgotten who did amazing things to create the city and nation we have today. In 2005 she began the Revolutionary Era walking tour to honor those great NYers. At the request of enthusiastic customers she added the Civil War Tour and the Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr Tour. Karen has spoken at meetings of the NYC Chapter of the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) and is a regular speaker for the Queens Public Library. She is also an historical consultant to The Travel Channel’s “Mysteries at the Museum”, Fordham University Radio WFUV and AM New York (newspaper).

Mission: We make American History accessible and REAL!

Some of you know that one of the things I enjoy about telling stories of NYC's history is the colorful name-calling and ...
05/26/2020

Some of you know that one of the things I enjoy about telling stories of NYC's history is the colorful name-calling and insults that flew back and forth between debaters. New Yorkers generally insulted each other far better than outsiders ever could. (Except maybe John Adams.)

In 1772, a NYer called the city "Liliput" in reference to the Jonathan Swift story "Gullivers Travels". Liliput was an island full of tiny people who believed themselves to be extremely important. He addressed his complaint as "A letter to the majority of the General Assembly of Liliput." and signed it "A Freeholder of Liliput".

Then, in 1776, an author wrote to the people of NYC that they had become "dastards (sneaking cowards) and poltroons (wretched cowards)" for allowing a "set of miscreants" (loyalists) to plot among them.

But my favorite predated both of those. It came in 1770 after New York was the only colony to support the Quartering Act. Philadelphia sent a letter to the city "Please send us your liberty pole as, by your behavior, it seems you no longer have a use for it!" The liberty pole stood on the NYC Common and was a symbol of resistance to the King and Parliament.

Insulting NYC, a 300-year pastime!

05/24/2020

Memorial day tribute to Revolutionary War veterans, part 2: Trinity Church Graveyard.

05/23/2020

Part 1 of my 2 day Memorial Day tribute to Revolutionary War Soldiers buried in NYC. Today - St. Paul's Chapel Graveyard.

05/22/2020
Mrs. Q apologizes to everyone who tried to watch last night! For some reason, I was unable to Live stream on Facebook. I...
05/22/2020

Mrs. Q apologizes to everyone who tried to watch last night! For some reason, I was unable to Live stream on Facebook. I don't know if it has anything to do with my recent ban. (I am still unable to stream on my personal account.) I hope some of you came over to ZOOM and joined.

I will do some editing on the video and post it this weekend for everyone to watch. You don't want to miss it; it took me all day to fix Mrs. Q's hair! :-)

Mrs Q's hair is down! How will she wear it tonight? Be sure to watch 7 pm ET!
05/21/2020

Mrs Q's hair is down! How will she wear it tonight? Be sure to watch 7 pm ET!

Friends in the NYC and LI area, you can see Mrs. Q this Friday on Stage Screen and in Between with HELEN! Be sure to che...
05/20/2020

Friends in the NYC and LI area, you can see Mrs. Q this Friday on Stage Screen and in Between with HELEN! Be sure to check out her page, her other interviews, and give her a like and follow. And if you're not in the NYC area or just want to see it NOW, here it is on Youtube: https://youtu.be/AnimBkzR77Y

Myles Cooper, 2nd President of King's College (Columbia U) 1763-1775After the defeat of the Stamp Act in 1766, the radic...
05/20/2020

Myles Cooper, 2nd President of King's College (Columbia U) 1763-1775

After the defeat of the Stamp Act in 1766, the radical message in America became more and more successful. The colonies learned that through cooperation they could leverage their economic power over England. (In the case of the Stamp Act, by boycotting trade.) They also began to question the need for a remote government they viewed as corrupt and disconnected from them. When the Parliament tried to implement more control and taxes over the American colonies (Quartering Act, Declaratory Acts, Tea Act, Intolerable Acts) they unwittingly helped amplify the voices of rebellion.

In response, Loyalists deployed an old tactic: fear.

Myles Cooper was the 2nd President of King's College, an Anglican school, founded by the Church of England. Cooper was an ordained Anglican minister and was highly respected for his intellect and teaching abilities. In 1774 he issued a pamphlet titled "A Friendly Address to All Reasonable Americans." If you're familiar with persuasive techniques you can see Cooper's talent in the way he composed the title: the message is a friendly one, and everyone who is reasonable will surely agree. If you don't agree, you are not reasonable.

Cooper reminds everyone that they are happy, wealthy people with ample freedom to live their lives as they choose. And that their liberties and prosperity are due to the British Empire - the Monarchy limited by the British Constitution, Parliament and Common Law. Then he warns that "the darkness of a rising tempest is beginning to overspread our land. The thunder roars at a distance, and appears to be swiftly approaching."

What is the darkness? The voices of rebellion! The men and women of the colonies who claim their success is due to their own hard work, their own determination to succeed and that they can, if needed, prosper without England. Those who follow that thinking, says Cooper, "will pursue the road, which evidently terminates in darkness and destruction." Why, he warns, you might end up being ruled by a NERO! You will end up with a "Court ever more corrupted than his."

And so it continues for 58 pages.

The pamphlet had the opposite effect of what Cooper hoped to achieve and galvanized the people of the city against him. His student, Alexander Hamilton, stopped a mob that formed in front of the college looking for Cooper. In 1775 Cooper returned to England.

The Conference between the Brothers How to get Rich. 1777 LondonDid you know there was anti-war sentiment on both sides ...
05/19/2020

The Conference between the Brothers How to get Rich. 1777 London

Did you know there was anti-war sentiment on both sides of the Atlantic during the American Revolution? In school we tend to learn that all of the colonists were enthusiastic about fighting for separation from England and, likewise, everyone in England wanted to fight to keep the American Colonies. But that wasn't true. There was opposition on both sides.

On the colonial side, many people believed separation from England would bring anarchy and violence. Others were sure there was no way the colonies would ever be able to defeat the military power of the British Empire. Still, others believed men and women were unable to govern themselves without a monarch to lead and protect them.

In England, opposition to war with the colonies was mostly financial. England was in the midst of an economic crisis as a result of the East India Company's activities in China and India. The people of England worried that another war would lead to more taxation to be paid by future generations.

After the two commanders of British forces, General William Howe (army) and his brother, Admiral Richard Howe (navy), failed to defeat General Washington in New York in 1776 in spite of their overwhelming military superiority, doubt in the abilities of the brothers grew. This cartoon was printed in London in 1777. It shows the brothers sitting at a table with the Devil, pondering a way to prolong the war for their own profit.

On the right: “Brother HOW poor we are. HOW shall we get RICH”
On the left: “I don’t know HOW HOW we can”
The Devil: “HOW HOW to continue the War”
In the background is a poor American farmer growing cabbage with the British Navy anchored nearby.

Submit your questions for Mrs. Q! What would you like to know about Revolutionary War Era life?
05/19/2020

Submit your questions for Mrs. Q! What would you like to know about Revolutionary War Era life?

05/17/2020
Fort Ticonderoga

Fort Ticonderoga

Whether standing guard for hours at a time or long road marches, shoes mattered to a soldier. In this 1774 Historic Trades preview see the tools and techniques used to make British Soldier’s shoes. Explore the science of recreating period shoes based on archaeological examples today.

05/17/2020

Thank you for your support!

I miss doing my Tours of beautiful, historic, Lower Manhattan!
05/16/2020

I miss doing my Tours of beautiful, historic, Lower Manhattan!

Then and Now
05/16/2020

Then and Now

Dutch Girls practicing reading with their tutor in a cemetery! This was a common reading exercise for young people learn...
05/15/2020

Dutch Girls practicing reading with their tutor in a cemetery! This was a common reading exercise for young people learning to read in NY's Hudson Valley in the 1700s. The illustration shows a group of three Dutch girls reading gravestones with their tutor.

05/14/2020
Tomorrow night! Two most excellent reenactors as James and Dolley Madison.
05/14/2020

Tomorrow night! Two most excellent reenactors as James and Dolley Madison.

In the early years of the American Republic, political disagreements often resulted in physical altercations and duels. It was Dolley Madison who realized that legislators could discuss their issues more amiably after a few drinks, in a social setting - the first "bi-partison" gatherings in US history! Learn more about Dolley's political savvy at "Chit Chat with Dolley Madison" this Friday. Entry to Pay-Per-HAP is contingent upon weekly payment of $5-$25 per viewer or a $100 2020 Pass. Click here for step-by-step PAYMENT AND VIEWING instructions: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1peOerAmYrZ63MexPr1j01QvverSS2neF/view?usp=sharing

Timeline Photos
05/14/2020

Timeline Photos

A government-mandated bailout of a corrupt, nearly bankrupt company in the 1770s? YES! It was the Tea Act.This is one of...
05/13/2020

A government-mandated bailout of a corrupt, nearly bankrupt company in the 1770s? YES! It was the Tea Act.

This is one of those wonderful stories that when I eventually grasped the whole picture made me burst out into "AHA!" laughter. We all learned about the Tea Act in school and the refusal of the people of the colonies to buy East India tea. Those protests caused the Boston Tea Party, which brought about the Intolerable Acts and, eventually, the battles of Lexington and Concord. But it wasn't until I sat and read a series of broadsides published in NYC in 1773 that I realized it was just another corporate bailout.

The debate started when someone using the pseudonym "Poplicola" addressed the "Worthy Inhabitants of New-York". He reminded them of the good, prosperous, and free lives they lived under the British Empire. He commended them for their patriotism and love of the Crown and Parliament and Common Law. Then, Poplicola warned them, that if the East India company failed, the entire British Empire would fail and with it and their wonderful lives. In other words, The East India Company was Too Big to Fail!

Poplicola set off a firestorm of debate with "A Mechanic" and "Student of the Law" arguing against him. Poplicola responded in kind. But it was a series of three broadsides entitled "The Alarm" (likely penned by William Livingston and Co.) that carefully laid out the crimes of the East India Company, both in human numbers and in dollars. The author of "The Alarm" asked his readers whether they should be forced to render financial aid to a fellow merchant who had so mismanaged his business that he was bankrupt. The answer, both about the fellow merchant and the East India Company, was NO.

If you are interested in a fantastic book about the East India Company and the financial crisis that lead to the Tea Act, check out "An Empire on the Edge: How Britain Came to Fight America" by Nick Bunker.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=empire+on+the+edge

Sarah Livingston Jay (1756 - 1802) Sarah Livingston is one of my favorite NY ladies. She had the incredible luck to be t...
05/12/2020

Sarah Livingston Jay (1756 - 1802)

Sarah Livingston is one of my favorite NY ladies. She had the incredible luck to be the daughter of William Livingston and wife of John Jay, two esteemed lawyers, and advocates of American Independence.

Sarah married Jay in 1774 when she was a month short of her 18th birthday. Jay was 30. The young lady had no idea of the incredible experiences that would come her way! As Jay's wife, she accompanied him on his diplomatic missions to Europe where her role in diplomacy was key to gaining the trust of Spain and France. Sarah, or "Sally" as her friends and family called her, easily fit in with influential society ladies. She met with diplomats in Spain and France even while pregnant or, in one case, in Spain, she received an important diplomat in her private chambers while suffering from morning sickness. There's no doubt that Sarah's social abilities helped open doors for her husband. One evening at the Paris Opera she was mistaken for Queen Marie Antionette by the audience, which rose to pay her their respects.

From personal correspondence, we see that Sally and John had a deep love for each other. They had six children, three born in America, two in Madrid, and one in Paris.

After the American Revolution, Jay served as the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and a Governor of New York, making Sarah the first lady of New York. After his governorship, Jay decided to retire from public life. He built a country home that he and Sarah could retire to in Katonah, NY. But, sadly, Sarah died the year after the home was completed. Jay was inconsolable, feeling that the easy, country life his wife so much deserved, never happened. You can visit the home, The John Jay Homestead to learn more about the Jays.

Unicorns in New York!Here are some descriptions of what is today the state of New York from the book "America: being the...
05/11/2020

Unicorns in New York!

Here are some descriptions of what is today the state of New York from the book "America: being the latest and most accurate description of the New World" published in 1671.

"The country has many water falls descending from steep rock, large creeks, and harbors, fresh lakes and rivulets, pleasant fountains and springs." p170

"Vines grow wild in most places, and bear abundance of blue, white, and muscadine grapes. Sometime since the inhabitants make a considerable advantage by the wine of them, which is not inferior to either Rhine or French." p 171

"The sheep, though they breed well there, yet are very fierce, because, not being able to spare men to go with them, they are often devoured by wolves." p172

"There are also an abundance of deer, all sorts of fowls, turkeys, geese, ducks pigeons and the like." p 173

"On the borders of Canada there is seen sometimes a kind of beast which has some resemblance with a horse, having cloven feet, shaggy mane, and a horn on the forehead, a tail like that of a wild hog, black eyes, and a deer's neck. It feeds in the nearest wilderness. The males never come amongst the Females except at the time when they couple, after which they grow so ravenous that they not only devour other beasts but also one another." p 173

Print is from page 173 of the book.

If you missed last week's virtual tour of NYC, Mrs. Q has placed a newly recorded version on Youtube for your enjoyment!...
05/11/2020

If you missed last week's virtual tour of NYC, Mrs. Q has placed a newly recorded version on Youtube for your enjoyment!

https://youtu.be/WqsVJrMnuKE

05/10/2020

Mrs Q Wishes everyone a Happy Mothers Day! 🌷

Timeline Photos
05/09/2020

Timeline Photos

Thank you to everyone who joined Mrs. Q last night for a tour of NYC! I am working on improving the technology. Please b...
05/08/2020

Thank you to everyone who joined Mrs. Q last night for a tour of NYC! I am working on improving the technology. Please bear with me from week to week as I improve the broadcast both in quality and accessibility. I'm working on a clean, edited version of last night's presentation and will post a link to it when it's ready.

Next week, Mrs. Q takes on the controversial subject of Aaron Burr! Submit your questions for her here.

05/07/2020
Preparing for Mrs Q's tour of colonial NYC tonight. We will visit St Paul's Chapel, including areas of the church not ac...
05/07/2020

Preparing for Mrs Q's tour of colonial NYC tonight. We will visit St Paul's Chapel, including areas of the church not accessible to the general public. Mrs Q is on very good terms with the church. See you tonight at 7 pm ET.

News of the dreaded Stamp Act reaches the American colonies in late April 1765.  The Act requires the use of specially s...
05/07/2020

News of the dreaded Stamp Act reaches the American colonies in late April 1765. The Act requires the use of specially stamped paper to be used for all legal documents, customs papers, official government documents, grants and titles, licenses, pamphlets, advertisements, handbills, newspapers, almanacs, calendars, letters, and packages of playing cards and dice. The paper will be printed by the government (England) and sold by agents in the colonies. The paper must be paid for in hard currency: silver.

By early May, protests break out throughout the cities and towns. Newspapers are filled with articles denouncing the tax, broadsides, and pamphlets critical of the tax, and its supporters, are printed and distributed. Protests are held on the Boston and NYC Commons. Thus begins the tradition of the right of protest against the government in America, later guaranteed in the First Amendment to the US Consitution.

In response to the opposition, NY's acting Governor Cadwallader Colden wrote to British General Monckton "I did every thing that was in my power to prevent the public disputes which have happened. But the Gentlemen of the Law seem to have placed the chief stress of the cause in raising public clamour, and therefore all endeavours to prevent it became fruitless. Notwithstanding of this I am fully persuaded the people of this province will quietly submit to the Kings Determination whatever it be." - Colden Papers

Colden couldn't have been more mistaken.

The Stamp Act Denounced, from the collection of the New York Public Library

Join Mrs. Q this Thursday at 7pm ET here on FB Live (Patriot Tours NYC page).
05/05/2020

Join Mrs. Q this Thursday at 7pm ET here on FB Live (Patriot Tours NYC page).

History of the 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights1707 - New York - Two Presbyterian pastors are arrested, Francis Makem...
05/05/2020

History of the 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights

1707 - New York - Two Presbyterian pastors are arrested, Francis Makemie and John Hampton, for preaching 1) without licenses as required by the "Act of Toleration", and 2) in a public meeting house with the door open "in as public a manner as possible". Gov Cornbury declares their intent "to spread their pernicious Doctrine and Principles (Presbyterianism), to the great Disturbance of the Church by Law established (Church of England)". The men were indicted by a grand jury but acquitted at trial. This began the era of "Freedom of Association" in New York.

1735 - New York - Newspaper printer John Peter Zenger goes on trial for "seditious libel" for printing articles critical of Gov Cosby. His trial takes nine months and he is defended by William Smith, James Alexander, and Andrew Hamilton. Zenger is set free when the jury nullifies the libel law in NY, changing it to read that a libel is only a libel if it is a falsehood that is intentionally printed. This began the era of "Freedom of the Press" in New York.

1754 - New York - The Church of England opens Kings College. The school will be Anglican run, will teach the Anglican religion, and will be supported by a public tax. Three lawyers (former students of Zenger's lawyers) William Livingston, William Smith Jr, and John Morin Scott argue against the right of the Anglican Church to require taxes from people who are not Anglican. The school opens but eventually withdraws public taxation. This began the era of "No Government Established Religion" in New York.

In 1789 when it was time to ratify the US Consitution, New York and Virginia both refused to do so without a list of "enumerated rights". Rights that derive from the natural law, that government DOES NOT GRANT and, therefore, CANNOT REMOVE. Those are the first ten amendments to the US Constitution - The Bill of Rights.

Address

City Hall Park
New York, NY
10005

Subway, Bus and Taxi

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(917) 716-4908

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We Love NYC History!

Since 2005, we've been leading our customers through the most historic parts of the city, along streets laid in the 1700’s and into national historic landmarks and are a daily presence in Lower Manhattan! We know the story of every nook and cranny of the Southern tip of the Island and we can’t wait to share it with you. Our Research To prepare for our tours we comb through hundreds of archival documents. Newspapers, broadsides, pamphlets, personal papers and prints all go into our storytelling of the city’s past. We visit research libraries and historic sites throughout the region to flesh out our understanding of events and people. We virtually live in the time period, recreating it in a way that allows us to answer all of your questions, no matter how obscure. Your Tour Experience We keep our group sizes small to give you personal attention. Each tour is a unique experience as we tailor it to meet the needs of your group. As the tour moves along we pay attention to your questions and what you seem most interested in so that we change the narrative accordingly. No two tours are exactly the same! Plus, if you have an ancestor or specific person or event you’d like to know about, let us know before the tour and we’ll be sure to include it for you. Your Guide Karen Q has spent fifteen years immersed in NYC’s early history. What began as a hobby, reading original documents, became a passion when she learned the stories of people long forgotten who did amazing things to create the city and nation we have today. In 2005 she began the Revolutionary Era walking tour to honor those great NYers. At the request of enthusiastic customers she added the Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr Tour and The Revolutionary War Spies Tour. Karen is the author of the forthcoming book “Theodosia Burr: Teen Witness to the Founding of the New Nation”, Lerner Books, Spring 2020. She has spoken at meetings of the NYC Chapter of the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) and is a regular speaker for the Queens Public Library. She is also an historical consultant for fiction authors as well as Fordham University Radio WFUV and AM New York (newspaper).

Karen has appeared on more than twenty episodes of The Travel Channel’s “Mysteries at the Museum” and will be seen later in 2019 on “America Unearthed”.

Nearby museums