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.
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Reawaken your patriotism and love of America! 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).

Operating as usual

Join me on Patreon!I am building a community of people who love learning about the founding of America, free from modern...
04/03/2021
Mrs. Q's New York - The American Revolution is creating articles, ebooks, and video | Patreon

Join me on Patreon!

I am building a community of people who love learning about the founding of America, free from modern political bias, and hope you will join me. You will be able to find all of my social media posts and video conveniently in one place where you can comment and communicate directly with me.

Plus, if you'd like to support my work, there are 2 tiers available that will give you access to premium content. Things like the primary source documents I'm using to create posts and video, premium video not available without a subscription, limited edition tour opportunities, and live study sessions twice monthly about relevant topics.

April's topic is Washington's Inauguration and I have already scheduled two sessions, 4/12 and 4/26, to discuss the historic event.

Check it out: help build the community!

See you there,
Karen Q

https://www.patreon.com/MrsQNYC

Become a patron of Mrs. Q's New York - The American Revolution today: Get access to exclusive content and experiences on the world’s largest membership platform for artists and creators.

I think anyone who has taken any kind of tour of NYC has heard the story about Wall Street. It was named for an old wood...
04/03/2021

I think anyone who has taken any kind of tour of NYC has heard the story about Wall Street. It was named for an old wooden wall, much like a fort wall, that ran along where Wall Street is today. It marked the Northern border of the Dutch village called New Amsterdam. But who, exactly, built it?

The people of New Amsterdam!

I found this wonderful print of a sign being posted instructing the people of the village:

"March 31, 1644. Resolved... that a fence or park shall be made beginning at the Great Bouwery and extending to Emanuel's plantation, and every one... is warned to repair thither next Monday being the 4th of April at 7 o'clock ... with tools to aid in constructing said fence... Let every one take notice herof and communicate it to his neighbors. Thus published and posted on the day aforesaid." Translated from the original.

No government infrastructure projects back then!

(Notice there's still a good amount of snow everywhere.)

A question I often get on tours is: What kind of books did people own in the 1700s?Most families were so busy just keepi...
04/02/2021

A question I often get on tours is: What kind of books did people own in the 1700s?

Most families were so busy just keeping their homes running that they had little or no time for leisure reading. And many people did not read well enough to read a book.

But for those who did, books were expensive and many homes had only one: A Bible or Torah. The next most popular were compilations of sermons by popular Protestant pastors, like Jonathan Edwards, (Edwards was Aaron Burr's grandfather), or sermons from the Church of England. "The Pilgrim's Progress from This World, to That Which Is to Come" by John Bunyan and "Paradise Lost" by John Milton might also be found on home bookshelves.

If a family was wealthy you might find books on the study of Geography, Anatomy, History, Latin, Greek, Literature, Law, and Philosophy.

In 1754 the New York Society Library (the city's oldest library) was founded to make books available on loan to the public, who might otherwise not have access to them.

After the American Revolution, the most popular multi-volume set was "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" by Edward Gibbon. Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr were among the families of New York who owned sets.

Books were a sign of both educational and financial success. Ralph Earl's portrait below of Elijah Boardman (1789), a successful merchant, shows him posing in front of his bookcase, with the door to his shop in the rear.

04/01/2021
In 1773 a heated debate broke out in NY (as in the other colonies) about the Tea Act. Eloquently defending the Tea Act w...
03/31/2021

In 1773 a heated debate broke out in NY (as in the other colonies) about the Tea Act. Eloquently defending the Tea Act was an author called "Poplicola".

Publius Valerius Poplicola was a Roman aristocrat who led the overthrow of the Roman monarchy and became a Consul in the new Republic, 509BC. The author used this pseudonym to make it appear that they were an American rebel (patriot, or whig) and sympathetic with the Sons of Liberty.

Poplicola's argument was that the Tea Act was beneficial to the East India Company, which was the cornerstone of the greatness of the British Empire. The people of the colonies directly benefitted from being a part of that empire, commercially, legally, and militarily.

Debating Poplicola were "A Student of the Law" and "Mechanic". (Mechanic was what we today might think of as a blue-collar worker.) In their responses, they pointed out the failures of the East India company and the reasons the Act exploited the people of the colonies.

Poplicola responded by questioning their patriotism. The debate quickly descended into insults and questions of loyalty. What we today call "a slide" away from the relevant subject: The Tea Act. The slide was done purposely to take attention away from legitimate criticism and instead, divide the people of New York against each other, distracting them away from the original argument over the legitimacy of the Tea Act.

Doing my first tour in ONE YEAR this afternoon for a private client. It's a beautiful, sunny day, and so good to be back...
03/30/2021

Doing my first tour in ONE YEAR this afternoon for a private client. It's a beautiful, sunny day, and so good to be back out doing what I love! ❤

AVAILABLE NOW! Tickets for my newest tour, Mrs. Q's New York - ONLY through this link.  Tours start May 1 and run on Sat...
03/29/2021

AVAILABLE NOW! Tickets for my newest tour, Mrs. Q's New York - ONLY through this link. Tours start May 1 and run on Saturdays at noon. If you've been watching Mrs. Q LIVE and are in, or will be visiting the NYC area, please come out to meet Mrs. Q in person.

Tickets for this and my other tours will be available later this week at PatriotToursNyc.com. All tours starting up again on May 1.

HUZZAH!

https://fareharbor.com/embeds/book/patriottoursnyc/items/242385/?full-items=yes&flow=4270

I posted this last June, but think it deserves another go. This week I am thinking about how difficult the decisions wer...
03/29/2021

I posted this last June, but think it deserves another go. This week I am thinking about how difficult the decisions were for both Patriots and Loyalists during the Revolutionary War Period. This is a particularly moving story.

Imagine you are Benjamin Franklin and you have just voted to have your son arrested and imprisoned! The same son who accompanied you on your many trips to England, who held the end of the kite during your electricity experiments, and who helped you discover the gulf stream. It really happened in June 1776.

Franklin's son, William, became popular during his long stays in England with his father. He became a lawyer and in 1763 was appointed the Royal Governor of New Jersey.

By the time 1776 came around, B. Franklin had turned against the Crown and Parliament and was serving in the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. His son, despite his urgings, continued in his role as Royal Governor. Father and son found themselves on opposite sides of what was to become the American Revolution.

in his book Turncoats and Traitors, John Bakeless tells us “In January 1776, the patriots captured papers that William Franklin-Tory governor of New Jersey, Benjamin Franklin’s son- was sending to London. These included secret records of the Continental Congress.”

Disturbed by Governor Franklin’s behavior, the Continental Congress sent a committee to interview him, to determine whether he was a “friend or foe” of America. In June the committee submitted their findings to congress. Governor Franklin, it was reported, was a “virulent enemy to this country, and a person that may prove dangerous.” As a result, Congress voted to have William Franklin placed under arrest.

Benjamin Franklin voted in the Continental Congress to have his son arrested and imprisoned. Can we even imagine the emotional effect of such a decision? Governor Franklin was placed under arrest and moved to Connecticut where he was imprisoned under the direction of Governor Trumbull. He was held there until 1778. Upon his release, he rejoined his wife, Elizabeth and their children, who were living in British occupied New York City.

After the war, Benjamin Franklin denied ever having had a son named William.

A Declaration of Independence and a Declaration of Dependence, Maybe you have never seen the latter? I didn't until I st...
03/28/2021

A Declaration of Independence and a Declaration of Dependence, Maybe you have never seen the latter? I didn't until I started seriously studying the American Revolution.

Loyalists throughout the British American colonies signed these in 1776 as a countermeasure against the rebels, or Patriots, as we call them today. This one was signed by 547 New York Loyalists on November 28, 1776. In school, we don't learn about Loyalists, what they believed, or why, only that they were bad. But the story isn't that black and white.

When we read letters and personal accounts of the time we find that as people divided into camps: Patriots (Whigs) and Loyalists (Tories), they increasingly found it impossible to understand each other. It was as if, they said, the others were living in a different country, under a different ruler! As time went by, their interpretation of their experiences in America grew further and further apart until there was no way to reconcile them.

Interesting, isn't it?

This Friday, I will speak about the way the different sides seemed to be living in different realities as my 18th Century persona, Mrs. Q. I hope you'll join me!

In November 1775, 20-year-old (or 18-year-old, depending on which birth date you prefer) Alexander Hamilton began writin...
03/26/2021

In November 1775, 20-year-old (or 18-year-old, depending on which birth date you prefer) Alexander Hamilton began writing a series called "The Monitor" in John Holt's newspaper, "The New York Journal or General Advertiser." The series ran for fifteen issues and addressed the state of the relationship between the American colonies and England.

Newspapers were only four pages long and were published once weekly. When we look at "The Monitor" we see it often takes up half of one of those pages. No doubt Mr. Holt thought the Kings College student's words deserved the space!

John Jay, while attending the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, wrote in a letter about "Young Hamilton" who is "at it" in New York, in reference to the articles.

#1 begins with this paragraph. Timeless words, I think.

"Civil War, (says the incomparable Lord Sommers) tho very sharp, cannot continue long, and a nation may flourish and he happy again, but if once arbitrary government be introduced, people's miseries are endless. There is no prospect or hopes of redress. Every age will add new oppressions and new burdens to a people already exhausted."

Hamilton continues:

"No enterprise can be more glorious than the preservation of liberty to a community, the most precious gift of the creator, and the vital principle by which the whole fabric of social happiness is supported."

Thursday, November 9, 1775
New-York Journal or General Advertiser
Printed and Published by John Holt

Hamilton miniature by Charles Shirreff

03/25/2021
Hi Everyone! Just a note to tell you that there will be no Mrs. Q this Friday. I am working this week on preparing to re...
03/24/2021

Hi Everyone! Just a note to tell you that there will be no Mrs. Q this Friday. I am working this week on preparing to reopen my tour business in May. YAY! I will be premiering a NEW tour, Mrs. Q's New York. It will run on Saturdays and will be a full afternoon of walking through colonial NYC with Mrs. Q.

I can't wait to see you IN PERSON this Summer!!! Tickets will be on sale next week.

Mrs. Q will be back next Friday, April 2.

March 23, 1775 - "Give me liberty or give me death!" - Patrick Henry's rousing speech should live in the heart of every ...
03/23/2021

March 23, 1775 - "Give me liberty or give me death!" - Patrick Henry's rousing speech should live in the heart of every American as the foundation of our love of freedom and our willingness to fight to preserve it.

Henry was elected to serve in the Second Virginia Convention which began its session on March 20, 1775, in Richmond.
Virginia was growing increasingly radical as a result of the Boston Port Act the year before and the growing military presence in Boston. The Crown meant to punish the people of the city for the Boston Tea Party even if it meant starvation. Living conditions in the city deteriorated day by day.

William Lee, the colonial agent from Virginia in London, wrote to his brother Richard Henry Lee that the Act was meant to break the will of Bostonians and use it as an example to the other colonies. The Crown needed a wedge to split the colonies apart in their growing support of Boston. What better tool than fear of the Empire's power?

On March 23, Henry delivered his historic speech to the gathered delegates. The words are still true today.

"If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

(Print by Currier & Ives)

Today, March 22, 1765, The Stamp Act was signed into law by King George III. Few realized it at the time, but it put the...
03/22/2021

Today, March 22, 1765, The Stamp Act was signed into law by King George III. Few realized it at the time, but it put the British American Colonies on the road to rebellion.

The Stamp Act was a tax on the use of paper and other items in the colonies to pay the debts incurred from the French and Indian (Seven Years' War). The British Treasury borrowed money to finance the war and those debts had to be paid back. The view by many in Parliament was that the war was fought for the protection of the colonies and they, therefore, should help to pay for it.

The Act established a large bureaucracy to manage the distribution of the stamped paper, collection of the taxes, and prosecutions for noncompliance. The new government agency was to be paid for out of the money collected by the Stamp Act. Only a portion of the money raised would actually make it to Parliament to pay for the war debt. But that wasn't what set the colonies verbally on fire over the act. It was a small paragraph buried deep within the 32-page act. A paragraph that allowed Parliament to allocate the money raised to the "sinking fund" which could then be used in any manner determined by Parliament.

Lawyers in NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, and Richmond quickly pointed out that the use of the "sinking fund" was something the colonies could not influence because they had no membership in Parliament. Taxes on trade (duties) were acceptable, but taxes placed internally on the colonies by an external body (Parliament) in which they had no representation, was against their rights as British subjects. The colonies united on this issue and "No Taxation Without Representation" was born.

For the first time in their 100 year history, the colonies were united against England! Both England and the British American colonies would see just how powerful those colonies could be.

The tax went into effect on November 1, 1765. On that day, the colonies entered into a unanimous refusal to conduct any trade with England. London's economy, already faltering due to other issues, was not able to survive the colonial boycott. On March 18, 1766, the Stamp Act was repealed. The colonies had the first taste of their economic influence and their united strength.

Mrs. Q spoke about the Stamp Act recently, you can watch here:
https://youtu.be/XVT-BnV6H8s

Oh, no, I nearly forgot!On this day in 1767, the New York Sons of Liberty put up the 4th Liberty Pole on the Commons. (T...
03/19/2021

Oh, no, I nearly forgot!

On this day in 1767, the New York Sons of Liberty put up the 4th Liberty Pole on the Commons. (Today's City Hall Park.)

It total, FIVE Liberty Poles stood in colonial NYC from 1766 - 1776. The Sons of Liberty put them up and the soldiers tore them down. This one, the fourth, will last until January 1770 when its destruction sparks a multi-day riot known as "The Battle of Golden Hill".

Was "No Taxation Without Representation" the reason for the colonies declaring independence from Britain? That's what I ...
03/19/2021

Was "No Taxation Without Representation" the reason for the colonies declaring independence from Britain? That's what I learned in school. Maybe you did, too.

Thomas Jefferson listed the reasons clearly in the middle section of the Declaration of Independence. Remember, the Declaration is a legal document, meant to show, step by step, the reasons the colonies were justified in demanding separation from England. It was also required in order to obtain support from England's enemies, who would not interfere in a civil war within the British Empire. The Continental Congress had to show that the separation was legally justified and that the colonies were their own entity: The United States of America.

I've placed an arrow here at the section that begins listing what Jefferson said was "The History of the present King of Great-Britain
is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World."

Reading through the list, we find taxation to be only one of many cases of abuse suffered by the American colonies. Some of the others are: Quartering Troops, interfering in the colonial governments, corruption, illegal searches, deprivation of trial by jury, impressment of seamen into the British Navy, provoking insurrections, and more.

Tonight, I will discuss it as my 18th Century living history character, Mrs. Q. 7pm ET. Be sure to join me here on FB.

Address

City Hall Park
New York, NY
11104

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

Products

Colonial and Revolutionary War Era Tour
Hamilton and Burr Tour
Mrs. Q's New York - Costumed Living History Your

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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”.