Morris Jumel House

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The Morris-Jumel House is a New York landmark and Manhattan
island's oldest exstant private dwelling. Built in 1765 in
the American Palladian style, it was originally
a summer villa located 12 miles outside of what was then
New York City.

The house however had a chequered history before establishing
itself in Napoleonic history. Built by a British officer,
Roger Morris, whose father was a noted Palladian architect, it was
General Washington's headquarters during the Revolutionary War
before becoming a tavern on the Albany Post Road. In 1810,
Stephen Jumel, an emigrée French merchant and ship owner and
his brilliant wife Eliza Bowen of Rhode Island settled in
Morris house. They furnished it in French Empire style perhaps
to reflect their continued sympathies for Napoleon and the
France that they had left behind. Because their relationship
predated their marriage Eliza was not accepted in high
New York high society, so the couple left the city. After an
abortive attempt to bring Napoleon to America after
Waterloo, they entered Paris, supposedly in his Imperial
carriage. Eliza moved between America and France and
was at one point exiled by Louis XVIII for her Napoleonic sympathies.

The exterior of the mansion is still in its original form.
Similarly, the octagonal drawing room reflects its 18th-century origins.
The museum has nine restored rooms, two halls, a colonial
main staircase (recently restored with the help of Friends
of Vieilles Maisons Françaises), an exhibition room as
well as library and archival space. Numerous pieces of
the original Jumel furnishings of the high Empire style
are diplayed in the front parlor. Madame Jumel's bedroom
features Napoleonic and Empire furnishings, including the
bed Napoleon used when he was First Consul.

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