There is an enchanted weekend to come at the Morris-Jumel Mansion, with the last three performances of Vincent Carbone's adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. In this version of the well-known tale, the grounds of the mansion become Wonderland and the familiar characters take on American Revolutionary alter egos—the sleepy dormouse doubles as John Adams, for example. Visit the Morris-Jumel Mansion website for tickets. Performances are scheduled for tonight, Friday, and Saturday at 8 PM and Sunday, October 2, at 3 PM.
Photograph of the Morris-Jumel Mansion at night, lit by floodlights and a full moon.
A full moon to light Alice in Wonderland at the Morris-Jumel Mansion.
Photograph of shadows on the ceiling of the hallway of the Morris-Jumel Mansion.
A magical play of shadows on the hall ceiling during the tea party that follows performances of Alice in Wonderland at the Morris-Jumel Mansion.
 
 
Today, September 14, 2016, is the 180th anniversary of the death of Eliza Jumel's second husband, Aaron Burr. A death mask was made the same day for of New York City phrenology firm of Fowler and Wells. Burr's skull revealed marked "destructiveness, combativeness, firmness, and self-esteem," as well as excessive "amativeness," said Fowler (quoted by Laurence Hutton in Harpers New Monthly Magazine, Nov. 1892, p. 912).

A An image of Burr circa 1801 confirms the identification of the death mask's subject. The abbreviation "Esq." (i.e., esquire) after Burr's name in the caption is a reminder that he had a long career as a lawyer.
Photograph of a plaster death mask of Aaron Burr belonging to the New-York Historical Society.
Death mask of Aaron Burr, made for Fowler and Wells, New York City. New-York Historical Society, 1927.59. Gift of Dr. John E. Stillwell.
A bust-length portrait of Aaron Burr, circa 1801, reproduced from a biographical dictionary belonging to the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.
Enoch G. Gridley after John Vanderlyn, ca. 1801, from the New Universal Biographical Dictionary and American Remembrancer. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, NPG.80.184.4.B.
 
 
If you were dining at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in the 1760s with Roger and Mary Morris, you might have used a wineglass that looked like this (in less fragmentary form!). The white corkscrew ornamentation on the stem is referred to as an "opaque twist." Such decoration was popular in Georgian England; glasses bearing it would have been imported from the United Kingdom to the American colonies.
Fragment of an eighteenth-century wineglass (base and stem).
Base and stem of an eighteenth-century wineglass from Lewis Morris's Bronx estate, Morrisania. It is on exhibit at the Valentine-Varian House, but owned by the New-York Historical Society.
Another photograph of the eighteenth-century wineglass, providing a better view of the base of the glass.
A better view of the base of the glass.
Photograph showing the stem of an eighteenth-century wineglass.
Detail of the stem.
The fragment was found during an archaeological dig at Morrisania, the estate of Roger Morris's contemporary (but not relation) Lewis Morris. Most of Lewis's estate was located in what is now the Bronx—where the glass remnant is located today. It is on exhibit at the Valentine-Varian House (1758), home of the Bronx Historical Society. This set of opaque-twist wineglasses, made about 1760, gives you an idea of what the vessel might have looked like in its prime.
Photograph of a set of six mid-eighteenth-century wineglasses.
Set of opaque twist wineglasses, ca. 1760. Butler's Antiques as of September 6, 2016.