In 1858 Eliza Jumel rented and then purchased two adjacent lots on the northwest corner of 41st St. and Seventh Avenue—just south of today's Times Square. Initially a house on one of the lots housed Madame Jumel's great-niece and namesake, Eliza Jumel Pery, and Pery's husband and young daughter. But a year later the little family moved, first to W. 45th St. near Fifth Avenue and then further north to the East Sixties. This 1855 view of Midtown shows the northward march of the city that doubtless inspired their relocation to quieter surroundings.
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New York, from the Latting Observatory, 1855. New York Public Library. The view stretches from 42nd Street to the southern tip of Manhattan.
The reservoir at 42nd St. and Fifth Avenue, in the left foreground of the image, stored water brought to the city by the Croton Aqueduct (which crossed Eliza Jumel's uptown land). The reservoir was decommissioned in the 1890s—replaced by underground water pipes—and then demolished. The site became the home of the New York Public Library.

The iron and glass structure next to the reservoir, an exhibition space known as the Crystal Palace, sadly burned down in 1858. Forty-second Street runs in front of it, across the lower edge of the print. The avenues zooming towards us are Fifth Avenue to the left of the reservoir, Sixth Avenue to the right of the Crystal Palace, and Broadway to the right of Sixth. The image is not quite wide enough to encompass Eliza’s properties at 41st St. and Seventh Avenue, which would be just beyond the right edge of the print.

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On the far right in this detail, you can see three buildings fronting on Broadway just north of 41st Street, a block not yet fully built up. Behind them, some of the block stretching towards Seventh Avenue is visible, but not all the way to the Jumel properties on the northwest side of Seventh.
 
 
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.
 
 
In 1812 Eliza and Stephen Jumel purchased a plot of land on the northeast corner of Broadway and Liberty Street. Here is what their onetime property looks like today. I suspect it is worth a trifle more than the $14,700 they paid for it.
Photograph of the front door of 150 Broadway in Manhattan.
Eliza and Stephen Jumel once owned 150 Broadway, today the site of the Westinghouse Building.
Photograph of the Westinghouse Building, at the corner of Broadway and Liberty Streets in Manhattan.
The footprint of the Westinghouse Building, at the corner of Broadway and Liberty Streets in Manhattan, follows the lot lines of the former Jumel property.
 
 
The Manhattan end of the High Bridge was built on land purchased from Eliza Jumel. She also owned the land bordering the Harlem River all the way south to what is now 159th Street. These two pictures show what the area looked like in the 1840s and today.
View of High Bridge and the Harlem River, 1844.
W. J. Bennett, View of High Bridge and the Harlem River, 1844. Courtesy New York Public Library. The Morris-Jumel Mansion is barely visible in the left middle ground, perched on Coogan's Bluff.
View of High Bridge and the Harlem River, 2016.
Margaret Oppenheimer, View of High Bridge and the Harlem River, 2016. Dredging and landfill in the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries altered the irregular contours of the river. Five of the stone piers of the High Bridge were replaced by a steel arch in 1923 to allow larger ships to navigate the waterway.
 
 
Detail of a manumission document from the archives of the Morris-Jumel Mansion.
Detail of a manumission document from the archives of the Morris-Jumel Mansion, currently on exhibit at the house.
History buffs, don't miss a summer exhibit at the Morris-Jumel Mansion that has slipped in under the radar screen. It explores the subject of slavery in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century New York through the lens of documents from the house's archives. One of the most interesting items is a paper promising freedom to a slave named Jack. His owner was a free black man, William Waldron—son of a Dutch-American father and enslaved mother. Waldron, like his father, became a farmer in Harlem who depended on slave labor—as did so many New York landowners in the eighteenth century. The document is a reminder that New York slaveholders were a more diverse group than we might think.

The exhibit, titled Cuffee Philipse: A Legacy in Documents, was organized by
former Morris-Jumel Mansion archivist Emilie Lauren Gruchow.