Phase 1: The Gathering Storm
The Revolutionary War in New York in 1776
* * * * *
Another year has passed away,
And brings again the glorious day
When Freedom from her slumber woke,
And broke the British tyrant’s yoke ---
Unfurled her standard to the air,
In gorgeous beauty, bright and fair ---
Pealed forth the sound of war’s alarms,
And called her patriot sons to arms!
They rushed, inspired by Freedom’s name,
To fight for liberty and fame;
To meet the mercenary band,
And drive them from their native land.
Almighty God! grant us, we pray,
The self-same spirit on this day,
That, through the storm of battle, then
Did actuate those patriot men!
...first two stanzas of Ode for the Fourth of July by James M. Whitfield
* * * * *
American patriots under the command of General George Washington set out to free themselves from the rule and tyranny of King George III. The British set forth to subdue the uprising and accumulated in New York the largest expeditionary force in their history prior to the great embarkations and landings of World Wars I and II.
A monumental battle was in the offing.
Phase 1 visits lower Manhattan where political intrigues against the British crown developed.
About the 1776 cache series:This series of caches take you through the political intrigues and armed battles in the city of New York during the Revolutionary War in 1776. Each cache Phase consists of a tour of the local area’s Revolutionary sites. You will gather clues that will provide the coordinates for the cache container for that Phase. Containers will vary from ammo cans, plastic containers and magnetic micros limited by the locale – woods, parks and urban street. The larger containers will have memorabilia such as replicas of revolutionary coins, paper money, musket balls, Declaration of Independence on parchment, etc. as well as more traditional cache treasure. Please take one memento only and leave the rest for other cachers. Leave something if you take something but don't stuff the smaller containers.
Click on the bookmark on the upper right side for a list of all 1776 cache phases. Each stands on it’s own. You do not have to follow any particular order although doing so gives a better prospective of the action. Cachers logging finds in all 8 phases will have their names added to the Cacher's Honor Roll in the Phase 8 cache web page. Campaign maps in the photo section provide orientation for each Phase and for the whole City. However, these are not needed to do the cache.
The caches follow much of this companion tour guide and book. For those traveling on foot, it provides public transportation methods for getting around. However, they are not required to find the cache.THE BATTLE FOR NEW YORK: The City at the Heart of the American Revolution by Barnet Schecter.
Start your tour at The Common. Note that satellite reception is crazy around the tall buildings.
A. The Common N 40 42.796 W 074 00.409
In the 1700’s the triangular block that contains City Hall, the Tweed Courthouse and City Hall Park was called the Common. (At that time, City Hall stood at the corner of Broad and Wall Streets now occupied by Federal Hall). Eleven years before the Declaration of Independence, the Stamp Act protesters gathered on the Common in 1765, and the first blood of the Revolution was shed here in August 1766, when residents clashed with British soldiers who had cut down the first Liberty Pole. The various structures that occupied the Common are marked today by plaques and architectural footprints. These include the soldiers’ barracks, the Liberty Pole and the provost prison, called the Bridewell, all of which are located to the west of City Hall where you should now be standing. The first reading of the Declaration of Independence in New York on July 9, 1776, also took place on the Common. Bring bread to feed the pigeons. They'll alight on your hand to eat the crumbs.
The Common quiz- What is the first word on the second line of the engraved three-foot wide stone monument laying on the grass inside the fence in front of the 1921 Liberty Flag pole on Broadway between Warren and Murray Streets?
ENTER A answer (1, 2 or 3) = ________
After the reading of the Declaration of Independence, the crowd left the Common and headed down Broadway to Bowling Green, along the same route as the Stamp Act protesters about a decade earlier.
B. St. Paul’s Chapel N40 42.673 W74 00.522
Imagine yourself as one of the protestors and travel along the same path to visit St. Paul’s Chapel, the oldest church in Manhattan which was then on the outskirts of town. This is the original building, which escaped a great fire of unproven origins later in 1776 after the British captured the city because bucket brigades were able to stand on its flat roof and douse it with water. The rest of the city was not as fortunate. A third of it burned to the ground.
St. Paul’s Chapel quiz-Find the 5 foot high (2.5 meter) white gravestone with rounded top behind the fence on Broadway to the left of the main entrance. You can read the inscriptions through the fence from the public sidewalk. At the top are the words ERECTED TO THE MEMORY OF... What is the first name of the person buried there?
ENTER B answer (1, 2 or 3) = ________
Continue down Broadway and, two blocks below Vesey, turn left for a brief detour on John Street. Just east of Broadway, at a spot which is no longer marked, stood the John Street Theater, which incurred the wrath of the Revolutionaries before the war and was re-opened as the Theatre Royal by the British during the occupation later in 1776. Continue past Nassau Street for half a block to the John Street Methodist Church on your right.
C. John Street Methodist Church N40 42.545 W74 00.480
Panels of text on the façade of the church and on a sign planted in the sidewalk tell the history of the church and explain that John Street east of William Street (the next corner) was once called Golden Hill. The clash here between British soldiers and colonists in 1770 came to be known as the Battle of Golden Hill, and like the riot on the Common in 1766, it has been called the first bloodshed of the Revolution.
John Street Methodist Church quiz- What is the fourth word in the first sentence on the plaque located about 7 feet up on the right side of the church?
ENTER C answer (1, 2 or 3) = ________
D. Trinity Church N40 42.464 W74 00.702
Return to Broadway and turn left. Five blocks south, at Wall Street, stands Trinity Church, reconstructed after the fire. Visit the cemetery, where Alexander Hamilton and Richard Montgomery are buried.
Trinity Church quiz- What is the first date in the text of the map sign posted on the fence in front of the cemetery about 80 feet north of the main entrance coordinates given above?
ENTER D answer (1, 2 or 3) = ________
Proceed down Broadway to Bowling Green, past the Raging Bull sculpture N40 42.325 W74 00.808 to the elliptical lawn rented to the wealthy residents of the adjacent houses in colonial times for the token annual fee of one peppercorn. The Stamp Act rioters burned Lieutenant Governor Colden’s carriage on the lawn, using the fence for kindling. Here Colden dedicated the equestrian statue of King George III in 1770, and the iron fence that now surrounds the green was installed in 1771. The fence has been designated a City Landmark. After the reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 9, 1776, the crowd toppled the equestrian statue. Now the biggest sculpture is the bull. Monarchy has been replaced by a free-market democracy. New York has always been a town of commerce, however. The Customs House, facing Bowling Green, occupies the site of Fort George, where the Stamp Act rioters pounded on the wooden gates.
As you face the Customs House, Broadway’s right fork becomes State Street, the original shoreline where the guns of the Grand Battery faced the harbor. (The 22 acres of Battery Park beyond State Street are mostly landfill). Here John Lamb’s artillery company began removing the cannon in August 1775 and provoked a broadside from the British man-of-war Asia. In February 1776 Charles Lee continued the job of transferring the British guns to the Common for safekeeping after he arrived to fortify the city.
Now head east to Fraunces Tavern.
E. Fraunces Tavern N40 42.207 W74 00.682
Although out of chronological order with the military battle, but convenient for your current location at this time, Fraunces Tavern is where Washington gave his farewell address to his officers in 1783, at the end of the War.
Fraunces Tavern quiz- What's the first word of the second line on the smaller plaque around the corner from the main entrance?
ENTER E answer (1, 2 or 3) = ________
Cache Container Coordinates:
Enter the number for each of your five answers and add them up:
A______ + B ___3____ + C _______ + D_______ + E_______
= Total ________
The coordinates for the cache are determined by your total. Not all possible totals are listed. There is only one correct coordinate. The container is a magnetic nanocache. Bring your own pen. If you get stuck the hint will help a lot. Your GPS should get a good lock here as the tall buildings don't block the view of the satellites. Hint on closing the nanocache container: place the rolled log sheet in the cap first not in the body. The container will close easier that way.
If your total is 8, the cache coordinates are: N40 42.277 W74 00.976
If your total is 9, the cache coordinates are: N40 42.084 W74 00.850
If your total is 10, the cache coordinates are: N40 42.265 W74 00.863
If your total is 11, the cache coordinates are: N40 42.135 W74 00.852
If your total is 12, the cache coordinates are: N40 42.206 W74 00.877
Congratulations on finding the cache. While you're in Battery Park, take in the great views of the harbor, the Battery N40 42.198 W74 01.025 whose guns didn't help in 1776, WWII navy memorial N40 42.118 W74 00.970, and the World Trade Center artifact crushed in the collapse N40 42.250 W74 00.910. Above and in the water is the American Merchant Mariners Memorial depicting men trying to save their drowning comrade after their ship was torpedoed by a Nazi U-Boat in World War II. If the tide is high, only the drowning man's arm can be seen. N40 42.239 W74 01.060 All these memorials really pluck at your heartstrings. They're very powerful. From Battery Park, you can take a ferry to Ellis Island where many American ancestors came through as immigrants a century ago. Or ferry to Liberty Island and visit the Statue of Liberty.
Now that Phase 1 is over, you can set off to Phase 2 in Staten Island or do one of the other 1776 caches in Manhattan, Brooklyn or The Bronx. However, you might want to stop by the river at South Street first. This is the waterfront, the commercial heart of colonial New York where Isaac (“King”) Sears reigned. The political power base of the Sons of Liberty included many day laborers who unloaded the ships’ cargoes here. The South Street Seaport Museum N40 42.359 W74 00.147 consists of several galleries and a pier where you can board 19th century sailing vessels.