While visiting New York City this weekend, Kongo took a stroll around Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan. One of the interesting things about this church is that has a lot of old gravestones. Like really old gravestones. When this ghoulish skull and cross-bones was spotted, Kong imaged it was a pirate grave. Captain Kidd, after all, was a pew holder at the church. But this was not the case at all. This was the grave of a child.Richard Churcher was a five-year old child who died in 1681. Above the skull you can see an hour-glass indicating that the sands of time are running out for all of us. Poor little Richard had a smaller hourglass than most. This also happens to be the oldest carved gravestone in New York City.
Many of the gravestones are so worn that you can no longer make out the inscriptions but there are many famous people resting here. Alexander Hamilton, Robert Fulton, many signers of the Declaration of Independence, John Jacob Astor, and on and on. Quite a collection of American history rests here.
The contrast between the church, which was rebuilt after the “Great Fire” in 1776 and surrounding architecture is dramatic. The new World Trade Center rises above Trinity Church in the image above. There are so many large building surrounding the church that it is almost always in the shade.
Trinity Church started out as part of the Church of England on a carter from King William III in 1697. Captain William Kidd, the famous ship captain hanged for piracy, lent the tackle from his ship to hoist the original stones. The present building was finished in 1846 and its spire was the highest point in New York City until the 1890s. That’s hard to imagine today with all the skyscrapers surrounding it.
During the attacks on September 11 hundreds of people took refuge in the sanctuary. Afterward, haunting photographs of missing family and friends were hung from the iron fence surround the yards.
Travel safe. Have fun.