Fraunces Tavern

Broad Street Hotel - 1852


This is the earliest full known representation of the building that once was the historic Fraunces Tavern, on the corner of Pearl Street and Broad Street. The illustration above was published in 1852 in the Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution, Vol. II (p.839), by Benson John Lossing (1813-1891), with engravings on wood by Lossing and Barritt, chiefly from original sketches by the author. Harper & Brothers, Publishers. This work was originally issued in 30 installments, from June 1, 1850 to December 1, 1852. It probably represents the building before the fire of June, 1852. We can notice some architectural differences when comparing with the print published in Valentine's Manual - 1854.

On pages 838/839, Lossing wrote: "the twenty-fifth [November, 1783] was fixed upon as the time for the exodus of the British troops. ... before three o'clock General Knox took formal possession of Fort George amid the acclamations of thousands of emancipated freemen, and the roar of artillery upon the Battery. Washington repaired to his quarters at the spacious tavern of Samuel Fraunce, and there during the afternoon, Governor Clinton gave a public dinner to the officers of the army, ..."

The foot note "2", indicated in the title "Fraunce's Tavern.²" of the illustration above, directs to p.796, where Lossing wrote: ..."the tavern of Samuel Fraunce (commonly called Black Sam, because of his dark complexion), on the corner of Broad and Pearl Streets, where Washington parted with his officers more than eight years afterward [the attack from HMS Asia, in 1775]. That house, known as the Broad Street Hotel, was partly destroyed by fire in June, 1852."

The building represented in the illustration above is probably the one before the fire of June 15, 1852, when the fire burned the roof and the walls on the Pearl Street side fell outward to a line just over the second-story windows. On the Broad Street side, the walls remained intact. At the time, the property was owned by the McCarthy estate. Ernst Buermeyer leased part of the building and operated it as the Broad Street Hotel. A portion of the lower part of the building was kept by H.W. Haynes, dealer in paints and oils.

The design of the building that existed before the fire of June 1852, which destroyed much of the original structure, is shown in the Bird's Eye View of New-York, drawn from nature by John Bachmann, copyrighted 1850.

The original building was a family residence. Construction began in 1719, on the corner of Dock Street (now Pearl Street) and Broad Street. It was bought by Samuel Fraunces in 1762 and established as a tavern the following year.

After the opening of the Erie Canal, in 1825, Manhattan became one of the most busiest ports in America. The area around Fraunces Tavern was filled with prominent businesses such as freight
forwarders, shipping agents and wholesale merchants.


Broad Street Hotel


Taverns in New York City




Fraunces Hotel




Fraunces Tavern


Valentine's Manual

This print, published in Valentine's Manual - 1854, is usually thought to be the earliest full representation of the building that once was the Fraunces Tavern, but the illustration on the right was published about two years earlier.


National Academy of Design


Old New York


Washington's Head Quarters


Printing House Square


Historic Hotels


Copyright © Geographic Guide - Historic Taverns in NYC. 19th Century.