Credit: Kyla MacDonald

HISTORICAL FOCUS FIGURES

Green-Wood’s American history and art history School Programs teach curriculum-based content and historical thinking skills by having students investigate the lives and monuments of people interred here. Check out some of the figures your students may learn about on their visit here:

AMERICAN REVOLUTION: MARCH TO BATTLE HILL AND TROLLEY PROGRAM

    • John Greenwood: patriot fifeboy in the Continental Army and George Washington’s favorite dentist
    • William Livingston: member of the Second Continental Congress and early governor of New Jersey, buried with his son Brockholst, an early Supreme Court judge
    • Margaret Pine: once thought to be the last enslaved person in New York State, born in 1776
    • Ebenezer Stevens: patriot, soldier, and participant in the Boston Tea Party
    • Robert Troup: college roommate of Alexander Hamilton and Continental Army general captured during the Battle of Brooklyn

CIVIL WAR: HOMEFRONT, BATTLEFIELDS, BURIAL GROUND

    • Civil War Soldiers’ Monument: an 1869 memorial to the 149,000 Union soldiers from New York City
    • John Cooke: executed for his role in John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry
    • Anna Leah Fox: one of the infamous Fox sisters, who inspired the Spiritualist movement that both comforted and confounded bereft family members of fallen soldiers in the Civil War era and beyond
    • The Freedom Lots: the largest undisturbed burial ground for people of African descent in NYC, located within Green-Wood, including survivors of the New York City Draft Riots and Black Civil War veterans
    • Abigail Hopper Gibbons: noted abolitionist, Underground Railroad station master and Civil War nurse
    • Henry B. Hidden: white Civil War soldier with an elaborate monument and a gallant battle history
    • Eastman Johnson: Civil War era genre painter whose canvases tell stories of daily life in those turbulent times
    • Laura Keene: star of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater, present the night of Lincoln’s assassination
    • Thomas Francis Meagher: Irish patriot, inventor of the tricolor Irish flag, and famed American Civil War general in the 69th “Irish Brigade” Regiment. Though not interred here, his cenotaph is here.
    • The Little Drummer Boy, Clarence MacKenzie: Brooklyn’s first casualty of the war, who died in training from friendly fire at age twelve
    • The Soldiers’ Lot: land Green-Wood donated for free burials of New York State soldiers who died during the Civil War, full of Union veterans’ graves
    • Ann Priscilla Vanderpoel: the “Florence Nightingale” of New York, founder of the Ladies Home U.S. General Hospital, formerly on East 51st Street in Manhattan

IMMIGRANTS IN NYC: 18TH CENTURY TO TODAY

    • Chow Ye Tong lot: graves of people associated with a Chinese-American organization active during the period of Chinese exclusion
    • William F. Mangels: German-American engineering maverick who created many of Coney Island’s wildest rides
    • Thomas Francis Meagher: Irish patriot, inventor of the tricolor Irish flag, and famed American Civil War general in the 69th “Irish Brigade” Regiment. Though not interred here, his cenotaph is here.
    • The Sahadi family: Lebanese (formerly referred to as Upper Syrian) immigrants of Manhattan’s “Little Syria” in the 1890s who later created a food empire on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn
    • Johnny Torrio: mentor to Al Capone, whose story sheds light on Italian-American community and stereotyping in the twentieth century
    • Contemporary lots: an area of the Cemetery with contemporary graves. illustrating who makes Brooklyn and New York City what they are today

INNOVATORS & INVENTORS FROM INDUSTRIALIZATION TO THE PROGRESSIVE ERA

    • Henry Chadwick: known as the “Father of Baseball,” originated modern baseball terminology
    • Peter Cooper: pioneering philanthropist, educator, and inventor of steam locomotives
    • Thomas C. Durant: Transcontinental Railroad tycoon who drove the Golden Spike at Promontory Summit, Utah
    • Charles Feltman: Coney Island restauranteur and inventor of the hot dog
    • Jeremiah Hamilton: first Black millionaire to make his fortune on Wall Street; a controversial figure among both white and Black people of his era, nicknamed the “Prince of Darkness”
    • Elias Howe Jr.: inventor of the modern sewing machine
    • Louisine Havemeyer: suffragist and heiress to the Domino Sugar fortune
    • Mary Jacobi: pioneering pediatrician and suffragist
    • Clemence Lozier: physician, suffragist, and trailblazer in the training of women doctors
    • George McNulty: engineer who helped build the Brooklyn Bridge
    • Samuel F.B. Morse: pioneer in telegraphy, artist, and inventor of Morse code
    • Isabella Seaholm née Goodwin: first woman to be appointed a detective in New York City
    • Elmer Sperry: co-inventor of the gyroscope, known as the “father of modern navigation technology”
    • Louis Comfort Tiffany: artist and designer who revolutionized stained glass art
    • William Magear “Boss” Tweed: corrupt Tammany Hall boss who ruled New York City politics for years
    • John Underwood: pioneering Typewriter manufacturer

BLACK NEW YORKERS WHO CHANGED AMERICA

    • Jean-Michel Basquiat: musician, poet and groundbreaking Neo-Expressionist and graffiti artist of the late twentieth century
    • Samuel Cornish: pioneering abolitionist and journalist, co-publisher of the first Black newspaper in the U.S.
    • Elizabeth Gloucester: Abolitionist and real estate tycoon who left an estate valued over one million dollars to her children after her death
    • Margaret and Scipio Franks: self-emancipated people who worked in Manhattan for noted white abolitionists, the Gibbons family
    • Jeremiah Hamilton: first Black millionaire to make his fortune on Wall Street; a controversial figure among both white and Black people of his era, nicknamed the “Prince of Darkness”
    • James Weldon Johnson: NAACP officer, diplomat, poet, and lyricist of the Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing, known as the “Black National Anthem”
    • Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Steward: first Black, female doctor in New York State, third in the country; abolitionist, activist, and community leader
    • Margaret Pine: once thought to be the last enslaved person in New York State, born in 1776
    • Thomas Joiner-White: the third-known Black American to earn a medical degree in the United States

ART AND ARCHITECTURE HIGHLIGHTS WITH SKETCHING

In addition to discussing the symbols, inscriptions, and design features on many different types of monuments, students may explore art and architecture in a variety of other ways:

CONTEMPORARY ART

    • Here Lie the Secrets of the Visitors of Green-Wood Cemetery by Sophie Calle, 2017
    • The Greeter by John Coleman: A contemporary tribute to painter of the American West, George Catlin, depicting Hidatsa Chief Black Moccasin, designed based off Catlin’s own drawings, installed in 2012
    • L’Ours (The Bear) by Dan Ostermiller: A bronze memorial to artist William Holbrook Beard, known for his paintings of anthropomorphized animals, installed at Green-Wood in 2002

SIGNIFICANT NINETEENTH AND TWENTIETH CENTURY SCULPTURE AND ARCHITECTURE

    • The Stewart Mausoleum: Bronze bas-relief angels by Augustus-Saint Gaudens planking the door to the mausoleum designed by architect Stanford White
    • The DeWitt Clinton Monument by Henry Kirke Brown: Monumental bronze inspired by Classical sculpture memorializing DeWitt Clinton; New York City mayor, New York State governor, and the man behind the Erie Canal
    • Precious Georgie by Charles Calverley: Marble bas-relief of four year-old Georgie, son of Brooklyn preacher Theodore Ledyard Cuyler
    • Azrael, The Angel of Death by Solon Borglum: Striking sculpture of a bowing robed figure marking the grave of Brooklyn Mayor Charles Schieren
    • The Arch by Richard Upjohn & Son: Gothic Revival archway marking the Cemetery’s Main Entrance, featuring three ornate spires, two passages, and four tympanums with sculpture by John Moffitt
    • The Historic Chapel by Warren & Wetmore: Constructed on the site of one of Green-Wood’s glacial ponds, Arbor Water, the Historic Chapel was completed in 1912 to accommodate memorial services
    • The Four Ages by John Moffitt: Relief sculptures adorning the Fort Hamilton Gatehouse depicting four stages of life: infancy, youth, adulthood, and old age
    • Minerva and the Altar to Liberty: A monument erected in 1920 to the soldiers who died on that spot during the Battle of Brooklyn, August 2, 1776

ARTISTS AND ARCHITECTS INTERRED AT GREEN-WOOD

    • Jean-Michel Basquiat: musician, poet and groundbreaking Neo-Expressionist and graffiti artist of the late twentieth century
    • George Bellows: Twentieth-century Realist painter
    • William Merritt Chase: American Impressionist painter
    • Vestie Edward Davis: Mid-twentieth-century folk artist who specialized in portraying Coney Island
    • Asher Durand: Hudson River School Painter, one of the founders of National Academy of Design
    • Nathaniel Currier and James Ives: famous publishers of nineteenth-century, picturesque Americana prints
    • Eastman Johnson: Civil War era genre painter whose canvases tell stories of daily life in those turbulent times
    • Emma Stebbins: Designer of Bethesda Fountain in Central Park
    • James Renwick Jr.: Architect of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Smithsonian Institution Building
    • Jacob Wrey Mould: Architect of Belvedere Castle in Central Park
    • Louis Comfort Tiffany: artist and designer who revolutionized stained glass art