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Category: military hero names

4ofjuly2

With apologies to our dear Britberries, today we honor some of the heroes in the struggle of the US to gain its independence from the mother country, along with some of the more interestingly named Signers of the Declaration of Independence.

REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD HEROES

AARON Burr—fought in the War for Independence before he served as Vice President and fought his famous duel

ALEXANDER Hamilton—served as aide-de-camp to General George Washington during the Revolutionary War, before his later accomplishments

ANTHONY Wayne – won major recognition for bravery as a general in the American Revolution, also known as (oops!) “Mad” Anthony Wayne

ARTEMAS Ward –  an important general in the war and a Congressman from Massachusetts

AUSTIN Dabney – a slave who became a private in the Georgia militia and fought the British

BETSY (Elizabeth) Ross—even though she well might not have made the first American flag

CASIMIR Pulaski – Polish-born “Father of the American Cavalry” under Washington

CRISPUS Attucks – a fugitive slave who became the first casualty of the Revolution when he was shot and killed in the Boston Massacre

DEBORAH Sampson — first known woman to impersonate a man in order to join the army and take part in combat

EBENEZER Learned – a brigadier general in the Continental Army

ENOCH Poor –another brigadier general, called by Washington “an officer of distinguished merit”

ESEK Hopkins – a Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Navy during the war

ETHAN Allen – war hero who formed the Green Mountain Boys and was responsible for the capture of Fort Ticonderoga

EVAN Shelby, Jr – a Revolutionary War militia leader

HAYM Salomon – Polish-born Jewish immigrant who played a key role in financing the Revolution

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cornelia-street-cafe

In the course of leading a basically bicoastal life, I’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time walking and driving the streets of both New York and L.A.  And I have to say, as rhythmic and melodious as so many of the California names are– e.g. Alameda, Amanita, Mariposa, Morella– for native New Yorker me there’s nothing like the solid, straight-forward, usable street names of downtown Manhattan, from Greenwich Village to the Wall Street area, names resonant with references to early American history.

The names of these meandering streets, lanes and alleys were subject to shifting trends.  Many British names were changed after the Revolutionary War, for example, and for a time fashion dictated that streets named for local property owners would carry the first names only.  Leaders in the War of 1812 provided a goodly share of names, as did figures connected to Trinity Church.

Here are Lower Manhattan street names with their historical roots–any of which would make a possible namesake.

ALLENafter War of 1812 hero Captain William Henry Allen

ANNnamed for either a member of the Beekman clan or the wife of Captain William Henry Allen

ASTOR –named for John Jacob Astor, “the richest man in America

BARCLAYReverend Henry Barclay was the second rector of Trinity Church

BARROW–  artist Thomas Barrow was known for his portraits of Trinity Church

BAXTERoriginally called Orange Street, renamed for Mexican War hero Colonel Charles Baxter

BAYARDNicholas Bayard was mayor of NY in 1686

BENSONEgbert Benson was New York’s first Attorney General

BETHUNE—named for philanthropist Johanna Graham Bethune

BLEECKER—the street ran through the farm of Anthony L. Bleecker

CARMINEfor  Trinity Church vestryman Nicolas Carman (sic)

CATHERINE the wife of land owner Henry Rutgers

CHARLES ––named for landowner Charles Christopher Amos

CHARLTONDr. John Charlton, an English-born surgeon, became president of the N.Y. Medical Society

CHRISTOPHERalso named for Charles Christopher Amos, a local landowner

CHRYSTIE – named for Lt.-Col. John Christie (sic), killed in the War of 1812

CLARKSON – Revolutionary War hero Matthew Clarkson

CLINTONGeorge Clinton, was a Revolutionary War hero and the first governor of New York State

CORNELIA a beloved granddaughter of landowner Robert Herring

CROSBYnamed for William Bedlow Crosby, who inherited much of the Lower East Side

DELANCEYnamed after James De Lancey, Sr, whose farm was located in what is now the LES

DUANEJames Duane was an early mayor of the city

ELDRIDGEnamed for a Lieutenant killed in the War of 1812

ELIZABETHunknown

ESSEXnamed for the English county (as were nearby Norfolk and Suffolk Streets)

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