Battle Week 2019: 243 Years Since The Battle Of Brooklyn

PARK SLOPE – The Old Stone House will commemorate the 243rd anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn and celebrate “America’s path to independence” with a series of events beginning next week and running through Tuesday, August 27—the anniversary of the Battle.

Battle Week, The Old Stone House via Facebook

The commemorative events will kick off on August 15 at the Old Stone House with the opening of the contemporary art exhibit No More Water featuring work by Tahir Carl Karmali and Justin Sterling that explores how local and global policies contribute to displacement and inequality.

Also, the Gowanus Dredgers Boathouse will present the exhibit On the Tides of Time featuring a site-specific work by artist Robert Gould that illustrates the history of the Gowanus Canal area using non-traditional materials including marsh grass, rusted steel, and gunpowder alongside images of war and industrialization.

Green-Wood Cemetery will present the annual reenactment of the Battle of Brooklyn on Sunday, August 25 (11am to 2pm), complete with actors, cannons, horses, and a collection of Revolutionary War-era flags displayed throughout the Cemetery.

Battle Week will conclude on August 27 (6:30pm) with A Founding Martyr: Dr. Joseph Warren and the Early American Revolution at Brooklyn Historical Society. Historian Christian Di Spagna will tell the story of Joseph Warren—a physician and member of the secret Patriot organization, Sons of Liberty—who helped initiate the early rebellion against the British and was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill. (Tickets $10)

The Old Stone House (OSH) is a community hub that provides programming that highlights the area’s history, environmental education, and the arts. The House is a modern reconstruction of the Vechte-Cortelyou House, a 1699 Dutch stone farmhouse. Rebuilt in 1934 using materials from the original structure, the building stands adjacent to the site of the original farmhouse. The House served as the “culminating site of what was the largest battle of the Revolutionary War,” according to the OSH website.

On August 27, 1776, William Alexander, also known as Lord Stirling, led 400 soldiers of his First Maryland Regiment against 2,000 British troops at the Vechte-Cortelyou House during the Battle of Long Island—”the decisive engagement of the Battle of Brooklyn,” according to OSH. More than 200 of Alexander’s soldiers were killed or went missing during the battle, but their fight allowed General George Washington to assemble his men at Fulton Ferry. On August 29, the Marblehead Regiment transported nearly 8,000 of Washington’s troops, horses, and arms across the East River under the cover of night.

When British commander, General William Howe, arrived the following day to accept Washington’s surrender, he found the American troops gone—”a classic example of losing the battle to win the war,” according to OSH.

The British killed or captured 1,000 Americans during the Battle of Brooklyn and  occupied Brooklyn and Manhattan for seven years. In 1783, the British surrendered and left New York, leaving America to embark on “its destiny as an independent nation.” Learn more about The Battle of Brooklyn at theoldstonehouse.org.

“The commitment of individuals to a just cause helped shape the founding of our nation,” Executive Director of The Old Stone House, Kim Maier, said in a statement. “That kind of commitment still makes a difference in our democracy today.”

See the list of Battle Week 2019 events below and visit OSH for more info:

Thursday, August 15 – Saturday, October 12
No More Water contemporary work by artists Tahir Carl Kamali and Justin Sterling
The Old Stone House (Opening Aug. 15, 6pm to 9pm)

Saturday, August 17 – Sunday, August 25
Display Of 85 Revolutionary War Flags & Their History
Green-Wood Cemetery, 5th Avenue at 25th Street

Sunday, August 18 (12pm to 2pm)
Maryland 400 Remembrance Ceremony in partnership with the Michael A. Rawley American Legion Post
Old Stone House & Washington Park

Tuesday, August 20 (6pm to 9 pm)
Battle of Brooklyn Neighborhood Walk led by OSH Board Member & Hunter College Archaeology Professor, William J. Parry
Meet at Grand Army Plaza entrance to Prospect Park, NW corner
Tickets: $12/$10 OSH members

Wednesday, August 21 (6pm to 8pm)
Gowanus Dredgers Battle Paddle
Join the Gowanus Dredgers for a canoe tour of the famous Battle of Brooklyn escape route as well as a viewing of Robert Gould’s exhibit On the Tides of Time.

Saturday, August 24 (10am to 11:30am)
Annual Prison Ship Martyrs Memorial Tribute
Coordinated by the Society of Old Brooklynites, American Merchant Marine Association, and Navy Armed Guard
Fort Greene Park at Prison Ship Martyrs Monument

Saturday, August 24 (10:30am to 1pm)
Battle of Brooklyn Bike Tour
Start: The Old Stone House | End: Brooklyn Bridge Park
Tickets: $30 (limited to 12 participants)

Saturday, August 24 (2pm to 5pm)
Battle of Brooklyn Neighborhood Walk led by OSH Board Member & Hunter College Archaeology Professor, William J. Parry
Meet at Grand Army Plaza entrance to Prospect Park, NW corner
Tickets: $12 per person/$10 OSH members

Sunday, August 25
Battle of Brooklyn Commemoration at Green-Wood Cemetery
Green-Wood Cemetery, 5th Avenue at 25th Street

10:00am – 11:00am (reservations required)
Battle of Brooklyn Trolley Tour
Join Green-Wood historian Jeff Richman on a trolley tour of the cemetery.
Tickets: $25

11:00am – 12:00pm
Living History Programming with drills, weapon firing, games, and historic personalities

12:00pm
Re-enactment inside the Main Gate at Green-Wood Cemetery

1:00pm
Parade to the top of Battle Hill

1:15pm
Memorial Ceremony at Battle Hill with keynote by Michael Crowder, Public Historian, the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies, Iona College

Tuesday, August 27 (6:30pm)
A Founding Martyr: Dr. Joseph Warren and the Early American Revolution, a talk by Historian Christian Di Spagna
Brooklyn Historical Society, 128 Pierrepont Street
Tickets: $10/$5 BHS Members

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Pamela Wong

Pam is a staff reporter at Bklyner, covering North-Western parts of Brooklyn. You can reach her at Pamela@bklyner.com. Tips are always welcome. She also writes about art at arthag.typepad.com.

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