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Bowne House Flushing Queens NY

Bowne House: American Colonial Houses in Queens NYC

John Bowne & The History Of Religious Freedom In America

December 13, 2009 / Flushing Neighborhood / Flushing History Queens / Queens Buzz NYC.

queens history flushing nyThe Bowne House in Flushing is one of the oldest houses in New York. The Bowne House was used as a Quaker Meeting House prior to the erection of The Friends Meeting House nearby.

John Bowne fought hard for religious freedom in this nation, first having a role in getting the Flushing Remonstrance drafted, signed and delivered and then by traveling to Holland in the early 1860's to plead his case before the Dutch West Indies Company, in defiance of then Governor of New Amersterdam, Peter Stuyvesant. Read on to learn more about this incredible man and this historic house which is undergoing significant maintenance upgrades.

Bowne House: American Colonial Houses in Queens NYC

John Bowne & The History Of Religious Freedom In America

December 13, 2009 / Flushing Neighborhood / Flushing History Queens / Queens Buzz NYC. Continued.

queens history flushing nyThe Bowne House was erected in 1661 in Vlishing by an English settler named John Bowne. The Dutch West India Company had settled the area of what is now called Flushing in Queens. Vlishing was later renamed Flushing after the English took it over. And New Amsterdam was renamed New York around the same time.


Bowne House Is Symbol Of Religious Freedom

The Governor of New Amsterdam, Peter Stuyvesant, forbade Quakers to practice their religion in the colony. Bowne, in defiance of this edict, allowed Quakers to meet in his house for religious purposes and was soon thrown in jail under the orders of Peter Stuyvesant, who was aligned with another religion.


colonial america in queens nyBowne took his case back across the Atlantic to the Netherlands where he pleaded it before the Dutch West India Company and won. He won his case and his freedom by referring to the original Dutch West India Company patent of 1645 in which it stated that everyone was free to practice their own faith without obstruction. Henceforth the Bowne House became a symbol of religious freedom – first just locally, but over time it has become a national symbol of our cultural heritage and of religious freedom in this land.


Bowne House - Colonial Houses In Flushing

The Bowne House was lived in through nine generations of descendants of the Bowne family. In the nineteen forties the descendants vacated the home. It has since become a part of the New York Historic Trust, which is dedicated to preserving our state’s and our nation’s history. In 2009 the Bowne House Historical Society donated the house to the city parks department of New York and is now included in our historic trust. It is now in the process of undergoing historic renovations / upkeep prior to its re-opening to the public again, sometime in the relatively near future.


Bowne House Flushing Historical Site Undergoing Renovations

bowne house flushing nyI had occasion to talk to the caretaker of the house. She mentioned that the house had been a vibrant community meeting place through the middle of the nineteenth century. Over time it slowly lost its role in the community and evolvd into a private residence, but of a prestigious and prominent family. Some of the artifacts found in the house include one of the nation’s first burglar systems as well as the parts of one of the first elevators.

Thanks to Anne Perl de Pal for providing some of the information contained herein and the Queens Historical Society.


Bowne House Is Queens NY History - Related Links

TBD. Click on this link to view the location where the Bowne House is located in Flushing Queens. And click here to obtain the Bowne House contact info.

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