Eliza Jumel rose from poverty to become one of New York’s richest women with the help of a fortune acquired from her first husband, Stephen Jumel. His own origins, until now shrouded in mystery, will be revealed in an illustrated lecture at the Morris-Jumel Mansion on Saturday, May 16, at 2 pm.
Speaker Margaret A. Oppenheimer, author of a forthcoming, legend-busting biography of Eliza, will disclose previously unknown details of Stephen’s parentage and youth.
Thanks to Oppenheimer’s discovery that Stephen was born on May 7, 1765 – 250 years ago – the Morris-Jumel Mansion is able with this lecture to commemorate his birthday for the very first time in the same year that it celebrates its own 250th anniversary. The talk, titled “Stephen Jumel: The Making of a Merchant,” is free with admission to the mansion ($5 for adults, $4 for students and seniors, free for members and children under 12), but reservations are required (phone 212-923-8008).
Oppenheimer holds a PhD from New York University. Besides her biography of Eliza Jumel (forthcoming in November from Chicago Review Press), she is the author of The French Portrait: Revolution to Restoration and a contributor to A Personal Gathering; Paintings and Sculpture from the Collection of William I. Koch. Her articles have appeared in a variety of publications, including Apollo, the Gazette des Beaux-Arts, and the Metropolitan Museum Journal.
About the Morris-Jumel Mansion
The Morris-Jumel Mansion, built in 1765 and now Manhattan’s oldest surviving house is celebrating its 250th birthday. It was George Washington’s headquarters for thirty-four days during the battle for New York and later the country seat of Eliza and Stephen Jumel.
Today it is a not-for-profit museum, located at 65 Jumel Terrace, New York, NY, and open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information about events and activities at the mansion, please visit www.morrisjumel.org.
Photo courtesy of the Morris-Jumel Mansion.