A glimpse inside Ft. Greene Park monument

The Brooklyn Paper
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Eighty years is a long time to wait, so forgive us if we were a bit underwhelmed by our first glimpse inside the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument inside Fort Greene Park, which opened for the first time in decades this Sunday.

But that’s all right, given that the real treat was outside the 150-foot, McKim, Meade and White–designed monolith, which now sits amid a newly landscaped and tiled plaza at the zenith of the park.

“Isn’t it wonderful what the Parks Department has done here?” asked Ruth Goldstein, a member of the Fort Greene Association.

But for Goldstein, the present is only prologue: November will mark the centennial of the monument’s dedication (it was a big deal; President Taft was there!), and there’ll be a huge party to celebrate the occasion — including a look inside the crypt, where the remains of 8,000 of the 11,000 Americans who died on British prison ships during our Revolution, are kept.

The Fort Greene Park Conservancy is still looking for volunteers to make the Nov. 14–16 centennial a true blowout. If you’re interested, call Ruth Goldstein at (718) 596-0899.

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Reader Feedback

Holly Fuchs from Bklyn Heights says:
The Ft. Greene Revolutionary War prison ship martyrs' monument stands over a crypt with approx 11,500 people's bones. The 8000 number referenced in this Conservancy info piece refers to 8000 men whose names were logged as prisoners on the Jersey according to British records. Most of these men probably died, but we do not really know. A book published recently, Forgotten Patriots, suggests staggering numbers of dead on the prison ships...

Holly Fuchs
Corres Secy
Society of Old Brooklynites
718-789-1993 vm.
May 11, 2009, 2:51 pm

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