A lot of people have been known to describe the Trinity churchyard as priceless. No wonder. It's a visual oasis, open space in a city crowded with skyscrapers, a place where all four seasons are on display, and have been for more than three centuries. A perfect spot for lunch, or a history lesson, or a scavenger hunt.
If you have the time to wander awhile, here are twelve destinations to find. We hope you’ll find it to be fun.
Hover over points of interest to learn more or scroll down.
1. I’ve been in my final resting place in the Trinity churchyard since the summer of 1804, but a recent Broadway musical has greatly increased the traffic to my grave. I am Alexander Hamilton.
2. I am that rare politician of my era who held public office both for the colonial government of His Majesty the King and later served in the Congress of the independent United States. My statue, financed by my grandson six decades after my death, is pretty dramatic. I’m John Watts, Jr.
3. Most people know me as a writer, Epistles being my thing. I have a statue viewable in the churchyard and Trinity was thoughtful enough to name St. Paul’s Chapel after me. I am the Apostle Paul.
4. I am not really very famous, but I have rested in the churchyard since 1793, although not in a heavily visited section. My name is Mary Pell.
5. I’m not a person. I’m a cornerstone for the Chapel of All Saints, which was a major addition to Trinity on the northwest corner of the church. I was placed there in 1912.
6. My sister Eliza may be more famous because she was wife to Alexander Hamilton but, among my sisters, I’m the oldest and, according to Lin Manuel Miranda, “the wittiest.” I’m Angelica Schuyler Church.
7. I was named Trinity’s 13th Rector when I was only 43 and served until I died at age 57. My ministry was known for its emphasis on serving the poor; later, a drop-in center for unhoused New Yorkers was named after me: John Heuss House.
8. My trade was tailor and I had lots of customers who were British officers. While measuring their waists and inseams, I learned a lot about their military plans and my espionage helped my fellow colonists win the War of Independence. My name is Hercules Mulligan.
9. Like the cornerstone mentioned above, I’m not a person either. I’m a memorial to members of a well-known Trinity parish family and my design includes famous people from the Bible, and a few that are not so famous. Call me The Astor Cross.
10. I served in Congress and I was Secretary of the Treasury under two Presidents: Jefferson and Madison. Not a whole lot of treasury secretaries can say that. And I wasn’t even born in the United States; I’m from Switzerland. My name is Albert Gallatin.
11. I lived my short life (five years) well before there was a Trinity Church or Trinity churchyard. They buried me in the community cemetery in 1681 but, unlike so many others, I have a marked grave, in fact the oldest marked grave in Trinity churchyard. I am Richard Churcher.
12. People think I am the grave of a famous person. Yet, to be honest, I may not even be a grave at all, simply a tombstone marked with the name Charlotte Temple.