Kings County (Brooklyn)
New York USA
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
The memorial pays tribute to the soldiers and civilians who perished aboard the British Prison Ships that docked in New York Harbor during the Revolutionary War. The crypt contains the remains of more than 11,000 American patriots.
Long after the war ended, the bones of the dead, who had been buried in shallow graves along the East River, washed up on the shores of Brooklyn. Residents collected them and eventually created an initial memorial in the early 19th century at the Brooklyn Navy Yard for those who perished aboard the prison ships.
In 1867, Olmsted, Vaux & Company, redesigned Fort Greene Park, and installed a crypt for the remains of the prison ship victims in a stone wall, halfway up the stairs that now face the Fort Greene housing projects.
In the first decade of the 20th century, McKim, Mead, and White was commissioned to create an obelisk in tribute. In 1908, President Taft traveled to Fort Greene for an official ribbon-cutting ceremony.