GENERAL WASHINGTON DISPATCH #1209, AUGUST 1776:
To the Congress:
I can now report with some certainty that the eve of battle is near at hand. To this end I have ordered the evacuation of Manhattan and directed our defenses to take stronger positions on the Brooklyn Heights. At the present time my forces consist entirely of (Colonel) Haslet's general militia and (General) Smallwood's Marylanders - a total of 5000 troops to stand against 25,000 of the enemy, and I begin to notice that many of us are lads under 15 and old men, none of whom could truly be called soldiers.
One personal note to Mr. Lewis Morris of New York: I must regretfully report that his estates have been totally destroyed, but that I have taken the liberty of transporting Mrs. Morris and eight of the children to Connecticut in safety. The four older boys are now enlisted in the Continental army.
As I write these words the enemy is plainly in sight beyond the river. How it will end only Providence can direct, but dear God what brave men I shall lose before this business ends.
OFFERING TOURS ANYWHERE IS A PLEASURE. IN THIS GREAT CITY IT IS AN HONOR.
The fun of any class, lecture or tour is in the discovery, in the why and the how. Why, for example, is local wealth concentrated along Fifth Ave. while gas stations and factories have always been close to the water? How does Central Park make economic sense on an island where real estate is the world's most valuable? Why does the world trade in Manhattan more than anywhere else?
Our purpose in these presentations is not to fill the bucket but to light the fire, not to fill minds but to get about a six inches of air in between your feet and the ground. Maybe that happens now and then.