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Prison Ship Martyrs Monument

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  • James Banks (1747 - 1844)
    escaped from the Wallabout Bay prison ships: see:
  • Lucas Selover (1730 - 1776)
    DAR Ancestor #: A101944 From Hadler, 1942, pg. 79: "md Neeltje ... and had their second son baptized at Six Mile Run D.R.Ch. List of children is not complete but the others we have found were baptiz...
  • George Dunn (1720 - 1776)
    "George, youngest son of John Dunn, was born about 1720. He settled in Oakham, Worcester county, Mass. He served in the old French war in 1745; was taken prisoner, sent to France, there exchanged and r...
  • Jacobus Blauvelt (prison ship casualty) (1749 - 1777)
    Noted in Fell diary quoted in Dandridge's 1911 "American prisioners of the Revolution" .p.115 Burial: Prison Ship Martyrs' Monument Brooklyn Kings County (Brooklyn) New York, USA according to t...
  • Jeremiah Lay, Jr (1745 - 1778)
    When Jeremiah Lay was born on October 5, 1745, in Saybrook/Westbrook, Connecticut, his father, Jeremiah, was 30 and his mother, Prudence, was 26. He married Eustatia "Statia" Bushnell (1752-1809) daugh...

Prison Ship Martyrs Monument

  • coordinates: 40° 41' 30" N. 073° 58' 32" W. Google Map
  • Feature Class: Park. Park: Fort Greene Park. Location: Myrtle to Dekalb Avenues, Edwards and Cumberland Streets
  • County: Kings. City: New York. Borough: Brooklyn. State: NY (New York) Country: US (United States)

Please add profiles to this project (actions menu > add profiles) of anyone associated with the memorial, but not the soldiers interred in the crypt; they are to be added to the related project, Crypt for the Prison Ship Martyrs. See "notables" section. Profiles must be set to "public."


The Prison Ship Martyrs' Monument in Fort Greene Park, in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, is a memorial to the more than 11,500 American prisoners of war who died in captivity aboard sixteen British prison ships during the American Revolutionary War. The remains of a small fraction of those who died on the ships are interred in a crypt beneath its base. The ships included the HMS Jersey, the Scorpion, the Hope, the Falmouth, the Stromboli, Hunter, and others.

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.

A plaque was added in 1960 located across from the front label on the monument. The plaque reads:

In memory of the 11,500 patriotic American sailors and soldiers who endured untold suffering and died on the prison British ships anchored in Wallabout Bay during the Revolutionary War 1776- 1782. Their remains lie buried in the crypt at the base of this monument which was dedicated on November 14, 1908. This plaque was afforded by The Society of Old Brooklynites on June 1, 1960. Farelly Crane M.D. President.


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The United States House of Representatives passed legislation on April 28, 2014 to authorize a $150,000 study to determine if turning the memorial into a national monument would be feasible.


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